Mountaineers fall in annual contest
STEUBENVILLE – The name on Vincent Haddox’s birth certificate and Oak Glen High School diploma is just that: Vincent Haddox.
But Golden Bear teammates, family members and even teachers know him by a different name.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Haddox said with a laugh when asked how he got the nickname. “It just stuck.”
It actually began when Haddox was in diapers and his grandmother’s television was tuned to Pittsburgh Steelers games on Sundays.
“Her favorite player was ‘Bubby’ Brister,” Haddox said. “After a while when I was little, my grandma would just start calling me ‘Bub.'”
The former professional quarterback was a 1986 draft pick of the Steelers. He played seven seasons in Pittsburgh before stints with Eagles, Jets, Broncos, Vikings and Chiefs.
Brister’s given name is Walter. He was originally called “Bubba” as a play on “brother” because he was the youngest child in his family. Brister had five older sisters.
The nickname was extended to Bubby when he played for Northeast Louisiana University, now called Louisiana-Monroe.
“My mom told me it all started with my grandma,” Haddox said of his now-notorious nickname. “That’s all I know.”
Haddox was honored during the OVAC Baseball All-Star Game at Vaccaro Field on Monday as the conference’s 4A Player of the Year.
He led Oak Glen to a second-straight West Virginia Class AA Region I, Section I championship. Haddox ended the deciding game of the series with Weir High on a solo home run. He also struck out nine batters and allowed just four hits.
“It’s a big deal to me,” Haddox said of the award. “I really appreciate it. Everyone around here recognizes that I have the skill and can play.”
Madonna’s Luca Fuscardo was named the Player of the Year in Class 1A.
“It kind of shocked me, I’m not going to lie,” Fuscardo said. “It’s a nice honor.”
Blue Dons coach Tim Provenzano informed Fuscardo of the award a week ago.
“It’s very nice,” Fuscardo said. “There’s a lot of great players here and they provided great competition over the past four years. (The All-Star Game) was a lot of fun.”
His West Virginia team lost, though, 7-4 to Ohio.
Fuscardo was 0-for-2 in the game, with a pair of fly outs to center field. Haddox popped out to left field and reached on fielder’s choice in the eighth inning. He came around to score West Virginia’s final run on an RBI single from Valley’s Brandon Stoneking.
“This was the last time I’ll wear the Oak Glen uniform,” Haddox said. “In the fall I’ll be going to West Liberty. Hopefully I can make an impact there as a freshman.”
Haddox will play summer ball in Youngstown’s Class B league.
Will Bowser, Fuscardo’s Madonna teammate, drew a walk and scored a run in the eigth inning.
“It was fun to play with him for the last time,” said Fuscardo, who will play at Kent State next year. “I met a lot of new kids today. This game was a whole new experience for me.”
For the second-straight year, Fuscardo will play travel ball with the Pittsburgh Diamond Dogs.
“It’s a heavily-scouted league,” he said. “They helped me go to college in the first place.”
Fuscardo pitched two innings for West Virginia on Monday. He allowed two singles with one walk and three strikeouts.
Brooke Russell Schwertfeger struck out one batter in his pitching appearance. At the plate Schwertfeger was 0-for-2. Bruins’ teammate Heath Hildreth had a single.
Weir’s Mitch Viakely was 0-for-2 at the plate and struck out one in a pitching appearance.