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February 20, 2003     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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10 Ill l I District of Columbia Deals Rams, 83-66, Loss A trip to our nation's capital didn't bring the Shepherd men any relief for the troubled times they have seen in the last five weeks. The Rams lost for the ninth time in their last 11 games when they were consumed at the VanNess Physical Activi- ties Center by the Firebirds of the University of the District of Columbia, 83-66. While Congress struggled with homeland security, a pos- sible tax relief package, and corporate fraud the Rams con- tinued to struggle to find ways to shed their mid-season losing ways. The Firebirds advanced their record to 18-5, while the slumping Rams all but saw their chances to register a win- ning season made mathemati- cally impossible with the latest non-conference defeat. The Rams returned to Shep- herdstown with a 7-15 record and had five games remaining in their regular season. To finish with a winning record, Shepherd had to win all five of its remaining regular season games, then win four straight games in the WVIAC tournament, and then win at least one game in a possible playoff with the conference's champion from the 18-game November-to-March season. Even though it went 28-for- 47 from the field, Shepherd had 22 turnovers that partially al- lowed the red-clad Firebirds to take 10 more shots from the floor. UDC was 31-for-57 from the field. And the Firebirds were 15-for-23 from the foul line, in- cluding two free throws coming after a' technical foul was called on the Shepherd bench. An early Firebirds lead was expanded to 44-30 by the end of the first half. Shepherd couldn't find the defensive answer to the con- tinual problems posed by Rashiem Wright. Wright finished a night of scoring and rebounding profi- ciency with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Wright was ll-for-16 from the floor and went to the foul line 12 times and made eight of his free throws. Thomas Jackson aided Wright's efforts with 16 points of his own. Tim Rawls added 14 points and Deon Thompson scored nine more. Thompson was 3-for-7 on his three-point attempts. Christopher Turner was credited with 10 assists on the 31 field goals the Firebirds had. The Rams, who split two games against the Firebirds in the 2002 season, got 23 points from Mark Jennings and 15 points from point guard Kevin Newsome. Shepherd has a game to- night at 8 p.m. at the Butcher Center against Glenville, a WVIAC team that defeated the Rams in Gilmer County on February 8. After a week off, Shepherd plays its final home game of the regular season on February 27 against Alderson-Broaddus. The Battlers topped the Rams in Philippi on January 20. The regular season closes for Shepherd on March 1 in Buckhannon against West Vir- ginia Wesleyan. Now, No Children Nor Grandchildren By Bob Mad/son his fast food lunches. You probably didn't know He was in his version of hog Steve Bechler, a would-be, heaven. Baseball had always rookie pitcher with the Balti- more Orioles. Now you won't get to know him. Bechler died after b6ing overcome by a heat stroke dur- ing one the Orioles first spring training workouts. He was 23. Just married last August, Bechler and his wife were ex- pecting a child in April. He had been summoned to the major leagues last Septem- ber. And he pitched in several games as Baltimore closed its season winning just four of its last 36 games. Bechler was probably going to be sent to Ottawa in Class AAA to begin this 2003 season. He could have made the Ori- oles roster as a middle reliever. "Could have" is the opera- tive phrase. Now we won't know. Now his wife will only tell her child about Steve Bechler and how he was just happy to be in contention for a spot on the major league roster. Not many 23-year-olds are pitching in the major leagues. But not many 23-year-olds die so prematurely that only their high school days and a few minor league seasons can be remembered. Reportedly, Bechler" made his way through his minor league seasons with a skip in his step and a constant smile as his companions on the long bus rides and while munching on been his constant pleasure. Some players only mouth the platitude that says: "Get- ting paid to play a child's game is what is happening to me." Bechler's sunny disposition and lack of complaints were a novelty in the high minor leagues. Or anywhere in professional sports, an area where players actually believd instant gratifi- cation is their due. Bechler's life was a joy for him and has family. He didn't live long. But like the astronauts