By Kyle Lovern
December 15, 2013
As you read this column, I ventured to the Charleston Civic Center Saturday for another Capital Classic basketball matchup between the state’s two major universities – Marshall and West Virginia.
The basketball game is always entertaining and competitive. It draws a huge crowd and it is a good chance for folks in the southern part of the state to see WVU without the long drive up to Morgantown.
WVU also plays William & Mary on Sunday, Dec. 29, at the Civic Center. The Capital Classic is one of three non-conference games left for the Mountaineers. They play host to Purdue Dec. 22 before the William & Mary game. Big 12 play begins with back-to-back road games against TCU and Texas Tech.
Both teams have had some early struggles, but there have been signs of improvement.
It is a shorter drive up to Huntington to see the Thundering Herd, but I still have difficulty in finding the time to make the trip because of all of the local high school coverage.
… Of course it is always good to see former Williamson High School All-American Mark Cline at the game. Mark is an assistant coach for the Herd. He always takes time out to talk to me.
Mark is a class act and loves to see folks from the Tug Valley come up to this game and other Marshall contests.
… Because of early press deadlines the photos and results of the game will not be in our paper until Tuesday.
… West Virginia landed another football commitment from an Aliquippa (Pa.) High School who plays on the defensive side of the ball.
Defensive tackle Jaleel Fields chose the Mountaineers over Purdue and Cincinnati this past Wednesday, following in the footsteps of four-star safety Dravon Henry’s announcement last Monday.
The 6-foot-1, 296-pound Fields became WVU’s 18th commitment for the 2014 signing class and its seventh defensive player. He projects as a first-year redshirt with Christian Brown and Darrien Howard returning at nose tackle.
… WVU also received a firm commitment from a junior college quarterback who played in Riverside, California this past season. Skyler Howard, a dual threat signal caller, and another Texas product, should enroll at WVU for the second semester so that he can participate in spring drills.
Howard is a 6’0”, 205 pound QB who just recently visited Morgantown. He was recruited by assistant coach Shannon Dawson.
With the three QB’s returning next season, plus incoming 4-star recruit William Crest of Baltimore, Maryland, the quarterback competition at WVU should be interesting next year.
(Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. Comments or story ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)