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Richwood sweeps team titles in Coalfield meet

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

Richwood swept the team titles in the Coalfield Conference Class A championship meet on Tuesday, May 2, at Dean Memorial Field.

The Lumberjack boys finished with 192 points. Midland Trail was second with 121, followed by Summers County (99), Greenbrier West (68), Meadow Bridge (17) and Fayetteville (12).

The RHS girls won with 166 points. Midland Trail was second with 122, followed by Greenbrier West (106), Summers County (62) and Meadow Bridge (35).

Isaac Blake had a pair of first-place finishes for the Richwood boys’ team, winning the 400 meters with a time of 55.28 seconds and the 800 meters in 2:21.

Nathan Bayless won the 110-meter hurdles in 18.81 seconds, Bailey Alderman won the 300-meter hurdles in 43.65 seconds and Eric Brown won the high jump at 5 feet, 10 inches.

Brown was also second in the shot put at 38 feet, 4 inches, and placed third in the 200 meters in 26.35.

Caleb Hanna was second in both the 1600 meters (5:28) and the 3200 meters (12:55) and placed fifth in the 800 meters (2:44).

Kyle Perry placed second in the 110-meter hurdles (19.02) and fourth in the 300-meter hurdles (50.22), one spot ahead of Hunter Peyatt (51.78).

Zach Cable finished second in the 100 meters in 12.30 and was fourth in the long jump (18-4).

Noofou Sasso placed second in the 400 meters (56.34) and third in the 100 meters (12.40).

Dario Franceschinis was fourth in the 100 meters (12.51).

Joe Kidwell placed in three events. He was fourth in both the 800 meters (2:33) and the high jump (5-6) and was fifth in the long jump (16-11).

Jacob Mazzella placed third in the high jump at 5-8.

Emeral Counts was fifth in the 3200 meters (15:25) and Luca Gerke was fifth in the discus (91-0).

Richwood finished first in three relay events, winning the 4 x 400 in 3:48, the 4 x 800 in 9:29 and the shuttle hurdles in 1:06.51.

The Lumberjacks were second in the other two relay events, the 4 x 100 (47.20) and the 4 x 200 (1:40).

Caleb Clendenin, who has the best statewide Class A mark this season in the long jump, missed the meet with an injury.





Jackson Reed signs to run cross country

and track for the University of Alabama

Nicholas County High School cross country and track standout Jackson Reed recently signed a national letter-of-intent to run track and cross country for the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Nicholas County High School standout distance runner Jackson Reed, front, middle, signs a national letter-of-intent to run cross country and track at the University of Alabama. Also seated in front are, from left, grandmother Wanda Reed, mother Glenn Reed, father Brad Reed and grandfather Jack Reed. Back, from left, NCHS assistant track coach Chris Winebrenner, NCHS track Temporary Support Staff Harold Brooks, sister JoAnna Reed, NCHS track Temporary Support Staff Debbie Nettles, uncle Berk Reed and NCHS Head Track Coach Robin Martin.

Reed was awarded a partial scholarship to run for the Crimson Tide of the Southeastern Conference.

Reed was also recruited by several other NCAA Division I Power 5 conference colleges including the University of Oklahoma of the Big 12 and fellow SEC schools Texas A&M and Louisiana State University. He was also being recruited by the University of Connecticut of the American Athletic Conference along with several West Virginia colleges and universities in the Mountain East Conference.

“I went on a visit to Alabama and really liked it,” said Reed. “I really felt like I was part of the team.”

The Southeastern Conference has some of the top college track programs in the nation and Reed noted that Alabama has some of the top distance runners in the conference.

Reed is the reigning Class AA/A boys cross country state champion and became the first NCHS runner to accomplish the feat after winning the title in the State High School Cross Country Meet last fall at Ona. His first place time over the 3.1-mile course was 16 minutes, 6 seconds.

Last spring in the State High School Track Meet at Laidley Field in Charleston, Reed won the 800-meter and 3200-meter runs, ran a leg on the first place 4 x 400-meter relay team and was second in the 1600-meter run to win the Class AA boys high point honors with 30 1/2 points for the state runner-up Grizzlies.

He is the first male and second NCHS track athlete overall to win three first places at the State High School Track Meet. He is the first NCHS male athlete to win high point honors at the state track meet.




