The Belfry Pirates have finished another great season on the grid iron with a 12-3 record and as the state runner-up. Although they lost another heartbreaker in the Triple A state final, the Pirates have built a solid program that competes on the highest level year after year.
The diehard Pond Creek Nation should be proud of their team. The Pirates lose some quality seniors due to graduation, but they have some outstanding underclassmen returning for the 2013 campaign.
Plus, the Belfry Middle School recently won a state championship in their division. There is some fine young talent coming up from the middle school ranks. So the Pirates coaching staff has a lot to look forward to in the next few seasons.
Hats off to Belfry, Mingo Central and Tug Valley for making it to the football playoffs. August is not that far away.
… WVU’s Geno Smith might be out of the Heisman Trophy race, but he is ranked by some NFL mock drafts as a possible overall No. 1 pick.
His upside of size, arm strength and intelligence is just what many pro scouts are looking for. Even if he is not the top pick this spring, Smith will likely be a top give selection in the first round.
Teammate and fellow senior Tavon Austin is also a likely first round pick. He would make some NFL team a great all-purpose player. He is great on special teams and is a threat returning both punts and kickoffs, he can run the ball and he is an excellent receiver. The speedy Austin has elevated his draft status this season.
Junior wideout Stedman Bailey will likely come out early. He has had a great season. His size and good hands should make him a high pick, possibly by the third round.
I’m not sure if WVU has ever had two first round picks in the same year, but it could happen next March.
… The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced its 10 finalists for this year’s award on Wednesday. The winner will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a ceremony in New Orleans. The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes the candidates’ bowl performances into consideration in its balloting.
… Austin was named as the all-purpose player of the 2012 AFCA FBS Coaches’ All-America Team announced earlier this week by the American Football Coaches Association.
… The Capitol Classic basketball game between the state’s two major universities – West Virginia and Marshall is coming up this Wednesday night at the Charleston Civic Center. It should be another great basketball contest. I’ll be there at courtside to bring you the coverage and take some photos. I’m chomping at the bit to see this one.
… It is hard to believe that the 2012 high school football season is over. However, for you hoops fans the fun is just beginning. The girls’ have already started regular season play and the boys’ teams start this week.
… New Mingo Central head basketball coach Brad Napier will coach his first game on Tuesday night as the Miners host Sissonville. The game will be a triple-header with a JV game, girls’ contest and then the varsity game.
(Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. Comments or story ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)