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There is no talent involved in working hard

October 19, 2009
By MIKE MATHISON, Sports editor

It has been said time and time again that playing hard takes no talent.

Hustle takes zero talent.

Then, why does it seems players with a lot of talent aren't playing hard as the fall season winds down in football, soccer and volleyball.

Coaches across the board are frustrated at a lot of things right now, but no more than the display of less than a 100 percent effort.

I understand being a 17-year-old it is not a lot of fun right now if your team has no chance to make the playoffs in football, or you see a one-and-done scenario on soccer or volleyball.

But, in all honesty, no one cares that you are feeling sorry for yourself that your season didn't go as planned.

The players on the football team you are playing in the final two weeks in Ohio and three weeks in West Virginia, unless they have the same woe-is-me attitude you have right now, are thankful for your me-first attitude and will be glad to clean your clocks on Friday or Saturday nights.

The fact your football team is 1-7 or 2-6 is all the more reason to go out and try your best to finish at 4-6 or 3-7 and not 2-8 or 1-9.

Look in the mirror, look into the faces of your coaches and teammates and bust your behind until your season officially ends.

Your season hasn't ended as long as you keep lacing 'em up.

Show some character.

-- Congratulations to the Brooke football team for looking past all the extra-curricular garbage that is floating around the program.

You continue to keep winning and that has firmly entrenched you as No. 1 in the West Virginia Class AAA rankings.

Three more victories, starting with a game Friday at Jimmy Carey Stadium against Weir, gives the Bruins homefield advantage, more than likely, through the playoffs.

That's all you want as a West Virginia playoff football team.

Now, after seeing the field in last week's win over Morgantown, it needs a break from all the action.

It is a mess.

-- Kudos to the Madonna football team for its 7-0 start, including a win Saturday night at Jimmy Carey Stadium over Catholic Central.

The Blue Dons have some unfinished business in the West Virginia Class A playoffs and the victory over the Crusaders was a message to the top echelon of teams in that class.

Madonna plays the game like it has a chip on its collective shoulder pads and that's a good thing.

The defense takes a first down gained against them personally. They do not like when the chains move or when a team gets past midfield.

While the offense has received most of the notoriety, the defense has allowed a mere 22 points in seven games and no more than eight points in a game. I do not see that changing in the next three weeks.

-- Steubenville Big Red has clinched a first-round playoff game.

After clearing eight of the 10 regular-season hurdles, Big Red has home games left with Inkster, Mich. and Cardinal O'Hara.

If Harrison Central goes win-win I like the chances of the Huskies making a trek to Death Valley for Week 11 in the Division III, Region 11 standings. It would be the program's initial voyage into postseason and coach Justin Kropka would welcome the challenge.

But, that is no easy task as Harrison Central hosts pass-happy Union Local on Friday and visits St. Clairsville in Week 10.

I like Dover to finish second and Buckeye Local third, but it must get past Edison this week at Cartwright Field and that will be no easy task.

A big game this week in the region is No. 6 Carrollton visiting No. 13 Minerva. A win by the Warriors pretty much assures them a spot in the playoffs.

-- I have taken my 12-year-old son on some assignments lately and some of those have been to soccer games. He is amazed at what comes out of the mouths of adults.

"Draw blood next time."

"Kick it at their face."

"That's payback from two weeks ago."

That is just some of what adults have yelled toward kids.

Kids! Dear soccer mom and dad, please shut up unless you are cheering your team hard.

It is not a good thing when you cheer the fact a 16-year-old gets a yellow card. They are getting a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Your cheering that is unsportsmanlike conduct.

Hey volleyball mom, the same lift the referee did not call on the other team in the first set is the same lift the official did not call on your team in the second set.

Get over it, move on and cheer hard for your team.

-- Congratulations to Harrison Central senior Juli Hirauk for her tie for seventh place in the Ohio Division II state golf tournament played Friday and Saturday at the Gray Course at Ohio State University.

Be proud of your accomplishment and good luck playing golf in college.

-- Two weeks ago Tyler Brown scored the first touchdown of his high school career. He took the snap as quarterback and went in from the 1 on a sneak. He never knew he actually scored until he heard his teammates cheering.

"A dream come true,'' said Brown, who is legally blind. "I always wanted to know what it was like to be out there.''

Brown had been working as the manager for the football and basketball teams at McComb High School, about 40 miles south of Toledo.

"He's pretty darn athletic,'' said football coach Kris Alge. "It's just a shame he can't see.''

-- Thanks to the owner of the black Silverado who blocked me in at Jimmy Carey Stadium Saturday night and made me an hour late getting back to work. Your kindness is appreciated.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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