The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
The boys and girls state track meet took place this past weekend in Charleston. There were approximately 1,904 athletes from across the Mountain State that took part in the event. Harrison County was well represented in the two day event. However, there were two county
participants that stood out en route to turning in top performances in their respective divisions.
Bridgeport’s McKenna Smith and South Harrison’s Freddy Canary were head and shoulders above the competition with their record shattering high point efforts.
Indian senior standout McKenna Smith has already committed to taking her talents to West Virginia University next year. Smith decided to leave a lasting impression in the record books with an effort that shattered three state records. Smith set records in victories in the 100, 400, and 300 hurdles. She also won the 200 to make it four first place finishes on the weekend.
Hawk track and field legend Freddy Canary also put his stamp on the scene with four wins. Canary set records in the 100, 200, and 400. He also claimed the prize in the long jump.
Smith was the high point winner in Class AA girls action and Canary scored the most points in Class A boys action. Smith and Canary were my girls and boys SNHCJ’s Athletes of the Week for their incredible efforts.
On the diamond, only one county baseball team took home a sectional crown…the Bridgeport Indians. The Tribe has been in the top spot in Class AA throughout this regular season and now that it’s tournament time, they have taken it to another level. A few weeks ago this squad was in the midst of an impressive winning streak, but veteran mentor Robert Shields didn’t seem happy with his teams overall play. His program has won three consecutive state championships and he is all too familiar with the prerequisites for a champion. His chase for perfection has made his team that much better and that much more dangerous now that the games really count. His team has elevated its play and this has been the difference in one of the toughest sectionals in the state.
Bridgeport had to deal with Class AA #3 Elkins and the consistent Cougars of Lincoln. If you throw in a talented Robert C. Byrd team, then it becomes one of the toughest sectionals in the state, regardless of classifications. Mother Nature played a key part in this sectional, forcing several make-up games in the process; this scenario favored the Tigers because their pitching staff isn’t as deep as Bridgeport’s. None the less, the Tribe earned a pair of decisive wins over Elkins, the last taking place early last week that provided the Tribe with yet another sectional title.
Shields rode the right arm of hurler Brayden Lesher en route to the win. Lesher allowed two runs while allowing seven hits and struck out eight batters, while surrendering just two free passes on the night.
Left fielder Cooper Hineman was the only Indian player to collect multiple hits in the victory. Hineman has been a mainstay in the left all year for this Indian team that is in hot pursuit for a fourth consecutive Class AA title.
That will do it for now. Until next week…take care and God Bless!