that perished in the Columbia disaster, he pur- sued a venture that made him happy just to go to "work". How many people are em- ployed in an occupation that truly satisfies them? The saddest view of Bechler's passing is that he won't see his child and won't get the rewards of nurturing a new life toward some future happiness. No second or third child. No grandchildren. No sharing love with any of them. No experiences with them as they grew. As he grew through his 30s, 50s, or 706. Death in a young person can't be satifactorily explained. It doesn't make sense. It should make those left be- hind think about where the real happinesses in life are found. And how that happiness can be pursued. Bowling , FRIDAY MEN'S COMMERCIAL Teams W L Race Fans 22 " 6 TDN 21 7 eozacks 17 11 The Alley Dog~ 17 II The BrewCr~w 16.5 11.5 4 Ices & A Coffee 15 13 Outlaws I 14 14 Bud's Boys 13 16 Shamrock L/ghting 10 18 Outlaws n i0 18 Strike Force 9.8 18.6 BLind 3 Team Scratch Game: TDN 1058; Bazooka 928. Team Scratch Series: TDN 2970; The Alley Dog~ 2691. Scratch Game: Joey Hafner 256; Ronnie Smith, St. 246. Scratch Series: Benny Woodward 631; Joey H afner 62 L Individual High Averages: Greg Staubs 212,38 Selmy Woodward 207.21; Little Tuggy Oavis~ |l1738. WEDNESDAY NIGHT HANDICAPPERS T~m W L Wanin B'8 I0 2 Holy Rollers I0 2 That's Average 9 3 M/d/re 8 4 J&J Pro Shop 8 4 Cruise Coatroi 7 6 Luelky 13 "/ 6 Goodwrouch 7 5 Bult & Balls 6 6 Win Soma Lose Some g 6 Let's RoB 6 6 Redsk~ts 6 1~ el,3 The Four Cs 5 7 9 end a Wiggle 6 7 Wrecking Crew 8 7 Intimidators 6 7 Ups & Downs 4 8 We Are Butts 4 8 S& Gs 4 8 C,,ood Te ~ 4 S Here 4 the Banquet 3 L~ 8 !/2 Good Times 3 9 H/gh Average Woman: Gloria Grove- 181; Deena Jackson.174; Brenda Smith. 163. High Average Man: Jon Corter-~t06; Jim O'Brien.204; David Merest, Jr.-20L High Game Woman: Wands Hi!1-212; Janet Seltzer & Brenda Smith.~ML High Game Man: Jon Carter.gT8; Jim O'Brlen.~d~; Glen Cram-26& High Series Woman: Wanda H/1/.671; Gloria Grove-548; ~ Jaelumn4~0. High Series Man: Jim O'Br/eu.73g; Jon Carter-~3; Eddie Cuhbage-S37. High Team Geme~&J Pro Shop-S46; Lucky 13.784; The Four Cs-750. High Team Series: J&J Pro Shop- 2344; LuckF 13-2073; The l~our C64060. SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE_ - Thursday, February 20, 2003 Spring Training Is "Ibnic For Old-T ers Renmfisce m By Bob Madison The wind stings faces and numbs the mind to everything except its inconvenience. The snow drops on us in flurries, showers, sheets, and 5-inch bundles. A day with 40-degree tem- peratures can never be found. The gloom of winter is made dangerous by ice on the roads and the never-ending cold. Somewhere in the land -- maybe even more than one lo- cale -- there are smiling faces .... faces ready to be tanned by a friendly, ever-present sun. Faces turned toward a breeze -- not a 25-mph frozen knife from the northwest -- that barely moves the palm trees or is welcomed in Tempe, Arizona at the Cactus League. While eastern West Virginia braces for another day of trying to stay warm, trying to stay safe, there are those more for- tunate than us who are chasing baseballs near the advertise- ment-clad fences in Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale and all around the Tampa-St. Peters- burg area. Spring Training thumbs its nose at Punxsutawney Phil and his groundhog philosophy. There are no two-hour school delays in mid-Florida or the Phoenix area. Only the chatter of fastballs hitting catcher's mitts in bullpens. Only the "thwack" of a white ash or cured maple bat slamming a batting practice pitch to the base of a distant fence. Only the unfocused laughter of a David Wells or an Elrod Hendricks cackling through the warming air. Every team is ready to launch its pennant surge. Ev- ery player is ready to hit 45 homers or win 18 games or save 35 more. "Hope springs eternal", someone once said. That "some- one" wasn't a fan of the Detroit Tigers or the Kansas City Roy- als or the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. That "someone" wasn't Luis Matos or Josh Towers or Geronimo Gil of the "Where Have You Gone Earl Weaver?" Orioles. "Spring Training." Two of the most tasty words in the En- glish language. The groundhog in western Pennsylvania isn't wrong with his forecast of evil weather. But what does he know about baseball? He has been pulled from the stump he sleeps in atop a hill called Gobbler's Knob. His first words are not: "Six more weeks of winter". No, his only words are: "Play Ball". "Play Ball". Two more tasty words from the English lan- guage. Another sage (not Dizzy Dean or Dazzy Vance or Van Lingle Mungo) once said: "Baseball in the spring is the best