Like many WVU fans and fellow journalists in the Mountain State, I was sad to hear of the passing of Mickey Furfari.
Mickey covered the Mountaineers for 71 years and was the “dean” of sportswriters in the state. I had the opportunity to converse with Mickey a couple of times and it was a pleasure. He was indeed a gentleman and a scholar. He will be missed.
… It’s hard to believe, but high school football practice starts next week in the Bluegrass State. Coaches are already giving out equipment and setting practice times. Belfry will head into this season as the 3-time Class Triple A state champs and they will be heavily favored to win a fourth straight title.
West Virginia high schools cannot legally start practice until Monday, August 1st.
… Some WVU football recruiting news shows several commitments in the past few days. Three-star offensive lineman Cody Bowes had 21 scholarship offers including several from big-time schools, however committed to West Virginia. He is a 6-foot-3, 270-pounder from Southridge High in Miami, Fla.
The Mountaineers landed a commitment from one of the nation’s top prospects in Mike Harley, a wide receiver from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Rivals lists Harley as one of the top players for the class of 2017 and the 34th-ranked receiver. The 5-foot-10, 153-pounder from St. Thomas Aquinas High School chose WVU during a weekend visit. He had 17 offers, including South Carolina, Michigan, Mississippi State, Louisville, Maryland and Kentucky.
Three-star cornerback DeAmonte King is coming to WVU. He starts at receiver and runs track for St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio. He had offers from Boston College and MAC schools such as Toledo and Akron. King also played receiver for St. Vincent-St. Mary, making 32 catches for 11 touchdowns. King is a 5-11, 175 speedster. WVU loses four senior cornerbacks after this season.
Brandon Lawles, who played at Los Angeles Valley City College, will be enrolling at West Virginia this summer. The at 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive end came in under the radar.
Lawless was a late add to the 2016 class and told MetroNews Sports he was excited to be a Mountaineer. He may be a surprise for the defense and give them some depth.
… In case you missed this bit of news, former WVU center/power forward Devin Williams, who was passed over in the NBA draft, signed as a free-agent with the Milwaukee Bucks. He is with the squad in the Las Vegas summer league.
Don’t expect the bulky 6-foot-9 power post player to make it. He will likely end up going to Europe and/or play in the NBA D-League in hopes of improving and someday making it to the NBA.
Speaking of WVU basketball, Coach Bob Huggins is going back into the state of Ohio for a couple of recruits for the class of 2017. Kyle Young, a 6-foot-6, 4-star rated small forward from Massillon, Ohio is on the Mountaineer’s radar.
Also, 6-10 center, Sterling Manley, of Pickerington, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, has WVU on his list of schools he is interested in. Huggins Buckeye State connections may help him bring these two to Morgantown, but both are being recruited by Ohio State and other colleges.
… It was great to see Alabama Coach Nick Saban and Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher, both West Virginia natives, helping with flood relief in the Mountain State. It is obvious the two have not forgotten their roots. Clint Trickett, the offensive line coach, who also coached at WVU, also helped with donations for several schools that lost all of their equipment in the recent flooding.
They will be traveling to their home state to make the donations.
The schools affected include Clay County, Elkview Middle, Herbert Hoover, Richwood and Richwood Middle School. Herbert Hoover plays in the Cardinal Conference with Mingo Central. Many of the playing fields and basketball gymnasiums were also damaged.
We might also add that Charleston native and actress Jennifer Garner is coming back home this coming Tuesday for a fund raiser to help raise money for flood victims. That event will be held at the University of Charleston.
It is great to see this West Virginia pride !
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)