Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

April 9, 2014

PikeView’s McBride inks with Battlers

GARDNER — Chris McBride can usually be found studying for classes or preparing for athletic competition at PikeView High School. For a few minutes on Wednesday, the senior was doing neither.

Instead, he was at the school’s media center for a signing ceremony to mark his decision to study and to play football at Alderson-Broaddus University in Philippi.

“It’s just a big weight off my shoulders,” he said of his decision. “Now I can go back to focusing on track season.”

McBride played quarterback for the Panthers last fall, and cornerback on defense. He is competing this spring in the 800-meter run and 4-by-800 relay for the PikeView track team.

“It’s always been my goal to play college football,” McBride said. “It’s a dream come true.”

 He passed for nine touchdowns in 2013, racking up more than 1,100 yards in completions, and ran for more than 250 yards more.

Football coach Bobby Wyatt praised McBride’s “desire and motivation,” and his work ethic.

“Whatever you throw on him, he’ll try to get it done, and that’s why I expect him to succeed at the next level,” the coach said.

“Chris knows the game. He’s a student of the game. His mental sharpness will keep him a couple of steps ahead of everyone else.” Wyatt revamped the offense prior to last season, and McBride quickly moved into the role as the starting signal caller for his final prep season.

“He picked up our offense very quickly,” Wyatt said. The starting job was “just something he was relentless in keeping,” he said. “He’s going to be hard to replace.”

His role with the Battlers at A-B has not yet been finalized. McBride said when he met with the football coaches, “They talked back and forth, offense and defense. It looks like I’ll start out at safety for the time being.”

“The coaches there will help you in season, and even after the season they’ll still be there.”

“I looked at many, many places,” McBride said of his college search. “It seemed like an appropriate place to get my education and to continue my football career.”

He is planning to major in environmental science at A-B. “My goal is eventually to get a job in the oil or petroleum field,” he said.

His mother, Rena Lusk, said, “I think he made the right decision. ... He was really impressed by the offer the coach made, and the attitude they had.”

“I’m very, very proud of him and honored the college chose him to play for them.”

She noted, “He is not only academically, but athletically ready for the next step.”

Wyatt said that he monitors the academic performance of  PikeView’s football players. “I’ve had nothing but rave reviews from his teachers, that he was an excellent student,” the coach said.

The new signee’s father, Paul McBride, said, “Chris has worked very hard in the classroom and on the football field to ensure that he would be ready when the day came to take the next step.”

He said about his visit to Philippi, “It’s a nice campus, and they recently built a new football stadium ... . We met not only the head coach (Dennis Creehan) but also the offensive coordinator. All the coaches seemed to have a positive attitude.

“It’s a young program but they seemed to have the drive and ambition, and they want to be successful.”

 Alderson-Broaddus reinstituted football for the 2012 season. The team concluded last fall’s campaign with a 4-7 record. The school now competes in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference and also holds membership in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).

 This season was the Battlers’ first in a new $6.5-million stadium that seats about 2,700 people and is carpeted with a synthetic playing surface. Creehan is the school’s athletic director as well as its football coach.

 The campus is located in Barbour County, about 40 miles south of Morgantown. The school, with an enrollment of slightly less than 1,000, is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, USA.

 — Contact Tom Bone

at tbone@bdtonline.com

 

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