Jeff's Sports Corner: Little hope on horizon as CU homecoming approaches; Hall of Fame greats set for induction

Jeff Harvey

The Concord Mountain Lions had their worst loss of the season Saturday. I expressed my feelings about events last week, and I don’t really have much else to say. I’m not going to quit going to games or writing about them, but I’d sure like to see something to give us all some hope.

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WVU traveled to Texas Tech and came out on the winning end of a Big 12 offensive shootout, 42-34. A couple more games like that one, and the anxiety level for WVU fandom will be sky-high.

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I theorized years ago that the team that improved their pass offense (quarterbacks, receivers, offensive line) and pass defense (rushers, defensive backs) tended to improve in the NFL. The Bears acquired Khali Mack from the Raiders. The Chiefs brought up young strong-armed Patrick Mahomes II at quarterback; the Rams added Brandin Cooks to their arsenal. Two of the three are undefeated, and the other is looking better. On the other hand, the Steelers (Jevon Bell holdout), Cowboys (minus Jason Witten and Dez Bryant) and Patriots (Julian Edleman suspension and losses of Cooks and Danny Ameldola) are all struggling.

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I know baseball is finishing up its season with the N.L.West and N.L. Central, plus the wild-card yet to be decided. I don’t root for chaos, so I hope today’s games (Sunday) decided everything.

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As for the NBA, I have my resources ready to comment on it, but I’m going to take a different approach to previews by writing my impressions of teams, instead of just a team-by-team ranking. I’ll start it next week.

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Going back to Concord, Saturday isn’t just Homecoming, but the Hall of Fame breakfast for the athletics program. I think they’ve done a good job with the inductions with only Charles “Bo” Baxter as the most glaring omission in my opinion, since its basically the post-World War II Concord athletic program participants included.

Here are the 2018 inductees: R.J. Anderson (men’s track and field), Adam Coon (men’s cross country and track and field), Darcy Donaldson (men’s golf), Ted Gillespie (football), Keith Morrisroe (baseball), Leanna Neuner (women’s soccer), Trey Smith (baseball), plus the 1961 baseball team and the 1996-97 men’s basketball team.

Anderson became the second All-American in men’s track and field program history when he finished in the top eight in the 60-meter dash at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships in 2012. Anderson was a United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region selection during the 2012 outdoor season for his work in the 100-meter dash. The current assistant coach for the cross country and track and field programs at CU was a two-time West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) runner-up in the 100-meters and finished second in the 200-meter dash at the WVIAC Championships in 2012.

A member of Concord’s 2004 and 2007 cross country conference championship team, Coon is only the second cross country runner to go be inducted into the Hall of Fame at CU, joining 2015 member Takuya Abe. The Comfort native was a three-time All-WVIAC First Team (2004, 2006, 2007) performer in cross country. The 2004 WVIAC Championship team that Coon was a member of was Concord’s first-league cross country title since 1968. In his track-and-field career, Coon was a three-time top-three finisher in the 10,000-meter run at the WVIAC Track and Field Championships.

Donaldson concluded his career as one of the most decorated golfers in Concord history. Donaldson was a three-time All-WVIAC First-Team selection. The 2005-06 season was the best campaign for the former CU golfer. Donaldson was named the conference player of the year and earned a PING Honorable Mention All-American nod. Additionally, Donaldson helped the Mountain Lions to the 2006 regional golf championship—the first regional championship for Concord in any sport.

Gillespie was an integral part of the Concord football program as both a player and coach. The former Mountain Lion offensive lineman earned First-Team All-WVIAC as a guard in 1966—a team that captured the school’s second league championship and finished the season with a 9-1 overall record and a 6-0 WVIAC mark. The 1966 team also finished with a top-10 national ranking. Gillespie helped Concord to a second WVIAC title as an assistant coach in 1976 on head coach Tony Colobro’s staff.

One of 10 All-Americans to play baseball for the Mountain Lions, Morrisroe cemented his place at Concord with an All-American season in 2012 as Concord’s starting shortstop. At the conclusion of that season, Morrisroe was voted to Daktronics Second-Team All-American, as well as being named American Baseball Coaches’ Association (ABCA) First-Team All-Region. Morrisroe was a two-time All-WVIAC First-Teamer and earned the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2011 at shortstop. As a true freshman in 2009, the native of northern Virginia led all of NCAA Division II in runs scored. Morrisroe finished his career as one of three players in program history with at least 200 hits and 200 runs scored while also posting a .396 career batting average.

Neuner was a two-time All-WVIAC First-Team selection during her career and added Co-WVIAC Player of the Year to her accolades as she was voted to the award in 2006 along with teammate and 2017 CU Hall of Fame Inductee Megan Davies. Also at the end of the 2006 campaign, Neuner became the second all-region player in women’s soccer player in program history by being named to the second team, joining 2010 hall of fame inductee Lesley Ashford who earned all-region in 2002. Neuner concluded her career second in goals (45) and third in points (99) at Concord.

Though he hasn’t played for Concord since 2010, Smith still finds his name in several spots in the Concord baseball record books. Smith won 25 of his 39 career starts to land third in all-time wins at Concord while striking out 214—the second most in program history — over 251.1 innings, which places him third in program history. Over his career, Smith tossed 15 complete games, which ranks sixth at Concord. In 2008, Smith also helped guide the Mountain Lions to the NCAA Regional Tournament. The Wytheville, Va., native was twice selected to the All-WVIAC Second Team (2009, 2010).

The 1961 Concord baseball team won the school’s second championship with the first being the 1954 baseball club. It was the second championships in eight seasons for head coach Robert Kyle. The team included Eddie Holcomb, Pete Ergenbright, Harry Tyree, John Kersic, Tom Halstead, Tom Morgan, Bill Penny, Bernie Hamrick, Bernad Shinault, Wallace Flinchum, Bob Liakos, Chester Sword, Willis White, Bill Baker, Wayne T, Dennis Perdue, Fred Parker, Ed Elmore, Bob Rodes, Dave Cook and Jerry Smith.

The 1996-97 men’s basketball team was the third conference championship team for head coach Steve Cox. Concord took out Davis & Elkins and Fairmont State before edging Shepherd 81-77 in the conference semifinals to reach the championship game where it defeated Charleston 80-71. Once winning the league title, the Mountain Lions defeated Barton and Mansfield before falling to Salem in the regional championship game. The 1996-97 team included 2006 Concord Hall of Famer Kelly Mann and 2013 CU Hall of Fame Member Sterling Tate. Others on the team were Pierre Poindextor, Terrance Holland, Dennis Brown, Jay Safford, Howard Garves, Jamar McNair, Chris Woodruff, Sterling Tate, Jenarold Curry, Adam Sarver, Daniel Hicks, James Doyle, and Jon Griffin. Randy Jennings was the assistant coach for Cox. Jamie Lusk served as the student assistant coach and Ron Stennett was the athletic trainer.

— Contact Jeff Harvey at delimartman@yahoo.com

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