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Repella does not disappoint; Kramer to be honored

January 18, 2010

A group of people congregated at the Spot Bar Sunday afternoon and headed east to the University of Pittsburgh's Peterson Event Center.

Seems Steubenville Big Red graduate Liz Repella and the No. 16 West Virginia University women's basketball team had a Big East date with the Panthers with a chance to garner a season sweep of Pitt.

Mission accomplished.

The Mountaineers' 69-54 victory over Pitt sent the West Virginia program to 17-1 overall and 5-0 in conference contests.

WVU defeated the Panthers 63-59 12 days prior. Losing coach Agnus Beranato had four simple words when describing Repella: "She's a frickin' baller."

I'm not sure there is a higher compliment from a coach to an opposing player.

On Sunday, Repella was one of five double-figure scorers who allowed West Virginia to post its highest point total in Big East play this season.

You see, Repella doesn't need to be the headliner each night.

She just wants to win.

For her, at times, an assist has far greater impact than a three.

Repella is a lot of things on a basketball court, the least of which is selfish.

She is a leader and a really good one.

Since getting blitzed at Ohio State on Nov. 19, the Mountaineers, behind Repella, have won 15 in a row.

She leads the team at 34.3 minutes and 14.4 points per game and has yet to foul out of a game, which is an improvement from last year. She is third on the team in rebounds, second in steals and has cut down on her turnovers.

Repella is shooting 39 percent from the floor, 31 percent from beyond the arc and 69 percent from the free throw line. Those are all numbers which she would like to improve as the season continues.

The 17-2 mark is being done with an eight-player rotation.

There is not a senior on the roster and Repella is the face of the program.

That's pretty dang good for a local girl who far too many people thought was all hype and no substance.

Repella is an outstanding basketball player.

She is a better student.

She is an even better person.

During a recent trip home, the 5-foot-11 junior was seen at a pair of Harding Middle School girls basketball games.

Those seventh- and eighth-graders look up to Repella for a number of reasons and not because she is much bigger than them.

They look up to her because she stands for everything that is right about academics, athletics and how kids are raised.

Madonna football coach Bob Kramer has been named as the Ohio Valley Man of the Year by the Upper Ohio Valley Dapper Dan Club.

Along with Kramer, Max Nogay and Lou Comis, among others, will be feted at the 43rd-annual Charity Awards Dinner at the Healthplan Room inside WesBanco Arena on Feb. 20. A social hour will start at 5 p.m. with the dinner taking place at 6 p.m.

The banquet is open to the public and $35 tickets can be reserved by contacting Dan Olexia at (304) 797-2966. Ten-seat tables are also available for groups.

Kramer took over a Blue Dons football program on life support and breathed a lot of life back into it.

Madonna finished as the only undefeated football team in West Virginia as it took the Class A state title with a 14-0 mark.

Kramer is 102-32 in 13 seasons, never had a losing one.

The Blue Dons have had three undefeated regular seasons under Kramer, 2004, 2008 and 2009. They lost in the state championship game in 2004 and the state semifinals in 2008 before being the school its second Class A state crown in December.

Nogay and Comis were the leaders of the team.

They led a squad who refused and hated to lose.


My Chargers choked again.

That is twice in the last four years they lost to the Jets at home, mind you, in a playoff game.

If San Diego canned Marty Schottenheimer because he could not win a playoff game, what do they do with Norv Turner?

Fire him, I say.

Not because he can't win a playoff game, because he has.

Dump him because of that terrible decision late in the game for an onside kick.

Kick it deep and make your defense stop them.

Do the New York Jets go for it on fourth-and-1 from their 25?

I highly doubt it.

Instead, because of that pathetic call for an onside kick with one timeout left and the two-minute warning to go, the Jets had a fourth-and-1 from San Diego's 29.

In addition, not to let the players off the hook, San Diego was flagged 10 times for 87 yards, including some costly ones throughout the game.

That is not on the coaches.

That is on the players.


And, how do you run the ball only 18 times? You averaged 3.4 yards per carry (not bad) and use Darren Sproles three times. Three times? Really?

Oh yeah, Nate Kaeding, how about making a field goal when it counts.

Finally, I want to talk about two of five quarterbacks who have been really good in the NFL, despite not being drafted - Warren Moon, Kurt Warner, Jeff Garcia, Jake Delhomme and Tony Romo.

Moon is in the Hall of Fame and Warner should be there in five years.

Moon was not drafted at the time because it is believed no one wanted to draft an African-American quarterback that high. So, he went to the CFL for five years and won five Grey Cups.

I guess the NFL geniuses then thought he might be a good guy to have calling signals.

So, in 17 NFL seasons, Moon passed for 49,325 yards and 291 touchdowns.

Warner was the starting quarterback for one year at the University of Northern Iowa and was named the Gateway Conference's Offensive Player of the Year.

After being signed by the Green Bay Packers in 1994 (although never making it to the 45-man roster), Warner played for the Iowa Barnstormers and the Amsterdam Admirals before being signed by the St. Louis Rams.

He got his chance because starting quarterback Trent Green suffered a knee injury thanks to Rodney Harrison in preseason and the rest is Hall of Fame history for Warner.

(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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