Ron’s Ramblings

Ron Gregory

June 24, 2014

While there is no new word from Canada concerning the professional football career of former Scott High School star running back Jordan Roberts, another ex-high school area performer has returned to her Chicago “home.”

Andrea Williamson, arguably the best softball pitcher ever in the state, is again laboring for the Chicago Bandits of the National Professional Fastpitch league. Williamson, who spent the spring in Japanese professional softball, got to spend some time with her Harts family before re-joining the Bandits.

Williamson is a tremendous talent who starred at both Chapmanville Regional High School and the late Harts High. The 23-year-old currently lists Huntington as her home, where she also led the Marshall Thundering Herd softball team to unexpected heights. She is one of six pitchers listed on the Bandit roster.

Signed as a free agent in 2013, Williamson started 13 games during the 2013 season, her first with the Bandits. Her record was 9-2 with an earned run average of a sparkling 1.67. Her ERA was third best in the league. She was named as the Miken NPF rookie of the year and also voted rookie of the year by Chicago fans.

At Marshall, Williamson struck out 731 batters in her three seasons with the Herd. She set a Marshall record with 364 strikeouts during her senior year.

The daughter of Andy Paul and Beth Williamson has two brothers and a sister. Her dad played for the late Harts High and went on to Marshall, where he is still ranked 12th on the all-time list for career assists with 299.

Andi Williamson and her team can occasionally be seen on television and most game broadcasts are available on the Internet.

Tickets for Bandit games can be purchased by calling 877-722-6348. No, it isn’t “MAY be purchased.” If that is the word used, it means you MIGHT be able to buy tickets at that number or you MIGHT not.

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Occasionally, I am lectured by my colleagues who insist that “all sports coverage should be local.” I suppose it is something like the old axiom, “all politics IS local.”

I find it interesting when I am told about sports writing by columnists and reporters who regularly write about the University of Southern Pennsylvania at Morgantown School (US-PMS), a campus that is 150 or 200 miles distant.

Many of these same folks claim to be “for WVU and Marshall both.” I don’t think that’s any more possible than a Mormon being faithful to SIX wives. Marshall IS the University of West Virginia. It is home to more West Virginia students than WVU, despite having a smaller student body size. I make no apologies: I am a West Virginian meaning I am a Marshall fan. I do not root for Pennsylvanians and New Yorkers in anything.

That’s local, friends.

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It is not the Boone County sheriff who doesn’t intend to keep deputies at high schools like Sherman High, according to a department spokesperson. Actually, it still isn’t quite clear who is opposed to the idea — or maybe nobody is.

But, by this time next week, we will know the explanations about whether a deputy will be assigned to the schools next year. Funding the position appears to be the issue.

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Speaking of “local,” former Marshall star Deandre Kane has gained the attention of national media, such as The Sporting News, but not much from West Virginia papers and TV/radio outlets. Kane is predicted to either be picked in the late first-round of this week’s NBA draft or early in the second.

Never mind, he played for Marshall and they are not the darlings of the Pennsylvania-leaning press. It is not Kane’s fault that former MU Coach Tom Herrion was too dense to use him properly. So he ended up at Iowa State as a national star.

Psst! Sports scribes: Kane has a LOCAL connection.

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Meanwhile, I am concerned that Hamlin Mayor Chris “Pastor Pistol Pete” Wilkinson lost his bid for re-election. Wilkinson, who insisted on impersonating a police officer while mayor, placed a distant third when the results were counted. David “Flimsy” Adams (I kid you not — that’s really what he calls himself) beat Wilkinson with 109 votes to just 25 for the mayor/police chief.

Now, I have to wonder who will protect me when Scott travels to Hamlin next season for sporting events?

After all, Wilkinson enjoyed parading the sidelines during games with his full-fledged police outfit on. He’s also a minister, where Facebook photos have shown a badge accompanying his Bible. At Madison last season during the Lincoln County football game, Wilkinson was dressed as a policeman and paced up and down, I assume, looking for crime and corruption. He helped “protect” me from angry Hamlin partisans, he said. I have yet to meet the Hamlinite I need protection from, by the way.

As I noted once before, the collection plate gets fuller when the congregation knows the pastor is “packing” in the pulpit.

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I suppose it can now be said that Hamlin town government is getting rather “flimsy.”

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Your game scores, story ideas and rumors are welcome. Use my email address or call my cell, 304-533-5185.