The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

November 30, 2012

‘An overcoming obstacle expert’

Former WVU receiver writes book about his life experiences

When Wes Lyons visited West Virginia University as a high school senior in the fall of 2005, everything seemed perfect. The Mountaineers were in the middle of one of the best seasons in school history — one that culminated with a win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl — and he was a 6-foot-8 recruit with scholarship offers from Miami, Ohio State and Oklahoma, among others, so the WVU program rolled out the red carpet to welcome the North Braddock, Pa., native to campus.

His next visit, as a freshman member of the Mountaineer football team in the summer of 2006, was much different.

Lyons’ first day in Morgantown was spent going through the most difficult workout of his life — led by then-WVU strength coach Mike Barwis — running sprints under rainy skies, listening to coaches curse at him and watching as two of the biggest players he had ever seen in his life fought in the middle of a workout.

“Imagine a 17-year-old kid seeing all that,” said Lyons. “I was the only freshman there at the time, and it was my first day. It was just crazy. I was like, ‘What is going on at West Virginia?’”

That was just the start of a journey filled with more peaks and valleys than the Mountain State itself, an experience Lyons chronicles in his first book, “The Pursuit with Patience,” released Tuesday in book stores and on Amazon.com.

Lyons’ career at WVU was filled with coaching changes — he played two seasons under the staff that had recruited him, before Rich Rodriguez left for Michigan and Bill Stewart took over — injuries that kept him from ever becoming the superstar he expected to be coming out of high school and games he’d like to forget.

But he also experienced the thrill of a Fiesta Bowl victory, four-reception afternoons against Rutgers and USF and playing in front of some of the most loyal fans in football.

“It was a positive experience for me,” he said, reflecting back on his Mountaineer career. “Everything that happened, happened for a reason. Going to West Virginia University was a blessing because of the support system they have there. I don’t think you can get what you get at West Virginia anywhere else. There’s something about West Virginia that does something to you. Even when I go back now, I’m filled with excitement and joy.”

After graduating a semester early in 2009, Lyons played professionally on the practice squads for the New York Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He was released from the Steelers in 2011 and began writing the book.

“I just wanted to tell my story about overcoming adversity and encourage young people and athletes to read, as well,” said Lyons. “I feel like I’m an overcoming obstacle expert. It’s all about just moving forward, and if I can inspire one young athlete, it will be worth it.”

The book takes readers behind the scenes all the way from his childhood through the world of professional football and into his current career as a motivational speaker.

For more information on the book, visit WesleyLyons.com.

Lyons will also be doing a book signing this Saturday in Morgantown, prior to the Mountaineers’ game with Kansas. Lyons will be at the Evansdale Book Exchange from 10 a.m. until noon selling his book and signing autographs.

———

Former Mountaineer basketball star Kevin Jones is back in the NBA.

The Cleveland Cavaliers announced Thursday that former Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody had been waived and Jones had been signed.

Harangody recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and is expected to be out another month. He played in 42 games the last two seasons for the Cavs, averaging 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. He had not played in a game this season.

Jones was signed by Cleveland as an undrafted free agent this summer but was cut at the end of training camp and assigned to the Cavs’ NBA Development team in Canton, Ohio. Jones averaged 27 points and 13.7 rebounds per game with the Charge.

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • 042314 trickett Mountaineers have benefited from incoming football transfers

    Recruiting in college football seems to get more and more attention every season. Websites like Scout.com and Rivals.com stalk the high school sidelines and blow up potential recruits’ cell phones in search of the latest information. But there’s one important aspect that often goes ignored — transfers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU baseball pounds Terps

    The offense had 16 hits and sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out six as the West Virginia University baseball team routed Maryland 14-2 on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 22, 2014

  • Crutchfield not interested in Division I job

    You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coach’s job at an NCAA Division I university.
    But the Clarksburg native keeps saying that he’s perfectly content in that role at West Liberty, a Division II powerhouse. His 10-year record there is an absolutely amazing 272-49. Significantly, 10 of those defeats came in his first year at the West Liberty helm.

    April 22, 2014

  • Stepping up: Kelly racking up wins for Lions

    Sundays have become red-letter days for Chris Kelly.

    April 22, 2014

  • Paul Popovich, now 73, wishes he were playing baseball today

    If you’re a longtime baseball fan, you may recall Morgantown’s Paul Popovich.

    April 22, 2014

  • Hiring an interim while waiting on D’Antoni would be an injustice

    The search for Marshall’s new men’s basketball coach remained in a holding pattern over the Easter weekend while the Los Angeles Lakers put off their decision on coach Mike D’Antoni’s future until this week.

    April 21, 2014

  • 041914 gibby WVU trying to find speed on defense

    Tony Gibson took over as West Virginia’s new defensive coordinator over the winter with the goal of trying not to do too much to rock the boat. As the fourth coach to hold that spot in as many years, the Van native — in his second stint as a Mountaineer assistant — knew that his players needed some stability.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Turnbull’s tenure dominates WVU wrestling history

    Did Oliver Luck really do a thorough job in deeply evaluating Craig Turnbull’s 36-year career as wrestling coach before firing him?

    April 17, 2014

  • WVU’s top football prospects working out for NFL teams

    As we draw ever closer to the NFL Draft, the prospect workouts for teams are picking up steam for former Mountaineers. Both running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke have a busy road ahead.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo