The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

June 28, 2014

Trickett’s selection should boost WVU win hopes

MORGANTOWN —  Naming Clint Trickett as West Virginia University’s starting quarterback early last week was somewhat surprising.

But in doing so slightly more than two months before the Mountaineers’ season opener against heavily favored Alabama, this could be one of the best decisions head coach Dana Holgorsen has made since taking over the reins in 2011.

There obviously are several reasons Trickett is the best choice among WVU’s five quarterbacks. He has considerably more experience than the other four, and now is well-versed in Holgorsen’s system.

The Morgantown area native played two years in a stronger program at Florida State. Then he returned home a year ago April after graduating with honors from FSU. As a Mountaineer, he played in eight games, despite some undetected injuries, and started seven of those.  

Coaches involved and players should have gotten pumped up when Holgorsen left no doubt that he’s going to be the leader. This also obviously gives him more confidence, which he has admitted in a recent interview.

He’s well aware that he doesn’t have to look over his shoulder, and he’ll get the majority of snaps in every practice.

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Trickett still wasn’t quite completely healed, at the time that the announcement was made, from his major shoulder surgery by a nationally known surgeon in January when interviewed on Thursday.

He admitted that his throwing arm still was a bit stiff. But he doesn’t have any problems with a full month left before training camp opens on Aug. 1.

Hopefully, perhaps making Trickett’s selection so early will give a big boost to the Mountaineers’ confidence of their ability to win more games than they are expected to lose in 2014.

Too, it could result in a late rush for fans to buy tickets for all six home games at Mountaineer Field/Milan Puskar Stadium.

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Dale Blaney, the former West Virginia basketball star from 1982 through 1986, has added another victory to his all-time world record in sprint car racing.

The Hartford, Ohio, native posted No. 101 last Thursday night in an All-Star Series event in Freemont, Ohio.

Blaney is a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame. He was a rare two-time team captain in basketball.

However, Blaney’s favorite sport no longer is basketball. It’s automobile racing. He remains the World All-Star Series Points Champion in sprint car racing.

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A week ago, Mike Montoro, WVU’s veteran director of football communications, was at the Baseball College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

He was there because he is assistant executive director of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Montoro assisted in the presentation of major annual Division I awards by the writers.

A.J. Reed, a junior at the University of Kentucky, received the National Dick Howser Baseball Player of the Year award. That is the equivalent to football’s Heisman Trophy.

He played first base and also was his team’s No. 1 pitcher along with being a designated hitter.

The National Baseball Coach of the Year award went to Mike Gillespie of UC-Irvine.

Nic Burdi won the National Stopper award. He starred as a relief pitcher at the University of Louisville.

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