The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

July 24, 2013

Pruett: Shady, Woodrow need to play

Since the day Shady Spring High School moved to Class AAA in 2012, there’s been one question uttered a lot in Raleigh County: Why aren’t Woodrow Wilson and Shady Spring playing in football?

It turns out, it’s a question one legendary Flying Eagle has been asking, as well.

“Why aren’t they playing?” Woodrow Wilson Hall of Famer and former Marshall University head coach Bob Pruett said. “Aren’t they both AAA football teams? I think it would be great.”

Pruett feels that Woodrow and Shady could turn into one of the state’s top rivalries.

“That’d be quite a rivalry game,” he said. “When I was here, Mullens and Mount Hope were big rival games, and Oak Hill. So I mean, why not? Why aren’t they scheduled?”

While Pruett may be a Flying Eagle, he likely identifies with the new kid on the block in Shady, comparing it to a rivalry of his past.

“Is this like a West Virginia-Marshall thing?” Pruett said, referring to West Virginia University’s reluctance to consider Marshall a rival, due to the thinking that the Mountaineers had everything to lose and nothing to gain by beating the Thundering Herd.

Pruett said that despite that sentiment, he felt the rivalry between the state’s two Division I schools was exciting. He only coached in the game once, a 42-31 Marshall loss in Morgantown on Aug. 30, 1997.

“It was a thrill for me growing up in the state to go up there and play,” he said. “The only thing was I didn’t want to go in there and play every time. They didn’t want to share.

“That could be the problem with Woodrow and Shady. Maybe we’ll fix up Bobby Pruett Stadium and they can play up there on a neutral field. We’ll put turf down. How’s that?”

Bob Pruett Stadium sits beside Park Middle School and was named in honor of the state football legend in 2008.

“I think it would be great. It would be awesome,” Pruett said of a potential Woodrow-Shady rivalry. “Anything that creates excitement and rivalry is really good, especially in this state, because you can imagine how they would talk about it year round. Hopefully they’ll get it together and make it happen.”

The 1961 Woodrow Wilson graduate only had high praises for the current Woodrow program, including coach John H. Lilly, who has developed quite a friendship with Pruett.

“I’m really excited about Woodrow football,” Pruett said. “I think Coach Lilly has made a comeback here, and he’s doing a good job. He texts me every time someone does good, and I try to get up and watch them practice and talk to their team.  I’m pretty excited about it.”

Pruett played under coach Nelson Bragg at Woodrow, before going on to play halfback and tight end for the Thundering Herd. The Woodrow program still means a lot to the all-time wins coach in Marshall history.

“Well growing up in East Beckley, Woodrow Wilson football as awesome. After you got to the sixth grade, all the older guys would give you spring and fall tickets,” Pruett said with a laugh. “You’d spring the fence and fall to the ground to watch the games.

“But that first time you got to put that red jersey on, it was something special,” Pruett added. “We are the Eagles! The mighty, mighty Eagles! Everywhere we go, people want to know. We are the mighty, mighty Eagles! I don’t remember much, but I remember being a Flying Eagle. It was just a thrill and one of the best thrills I’ve had in all of sports.”

— E-mail: jrollins and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins.

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 072514 Loomis The Greenbrier impresses Payton, Loomis

    When a deal was finalized on March 13 to bring the New Orleans Saints to The Greenbrier for three weeks of summer camp, Saints officials never doubted that the facility would be ready a little more than four months later for the first practice. INCLUDES VIDEO.


    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WV Open 1 Hess Former Mountain Lions playing well at Open

    In sports like basketball or football, home field advantage can be the ultimate difference maker. The same can be said in golf.


    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WV Open 2 Westfall Evans leads the field on rainy day at W.Va. Open

    The wind picked up, the rain started to fall and the scores were low at second round of the 81st West Virginia Open. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.


    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU rifle coach competing in native Scotland

    West Virginia University rifle coach John Hammond is competing in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in his native Scotland.

    July 24, 2014

  • 072414 WV Open.jpg Familiarity with Cobb helps Hess take lead

    It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Kenny Hess is comfortable playing the Cobb Course at Glade Springs Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Golf and motocross are Jude’s passions

    Motocross and golf have very little in common.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • How to discover and love Major League Soccer

    When I began my soccer fandom following a missions trip to Brazil in 2000, I didn’t know what my next step was. I knew I loved watching the game, but there weren’t a lot of options for seeing it in the U.S. I knew of Major League Soccer — mostly from my friend and current FC Dallas beat writer Drew Epperley — but it was hard to find.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp