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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
June 2, 2005     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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June 2, 2005

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12 SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE - Thursday, June 2, 2005 Four players who participat- ed in basketball as well as NFL center Mike Compton and the first women track athlete at West Virginia University to re- ceive All-America recognition are the six former Mountain- eers who will be inducted into the the school's Sports Hall of Fame on October 15 prior to the WVU-Louisville football game. Jim McCormick played on two Southern Conference ti- tle teams and participated in two NCAA tournaments in his three years as a starter on Mountaineer basketball teams from 1961-63. McCormick averaged 12.3 points a game as a sophomore, then scored 15.4 points a game as a junior and 15.2 points per outing as a senior. Compton was a consensus All-America center from 1990- 92. He was a team captain as a senior. In the NFL, Compton has in double figures against St. Jo- been named to an all-pro team seph's (a 95-92 win) and Louis- while playing for Detroit Lions ville (a 94-79 win in the nation- and New England Patriots. al semifinals) as the Mountain- Compton was with the Patri- eers won four times in the 1959 ots in their Super Bowl winning tournament before falling by years of 2002 and 2004. one point to California in the fi- Connie Ellerbe was a world- nals. class hurdler and achieved All- Roger "Shorty" Hicks was America status in four different a starter on WVU's 1942 Na- years, tional Invitational Tournament Ellerbe finished second at (NIT) winning team. the 1992 NCAA championships.Hicks made a foul shot with She was fourth in 1991, seventh just seconds remaining that in 1988 and ninth in 1989 in the gave the Mountaineers the lead 400-meter hurdles, over Western Kentucky in the Marvin "Bucky" Bolyard was NIT championship game which both a basketball (1957-59) and WVU won, 47-45. baseball (1957-59) player for Charley Hockenberry was a the Mountaineers. versatile performer. He lettered The native of Aurora was a in basketball (1939), football remarkable athlete, playing for (1938-39), and baseball (1939- the national runner-up 1958-59 41). team during his three-year bas- Hockenberry also coached the ketball career. Mountaineer baseball and golf Bolyard was blinded in his teams after his graduation from left eye while in high school, but the university. also was a two-year regular on The six newest members of coach Jim Harrick's winning the WVU Sports Hall of Fame baseball teams, brings the total number of in- The 5-foot-10 Bolyard scoredductees to 95. By Ted Black While the Memorial Day weekend card at Charles Town may have left something to the imagination on the track, it marked the end of three careers for track personnel, two of which had combined for more than 100 years of service to the plant. BothTommy Johnson and Charlie Rush could trace their beginnings at the Charles Town track to former president and World war II general Dwight Eisenhower. Both of them celebrated the culmination of long, distinguished careers at the track Sunday afternoon during a 10-race card that fea- tured several talented horses in one-turn sprints. Monday evening's card also marked the last one for racing secretary Jimmy Hammond, who stepped down last week and handed the chores to his assistant, Dwayne Sowers. A former hot-walker for B~ddy Delp, Sowers toopk over on an interim basis on June 1. He has worked in the Charles Town race of- fice for more than a. decade and has spent nearly 20 years at the track altogether. Sunday afternoon's card was held amid clear, sunny skies and offered several one-turn eventathat proved quite reveal- ing. One of them, a 4 1/2-furlong allowance for horses t]~at had never won two races other than, was the showcase for one horse's speed and another one's grit and determination. Regal Watch was made the 6-5 favorite in that event under Oscar Flores based on his two recent victories and a history of consistency. Trained by Amy Albright for the Diamond Oak Stable, Regal Watch had won his last two races under Flroes and boasted a stellar 10-4-5 slate from 24 lifetime starts. His toughest rival appeared to be Bishoftu, a solid Citid- ancer stalIion who had won two straight races at the distance against lesser foes for owner-trainer David Vance. Bishoftu had drilled distance in 51.1 and sprinted the last sixteenth in 5.9 seconds. He was sent out as the 7-2 second choice. When the gate opened in the Sunday feature, Bishoftu broke alertly and darted to the front leaving the chute and whistled through a 21.2 opening quarter. In a race that ap- peared loaded with speedball, Bishoftu was two lengths clear down the backside as neither Three Aces, Glacken or Wind- ham Flash could stay close. Bishoftu held a clear lead through the far turn, but a mean- acing presence loomed in the form of Regal watch. After get- ting away sixth, regal Watch began passing horses down the backside and through the far turn while widest of all, and the favorite took dead aim on the leader with a furlong remain- ing. Bishoftu was still clear at the top of the lane. But Re- gal Watch and Flores were gaining on the leader with every stride, and the favorite wore down a brave Bishoftu in the fi- nal yards for a nose victory in 52 fiat. The winning time was the fastest of the day by twe full sec- onds. "I knew I was going to get him," said Flores. "I didn't want Jim McCormick (second from left in back row) played on this 1961 WVU team that had a 23-4 record in head coach season. The other members of that team were :Front row (I-r) Dave Schuck, Dave Duncan, Paul Miller, Joe Posch, and Kenny row has Rod Thorn, Nick Serdich, Mike Wolfe, Ed Bode, Gale Catlett, and Jim Ritchie. In the back row are Lee Patrone, Elmore, Nick Visnic, and Dick Dobois. to be too far back early and I knew I had a lot of horse turning for home. I saw the leader at the top of the lane and I knew I could get him. My horse just keeps on coming." Flores currently is the