Greenbrier turning gold and blue this weekend

Chris Jackson/The Register-HeraldWest Virginia University football head coach Dana Holgorsen, from left, Greenbrier owner Jim Justice and WVU athletic director Shane Lyons, stand together at the AdvoCare Sports Performance Center at The Greenbrier on last month during a press conference announcing that the Mountaineers will hold an intra-squad scrimmage at the facility.

Greenbrier County is about to officially become Mountaineer Country.

The West Virginia University football team is set to arrive at The Greenbrier today for the first of two spring practices at the AdvoCare Sports Performance Center, the summer home of the New Orleans Saints.

Today’s practice, which will include mostly drills and individual work, will be closed to the public, but Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. intra-squad scrimmage will be open to fans and media, and WVU athletic director Shane Lyons is excited about bringing Morgantown south for a couple days.

“I think it’s very important to bring your brand to the fans,” said Lyons, who has now been on the job for three months. “It an opportunity for our athletes to meet some new fans and see some new places and an opportunity for the fans to engage more with our players. That will only add to the passion that they already have for the Mountaineers.

“A lot of our kids aren’t from West Virginia, so it’s important for them to see and understand that passion.”

The scrimmage is just part of what Mountaineer fans will receive for a $10 charge for parking and transportation. Fans will get a chance for autographs, photos and conversation with their favorite coaches and players after the practice, and fans 21 and over will be granted access to the Greenbrier’s Casino Club by showing their transportation tickets.

“When we open our practices to the public, that gives our guys some juice to get out there and show what they can do,” said WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen. “They get excited about it, to bring them to one of the best resorts in the entire world is going to get them going pretty good.”

Parking will be available in White Sulphur Springs at the coal yard lot, just past The Greenbrier’s main entrance, at the ballpark lot, right off of Greenbrier Avenue, and at the Bethesda Church lot, across from the Battleground Crossing Shopping Center. Parking will also be available at the State Fair of West Virginia.

Buses will transport fans from those lots to the AdvoCare Sports Performance Center from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. for the $10 fee. There will be no parking at the site, and no walk-ins are allowed.

Transportation tickets must be purchased by midnight tonight. They can be found online at Greenbrier.com/WVU.

“There are a lot of die-hard fans that love WVU beyond all good sense that sit tuned to a radio or glued to a TV to follow WVU that would never even fathom being able to see them in person,” said Greenbrier owner Jim Justice. “We’re happy we can give them that opportunity.”

• • •

WVU basketball coach Bob Huggins announced the signing of the third member of this year’s recruiting class Thursday.

Williston State College (North Dakota) guard Teyvon Myers signed his letter of intent and will have two years of eligibility remaining at WVU.

Myers was the leading scorer in junior college last year, averaging 25 points per game while shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from 3-point range. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native also averaged four rebounds and 3.4 assists per contest.

“Teyvon brings us much-needed offense as the leading scorer in junior college this past season with his ability to score in a multitude of ways,” said Huggins in a release. “He’s accustomed to playing the pressing, up-and-down style that we want to play. It should shorten the timeline in his understanding of what we want done on both ends of the court.

“Teyvon gives us another ball-handler in the backcourt who can play both the point guard and wing positions.”

The 6-foot-2 Myers joins Esa Ahmad of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and James “Beetle” Bolden, who shined at the Scott Brown Classic on Saturday.

• • •

Randy Mazey’s Mountaineer baseball team will begin a pivotal series against No. 23 Oklahoma today in Morgantown.

Today’s first game will begin at 6 p.m., with games scheduled at 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.

WVU (21-13, 4-5 Big 12) is considered a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament by many analysts and could greatly boost its resume with a series win this weekend.

Sophomore second baseman Kyle Davis leads that team with a .378 average that includes 15 doubles, three home runs and 24 RBIs. Senior third baseman Justin Fox is hitting .317 with nine doubles and 16 RBIs, and senior shortstop Taylor Munden has belted a team-best eight him runs.

Freshman right-hander BJ Myers (2-1, 3.63 ERA) will start today’s game, and Mazey expect him to be at his best for the Sooners.

“He knows it’s Oklahoma, and he knows we have a new stadium,” said Mazey. “BJ pitches with a lot of energy no matter who he pitches against. He’s going to be a little ramped up for this one.”

Junior lefty Ross Vance (5-2, 2.79 ERA) will take the hill on Saturday, followed by sophomore right-hander Chad Donato (5-3, 1.61 ERA on Sunday.

OU coach Pete Hughes will give right-hander Jake Eliott (3-3, 2.68 ERA) the ball today, with Alec Hansen (4-4, 3.40 ERA) starting Saturday and Robert Tasin (6-1, 1.66 ERA) on Sunday.

The Sooners (24-15, 8-4 Big 12) are led at the plate by outfielder Craig Aikin, who’s hitting .358 with 10 doubles and 18 RBIs.

“They’re maybe the scariest team in the league, because they have the best lineup,” said Mazey. “They’ve go that first or second best pitching in the league with their quality of arms. This is as good of a team is there is out there. They’re very capable of coming in here and putting it on you three times if you don’t play well.”

WVU leads the all-time series with the Sooners 4-3, winning the season series in each of the last two seasons.

— E-mail: chuffman@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

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