baseball of all." That person must have had tickets to all the games in March in Clearwater or Vero Beach. The players change teams with regularity. The teams change ownership and take the field in new stadiums. Even the spring training homes are changed from Florida to Ari- zona and back again. But Spring Training doesn't change much at all. It's 10 days of workouts and trying to remember the names of new teammates. It's drills filled with fundamentals and routine. It's a 30-game sched- ule that comes and goes so fast you'd think Randy Johnson threw it from the pitcher's mound The players try to round into playing shape. If they aren't already toned and honed then they are likely to be left behind in Class AAA or re- leased. Babe Ruth doesn't eat eight hot dogs before a training game these days. Cecil Fielder doesn't put a stop in one sitting to a restaurant's surf 'n turf of- ferings. Many players come to spring training to fish or golfer against one's take their families to Disneyworld. They have worked through the winter. Conditioning is a must . . . except for pitcher Wells or first baseman Mo Vaughn and a few others. Those workers in the front office scurry around or use they used to." Yes, they do . . make them better. The slow pace art will quicken as and the next r, ready to begin in erto Rico or Fe The players' be "78" or "86" in ing. The names don't either. It's baseball. It's ginning to the of many of those noses and The wind doesn~ ! down in Bradenton, The sleet Phoenix. The roads with snow or The roads to s sites such as Stadium or Dod HoHoKam Park baseball fans. The groundhog their cell-phone minutes trying cast more winter to find another useful player. Florida A scattered few trades will over peanuts at l be made as March ends. Park or City But the settled teams like "Play ball!" the Yankees, Arizona, or Ana- Chylack and helm will use the sun to will- Luciano when ingly prepare for another sum- prowied the mer of beating the opposition, day and mingled The retirees from Minus- chainlink fences apolis or Toledo or Bar Harbor with old will gather in the third base body who wanted stands to talk about "The Cat" ball. and Newhouser and Raschi Spring training and Ronnie Hanson. Punxsutawney Phil Their noses will be white his man-made with a sun protection. Their or Phil will hair will be silver or it will be ting prepared for sixl missing. Their tales of the baseball... games from the 1930s until last handlers believe season will never end. February 2 up on "They don't make 'era like Knob. Off-Balance, Jefferson Shot Doesn't F I Jefferson and Hedgesville, a surprise pass to the baseline front, 56-55, but the two boys basketball teams toanoff-balanceShawnDillow, lefthander Jefferson senior guard Jawaan Holmes scored 17 points when the Cougars lost a one-point decision at home to Hedgesville, 61-60. The Cougars will face the Eagles again in the first game of the Class AAA sec- tional tournament. that will face each other in the first round of the three-school Class AAA sectional tourna- ment, waged a frenetic battle last Friday in Shenandoah Junction before the Eagles lit- erally escaped with a pulsat- ing, 61-60, win. The game showed both teams willing to put forth the needed effort and hustle to win. Never more than a few points ever separated the teams ex- cept for several minutes in the second quarter as Hedgesville took a 13-10 lead aRer the first quarter. And the Eagles still clung to a 36-33 lead at t~e half. The free;scoring second quarter saw beth teams notch 23 points. The Cougars were able to forge a tie at 51 by outpointing the Eagles, 18-15, in the third period. After 7:57 of tense, problem- filled basketball in the fourth period, Hedgesville had a one- point lead.., but Jefferson had possession. The Cougars' Josh Brown, who had rebounded a missed Hed_gesville free throw, floated Time had all but left the scoreclock. As Dillow accepted Brown's pass, he loRed a six- foot shot from a difficult angle. Had Dillow's shot been true, it would have lifted the Cou- gars to a one-point win. How- ever, the shot did. not fall and the Eagles (16-3 overall) had taken a 61-60 win by limiting the Cougars to nine points in the last quarter. The frantic last minutes of the fourth quarter were made more maddening by the missed free throws each side tried to live through. Only Hedgesville lived Eagles with five thrsugh its missed opportunties. The Eagles' Duncan Will- iams scored 34 points, with 15 of them coming in the second quarter. The Cougars had to score the final seven points of the first half to partially corral a once-formidable, 10-point Hedgesville lead. Once the Cougars ~had jn_an- aged to draw