second-leading rider at the meet be- hind Gerald Almodovar, began the day by steering Vivalo to his first victory in four starts. Trained by Ronney Brown for owner Savario Pugliese, Vivalo overcame a slow start to powe past the leaders in the lane en route to a three-length score in 54.1. "Trainer Anthony Pecararo sends some horses to me occasion- ally," Brown said after Vivalo, a $165,000 Ocala Breeders Sale purchase, posted his first win in four starts. He's had ~ie-baCk surgery done twice and he probably doesn't want to go more than five furlongs. We'll keep pointing him for the one-turn rac- es here and see if he can run through his conditions here". Vivalo not only was an expensive yearling, but he was meant to be something special. He made his career debut in a maiden special weight event at Belmont Park exactly one year earlier and finished sixth as the 4-5 favorite. He returned to the races in April and finished third in a maiden $62,000 claiming race at Gulfstream Park before running eighth, beaten by 53 lengths, in a maiden race at Monmouth. By Bob Madison wild, the deer know the ways to lands around the towns of Davis, separate him from his wares. Thomas, and Aurora. The deer will come to you, white The bi ghland areas of Tucker The living things have sur- tails wagging like they might be a County, Preston County, Grant vived the Ice Age and The Groat dogwantinghismuzzlerubbed.The County, and the headwaters of Depression. They lived through deer in Canaan Valley, one of West the Cheat River are populated by the times when almost every val- V-wginia's mest.visited state parks, the commonly-seen deer and en- ley had a working coal mine. The seem to sense that human visitors dangered animal and plant spe- need for coal was most urgent know their deserved reputation for cies alike, during both world wars, especial- being tame enough to pet. A specie of squirrel, a newt that ly World War II. The deer appear out of thickets favors the dampness of the shad- From 1942-1945, the waters of asifoncue. Ira tourist has bread edforost, andplantsoftheendan- the Cheat River flowed past al- or other goodies not found in the gered species list live in the high- most as many mines as they did hemlocks and spruce, seeps into, and even gushes into The worst of The Blackwater River wasn'talmost every abandoned coal visited by as many tourists as it mine. which empties its: was soot-coverod miners exiting When that water eventual- Blackwater River. from the dozens of mines in and ly moves out of the mine and Here in 2005, around Davis and Thomas andthrough the rocky ground, it been Parsons. leaches the acids, dissolved met- to life.A station toJ The wildlife was abundant, als, and other damaging liquids ids and The troe-lined ravines and river- associated with mining into its in 1994 caused hollows were pris~ne. Na- moving waters, of the turo ruled the highlands. People It doesn't take a chemist or sci- limited memberS. were the pawns, entist armed with his microscope The worst Then the mines changed the to know the truth of the toxic tributors to the balance of power. To get the coal groundwaters. Creek, to the industries needing it for Water coming in contact with war materials, munitions, and pyrite (known as foors gold and a river. the fuel-using factories the needs frequently found mineral in coal An abandoned of the rivers and forests weren't seams and the waste rock dis- flow of much on anybody's mind. carded in mines) causes a chemi- Areas were quickly cleared for cal reaction when oxygen is pres- roads and tracks and shelters for ent. River was the miners. The reaction between water-months. It was war. Defeat Hitler and carried pyrite and oxygen pro- Fish were Tojo. And then see what damage duces snlferic acid. The land owner had been done. And see if any- Waters carrying sulferic acid claim to the site 1 thin g should be done to recoup further leach heavy metals from Water Act and the the lost paradise, the soft on the stream banks and responsibility for The working mines were heavy the rock in the stroambed. These treatment. polluters to the environment, metals clog the gills of fish and Of- The Once many of the mines ceased ten create river/stream bottoms eventually operations, the pellants still covered with a reddish brown, Promise found their way into the ground green, or yellowish ooze which water and then the rivulets and doesn't ~ow insects to live there, the trend t streams and eventually the Fish die from a lack of oxygen the Cheat. . Cheat and Blackwater Rivers. and insects cannot tolerate the The successhd Abandoned mine drainage wasooze and slime, several slowly killing the wildlife espe- Fish and insect populationsthe Cheat and cially the fish and other aquatic are dimims" bed, sometimes even start. But life in the once-puro waters, completely wiped out. mines still The Cheat River is 157 miles In West ~lrginia's highlands and still long. Its watershed drains 1,420 area, the environment is also into both riverS. square miles of West ~inia polluted by acid rain. The winds The U.S. highlands, moving west-to-east bring emis- billion in In 2005, the West Vir~Lia De- sions from coal-using powerey collected from partment of Environment Pro- plants in the Ohio River Valley - tection considers 53 streams in - and sometimes just miles away toration Fund. the Cheat watershed to be dam- -- to the highlands, never be s aged by mlne drainage. Those 53 Sulferic acid, acid rain, and The state streams provide 73 miles of still- abandoned mine pollutants are the groups surviving trout habitat, a triple whammy to the wildlife government are The mines are no longer in op- and vegetation of the highlands, can continue the eration. The 100-ton trucks no The "authorities" know t h e face cleanup.-. longer carve holes in the too-nat- widespread damage already So that the' row roads nor shake the dust off done. They have plowed $20 rail- can the most stable of buildings, lion into alleviating the death bread But the now-closed mines con- sentences brought about by the from tribute many pollutants to the pollutants. watershed'sstroams. Headwater streams of the hatched iz Water dn'ps into, flows into, Cheat had literally died. its lunch.