Cleanin’ out the old sports notebook

Editor Kyle Lovern

Kyle’s Korner ….

Congratulations to former Matewan High School standout Melvin Cunningham for getting inducted into the Marshall University Sports Hall of Fame this past Saturday.

Melvin was one of the best to ever wear the green and white of the Tigers. He was the Associated Press Player of the Year back in his senior season in the early 1990s at Matewan. He then went on to have a stellar career for the Thundering Herd as an All-American defensive back. Melvin had a short sting in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins and was then a star in the Arena League before injuries forced him to retire.

Melvin is now the head football coach at Fairland (Ohio) High School. He has coached at several schools here in Mingo County before moving up to the Huntington area.

Melvin helped propel the Thundering Herd to a 15-0 record and the national championship in 1996 in the university’s final season on the I-AA level before moving up to Division I-A. (See photos on A10)

… Also congrats to another former Matewan product David Jones. He got his first win as head coach at Phelps High School as the Hornets defeated Montcalm this past Saturday.

Jones started his sports career at Matewan Middle School and Matewan High School, before transferring over to Belfry where he teamed up with Doug Howard to give the Pirates a one-two punch out of the backfield and help lead them to a couple of state titles.

David then went on to become a star at the University of Kentucky as a defensive back. He had a tryout with the Baltimore Ravens and then played in the Arena League, before coming back to Pike County to teach and coach.

… If you had not heard of Lamar Jackson before the season started, you were like many of us. But the Louisville quarterback is now a front runner for the Heisman Trophy. Jackson has led the Cardinals to a 3-0 record and has already scored 18 touchdowns in his first three games, piling up yards on the ground and also with the passing game.

Jackson and his Louisville teammates pounded No. 2 Florida this past Saturday and moved all the way up to No. 3 in the college rankings. He and the Cardinals will visit Marshall University in Huntington Saturday night.

… My condolences to the family of Greg Southers of Chattaroy who passed away this past weekend. Greg was a former star basketball and baseball player for Williamson High School in the late 1960s. He was a great person and well thought of in the community.

The Southers’ family produced several good athletes in years past.

…. Most Reds fans have been disappointed in their season, but Cincinnati has several young talented players and I think if they continue to improve, they may be able to compete in the tough National League Central Division in the coming years.

For now, I think I’ll pull for the Chicago Cubs, who has not won a World Series title since back in 1908. Their last appearance was back during World War II in 1945. You’ve got to hope the Cub fans finally get a taste of victory after all of these years.

… The Big 12 Conference has announced that WVU’s Saturday, Sept. 24, football game versus BYU at FedExField in Landover, Md., will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The game will be televised by ESPN2. Tickets can be purchased for the game online at or by calling 1-800-WVU GAME.

The Big 12 Conference has announced that WVU’s Saturday, Oct. 1, Big 12 Conference football game against Kansas State at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, will be televised on ESPNU at 3:30 p.m. ET.

(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.)

Editor Kyle Lovern Kyle Lovern
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