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Local News and Views From Area Teams & Athletes

Boys’ tennis team finishes winning season

The Braxton boys’ tennis team finished the regular season with a winning record of 7-5. At boys’ #1 doubles, Josh and Wesley Skidmore had an excellent season as they finished with 11 wins and only one loss. Wesley had a singles record of 8-4 while Josh finished with a 9-3 record in singles. Hunter Drake, in his freshman year of play, was able to obtain a 6-6 record.
While the girls’ team was not quite as successful at team wins, Julia Foster finished 7-6 for the year. Grace Skidmore was 5-7. Both Amber Barker and Sarah Skidmore ended the season at 4-8.
Both teams competed in the Region 1 AA-A Tournament on May 7. Coach Becky Skidmore said that, although no one qualified for the state tournament, “the tennis team did come away with several wins during the tournament and narrowly missed qualifying in several brackets.”
In girls’ singles competition, Grace Skidmore and Amber Barker made it into the second round of play. Skidmore missed state qualification with a 7-9 loss to a St. Marys’ opponent. Julia Foster was able to beat Ravenswood in round two and move on to round three where she lost to Fairmont Senior. In doubles competition, both doubles teams of Sydney Ransbottom and Jessie King and Amber Barker and Sarah Skidmore, lost in the second round to Oak Glen.
In boys’ singles competition, Wesley Skidmore lost in the second round to the eventual Regional champion from Fairmont Senior. Josh Skidmore won in the second round by defeating Weir, but went on to lose in the next round to the Fairmont Senior player who ended up as the Regional champion. He lost to East Fairmont in a consolation match.
Dustin Barker defeated Weir in the first round of play but lost to Oak Glen in the second.
The doubles team of Skidmore and Skidmore made it into the final round of consolation qualifier but lost to Wheeling Central.
Regarding the tournament, Coach Skidmore stated, “Tournament play was a great experience for all involved, and, as usual, Braxton County was very well represented by a group of fine young adults who exhibited sportsmanlike conduct.”

Track teams qualify seven for state meet

Seven members of the Eagles’ track team will be competing in the State Meet to be run at Laidley Field on May 22-23. These include three from the girls’ team and four from the boys’ team.
Kate Golinsky qualified in both the 400 meter dash and the 800 meter run. She placed second in the 800, in which she established a personal record, and fourth in the 400 in regional competition. Shelby Helmick, who placed third in the discus throw with a personal record in the regional meet, will compete in that event at States. Jordan Utt will also compete in the discus throw at States. In the regional meet, Utt finished sixth with a personal record.
Lucas Bonnett qualified in three events---the shot put, the discus throw, and the 4X100 meter relay. Bryson Dennison, last year’s state pole vault champion, qualified for States in that event and in the long jump and the 4x100 meter relay. In regional competition, Dennison finished second in the pole vault and fourth in the long jump, in which he reached a personal record. Jesse White qualified in the 100 meter dash and the 4X100 relay. He finished fourth in the 100 meter in regionals. Isaiah Cumberledge qualified as a member of the 4X100 meter relay team, which finished fourth in regional competition.
Coach Jarren Morlan commented on the achievements of those seven. “I am encouraged about the number of athletes we had qualify for states,” he said, adding “We have a really tough region, so if an athlete can make it out of our region to states, they truly earned it. I look forward to our seven competing this weekend and know that they are fully prepared to give it their all in each event. I expect all seven to PR (Personal Record) in their events because of their hard work over the entire season.”
Others who did not qualify for the state meet but did finish in the top six in the regional meet include Katrina White, who was fourth in the 800 meter run and Helmick, who finished fourth in the shot put. White finished fifth in the 400 meter dash and sixth in the long jump.
Speaking on the overall performance of his team, Coach Morlan said, “All the athletes worked above and beyond in order to give their best attempt at qualifying for State Competition. We had a lot of hard effort and Personal Records set at Regionals on Wednesday. However, we are still young and have a lot of room for improvement for next year.”

Softball season ends with semi-regional loss to North Marion

North Marion outscored the Lady Eagles 9-2 in semi-regional softball play to end Braxton’s season. Coach Jerry Frame commented that his team “didn’t play well at all” and added, “We just didn’t play the kind of ball we’ve been playing. Of course North Marion did what they had to do, and we didn’t stop them.”
North Marion will play Ritchie County at North Marion Thursday night for the regional championship.

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