The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
Sports Editor

The Lincoln track team has been picking up some impressive wins this season.  Those clutch efforts have been brewing for several years and this recent success has been a culmination of the efforts of both the Cougar athletes and their Head Coach Danny Sharp.  Sharp has been a mainstay at the Shinnston based school and is currently in his third year as the head man after spending several years as an assistant.  “This has been one of the best (teams) that we have had in many years,” stated Sharp.

This group has managed to win nearly half of the events that they have participated in.  “We have had seven or eight events and we have won four of them.  Two were small events and two were invitational’s.  The impressive part is that this year’s team possesses only 14 members, but all of them have managed to provide major contributions.  “They give everything that they have and they are well rounded kids.”

In the track world, a team must score points in various areas to get a win and Sharp has the luxury of point production from various events.  “We have good field event people, two really good throwers, we have a boy that does the long jump and the high jump, good hurdlers, and we are strong in our relays.  All of that together helps us win.”

Leadership is provided by four seniors that have done their time in the Lincoln track program.  “Tyler Shaver, Collin Swiger, Robert Ankrom, and Khristian Adkins are seniors that have been here for several years.”  Two more seniors are in their first year of track in “Cougar Country”.  Evan Franenberry and William Carroll have been integral parts of this team’s success.

The turning point to this season took place a few weeks ago in Husky territory.  On April 21st, Lincoln invaded North Marion and took on a sizable quality field.  “The North Marion Invitational had about ten teams and the win boosted our kid’s confidence.”

Coach Sharp has always had a connection with his athletes, but has grown to a higher level once he made a move with his day job.  “I did teach middle school and one of the reasons that I jumped up was because I coach here and it helps out.”

Sharp appears to have the “Midas Touch” as he is also serving as the chess coach at the school.  Last year his chess team won the state championship and this year they finished runners up.

All of his track athletes have a part in this teams rise to glory and several of them have a legitimate chance to advance to Charleston to compete on the biggest stage in the state.  “We are looking to send 10 of our 14 boys to the state meet.”

This past weekend, the Cougars won the MVB Invitational.  It was held at Robert C. Byrd with several of the area’s best squads participating.  Lincoln picked up a pair of key first place finishes to claim the crown.  Victories in the 4 x 400 and the shuttles gave the Cougars a double digit spread over Fairmont Senior (121-111).  The Flying Eagles claimed third place followed by Philip Barbour, North Marion, and then Grafton respectfully.

Lincoln is hoping to carry that momentum over to tomorrow’s Big 10 Conference meet at North Marion.  The next big date for this group is May 11th when they travel to Lewis County for the regionals, where participants look to earn spots at the state meet.

That will do it for now.  Until next week…take care and God Bless!