The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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High School Sports

January 22, 2013

Covering Independence sports will never be the same

Coaches come and coaches go. Some of them stay at one place longer than others, leaving an undeniable stamp on their respective programs along the way.

But when you think of athletics at Independence High School, two names immediately come to mind — Scotty Cuthbert and Joe Goddard.

I’ve been working here at The Register-Herald since I was a Friday night part-timer in 1996, and Cuthbert was the only Independence football coach I ever knew. A few months later, when I was fortunate enough to earn a full-time position and got a chance to cover my favorite sport, I had the pleasure of meeting Goddard — the only baseball coach Independence has ever known.

Along the way in those 16 1/2 years, there hasn’t been a single meeting, not one phone conversation or e-mail with Cuthbert or Goddard that wasn’t pleasant. Cuthbert sometimes left me laughing at his wit, and other times he made me think with his understated intellect.

Then there’s Goddard. To say I was in awe of this former Major League baseball player would be more than fair. As I watched him coach, I eventually learned not to try to think along with him. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Eventually we simply became friends, but his knowledge of the game still made me feel at times that I don’t know as much as I thought.

All good things, as they say, must come to an end. When Cuthbert retired in November, and when Goddard did the same last week, it was truly the end of an era not only at Independence, but for Raleigh County sports.

Thanks for the memories, gentlemen. Independence athletics will never be the same.

n n n

When Nicole Goddard was a multi-sport athlete during her days at Independence, I know I typed her name more than 100 times as boxscores were reported or after I covered one of her games.

Why, then, did I call her “Ashley” in a Tuesday article about her dad’s retirement?

Old age? Not yet. Lack of sleep? Possibly.

Ignorance? Now we may be on to something.

Anyway, sorry about that, Ash ... I mean Nicole.

— E-mail: gfauber@

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