Richwood’s Lawrence signs to

play at Salem International

By Pat Hanna`
The Nicholas Chronicle

Richwood senior Erica Lawrence has decided to continue her basketball career at Salem International University.

Richwood senior Erica Lawrence (seated center) signs to play basketball at Salem International University. To her right is her father, Eric Lawrence. To her left is her mother, Christina Bailey. Standing (from left) are Richwood head coach Codey Horton, her grandfather, Leslie “Shorty” Bailey, her brother, Camden Lawrence, her grandmother, Mary Humphreys, RHS Principal Scott Williams and assistant coach Jamie Bailey.

Lawrence, a 5-11 power forward, signed with the Lady Tigers during a ceremony on April 24 at the Red Gym.

Lawrence said she also looked at three other West Virginia schools – Bluefield State, Concord and Bethany – along with Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va.

“But I was drawn to Salem more than those schools,” she said. “When I went to the school and first talked to the girls, they made me feel like they were already my friends.”

She also said she was impressed with Salem International coach Michael Bari.

Lawrence was a four-year player at Richwood and finished with 1,108 career points.

She served as team co-captain her senior season when she averaged 17 points and 9 rebounds per game.

Lawrence also led the Lady Jacks in scoring as a junior and was the leading rebounder for two seasons.

She was a three-time All-Coalfield Conference selection.

As a junior, she was the third-team captain on the Class A All-State team.

That same year, she helped lead the Lady Jacks to the state tournament for the first time in program history.

“Going to the state tournament was the most amazing thing ever,” she said.

Lawrence said she would also remember reaching the career 1,000-point mark and “being able to play the game I love and sharing the sport with friends.”

She said playing for three coaches in four years – Danny Dewhurst, Jeff Chambers and Codey Horton – was an adjustment, “but I learned something different from all three.”




Lady Grizzlies again win Class

AA Coalfield Conference title

The Nicholas County High School Lady Grizzly track team defended their Class AA Coalfield Conference crown by winning the 2017 conference championship last Tuesday evening, May 2, at Independence High School in Coal City.

The NCHS girls racked up 156 points in their first-place finish. Other competing teams besides host Independence were Shady Spring, Oak Hill, Pikeview, Westside, Bluefield, Liberty Raleigh, Wyoming East and James Monroe.

Alyssa Woods took two first places for NCHS, winning the 800-meter run and the 1600-meter run. She was the girls high point scorer for the meet.

Also winning first was the 4 x 800-meter relay team, Michaela O’Dell in the 3200-meter run and Dericka Blankenship in the long jump.

NCHS will compete in the Class AA Region 2 meet on Thursday, May 11, at 2 p.m. at Lewis County High School at South Weston. The top three finishers in each event, along with the next four fastest times overall from each of the four regional meets, qualify for the State High School Track Meet in Charleston at Laidley Field May 19 and 20.

Other teams in the Class AA Region 2 meet are Braxton County, Bridgeport, Clay County, Elkins, Herbert Hoover, Lewis County, Liberty, Lincoln, Roane County and Robert C Byrd.




Lack of playable field costs NCHS

home Sectional Tournament baseball game

After playing well enough in the regular season to host a first round game in the Class AA sectional tournament, the Nicholas County High School Grizzly baseball team was unable to do so but it was through no fault of their own.

As was the case the entire regular season, the Grizzlies had no home field which was playable and that continued to be the situation for the Class AA sectional tournament this week.

By virtue of being seeded No. 3 in the six-team double elimination tournament, 12-7 NCHS earned the right host No. 6-seeded Clay County in the first round.

NCHS head baseball coach Gene Morris said that officials from the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission  (WVSSAC) which administers all high school athletics in the state, came last Tuesday, May 2, to look over the Grizzlies home field behind the high school and deemed that it still wasn’t playable even after some work had been done on it. Most recently, some sand was placed on the areas that aren’t level or properly draining.

Morris said the WVSSAC also looked over the Senior League baseball field at Nicholas County Veterans Memorial Park as a possible site to host the sectional tournament game but it didn’t meet the WVSSAC standards for high school baseball. The lack of a home run fence and the short dimensions in left field were felt to be the field’s inadequacies.

With no home field on which to host the sectional tournament game, NCHS was forced to play their first round game at Lewis County High School in South Weston on Monday evening, May 8. It was the first game of a doubleheader with the second game being between No. 4-seeded Lewis County and No. 5-seeded Roane County.