even at the close of the third period, the teams sometimes traded missed free throws in the last period. Jefferson actually got in Lady Rams Back. Even Again A look at the official statisti- Usually it's the Lady Rams only 2-of-16 three-point field the i On Hockma Cong ret ed bound.., and B~ 9 i in toward the top of~'.Jame Brown jumped, as ff~_~aoo] but he passed Dillow, who made ~'~ el move he could.. gu~ae his baseline ... but couldn't. Time expired. had lost another Only this one was place the C'~ugars after seven game~ to open pumped in two goals to boost the to a lead they der again. Yurish was _ ~. only other double-~q and he finished with Tristan Jacobs ~WEast points for the CoWry while Jawaan Ho~~ae 7 points, Justin DaileY ~ 2~. th Dillow seven. In the noise-fillei~r~. momeo front end of a bon~.~~ situation and with j~u~d~~ minute remain~,~m~ and [ Hockman did ~ - Freshmen Trip cal sheet gave the answers as to how the Shepherd women toppled visiting Davis & Elkins last Saturday at the Butcher Center in a West Virginia In- tercollegiate Athletic Confer- ence game. JEFFERSON REGISTRATION The Jefferson County Little League baseball and softball registration will be held every Saturday in February in the Jefferson High School lobby from 8:30 a.m.-1]:30 a.m. Children age 5-through-18 as of July 31 are eligible. Any person wanting to coach, man- age or volunteer should also at- tend on one of those dates. To register, bring three proofs of residence and an original or state certified birth certificate. Call 725-6800 or visit www.eteamz.com/playball for any additional information. AAU BASEBALL The 89-90 Cougar baseball club 13-and-under AAU travel- ing team from Jefferson County is looking for players for the 2003 season. Intere~cl players must have the desire to play at a high competitive level. Call Chuck Stevens at ei- ther (304) 728-6863 or at (571) 436-3860 for all information. who find themselves outrebeunded. But not against the Lady Senators. Shepherd had a seven re- bound advantage (48-41) with Danielle Murray securing 10 of those missed shots. Usually shooting 22-for-57 from the field won't give any team an advantage. But it did in Shepherd's record-evening 59-46 victory against the Lady Senators, who made just 17-of-63 floor at- tempts. And the Lady Rams had 13 assists, while Davis & Elkins was far behind with only seven. All the numbers ciphered and added together left the Lady Rams with a 7-7 WVIAC record and a 10-13 overall mark. Davis & Elkins departed for Randolph County, trying to get back to Elkins before the heavy snowstorm blanketed the area, with a 4-10 league mark and a 5-16 overall record. Even though it misfired on about 90-percent of its three- point attempts in the first half, Shepherd could still claim a halRime lead of 25-19. The Lady Rams came back in the second half to shoot much better from three-point range and completed their sev- enth conference win with a 6- for-21 showing from beyond the arc. Davis & Elkius could make goal attempts. When the Lady Rams were extendl~ their scary halRime lead, it was Cassie Murray, Ashana Cowans, and Brianne Hamilton doing the bulk of their scoring. Murray, who had averaged over 20 points per game in Shepherd's three previous con- tests, scored 14 points even though she didn't shoot par- ticularly well and missed her only two free throws. Cowans, finally steady after being adversely affected by an ankle sprain for much of the season, registered 12 points and Hamilton, the team's sec- ond-leading rebounder against the Lady Senators, scored nine points and converted 5-of-9 free throws. Danielle Murray andAsldey van Norden beth chipped in with six points and combined to make five of their seven field goal attempts. The Lady Rams remained in seventh place in the WVIAC power ratings, while Davis & Elkins was in 12th place in the 15-team circuit. Shepherd's scheduled game for February 17 had to be post- poned by the two-foot snowfall. The game couldnt be played on Tuesday either because their was no school at Shepherd. Shepherd already had a game with Glenville scheduled for Thursday, the 20th. Move .To 13-3 The Cougar stopped visiting 41-28, points and P.J. points. The record was 13-3. The Jefferson girls also defeated ~mprov~ag with a 34-21 Applemea. The victory was. ninth in its last 10 vaulted it into a at the top of the Athletic Conference- The Lady with Muesehnan burg. Courtni points for the while Yvonne six points and and Gabby scored six points Shepherdstow~ its eighth grade ball record to win over Harpers ! Aissa Diem Lady Cardinals her 24 points. added 13 points. In the seventh Shepherdstown Lady Tigers, 20-19, gan Wisniewski points for the