Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 16, 2014

Yost’s courageous effort earns him ‘Player of the Week’ honors

BLUEFIELD — “How many times do you warm up for a high school athletic event, not even two minutes away from the start of the event and you’re notified that one of your top players has rolled his ankle?”

Bluefield High School head coach Buster Large asked that question about last Friday’s night’s game between his No. 1 Class AA Beavers and the Class AAA No. 5 Greenbrier East Spartans.

Michael Yost, three year starter, defensive specialist and three-point shooter was injured in pregame warmups, but Yost took to the court, scored 15 points in one half of play and earned Pocahontas Coal Association/Bluefield Daily Telegraph Player of the Week honors.

“We do a tip drill before we go into the locker room and get our pregame speech. I tipped (the ball) off the glass and came down on D.J. Edwards’ ankle and rolled mine,” Yost said. “I went to the locker room, got it taped up and got out there ready to play.”

Yost helped guide the Beavers to a halftime lead with 15 points, including three three-point goals, but he was unable to go in the second half and the Beavers lost their first game of the season to the Spartans.

“I fought through it the first half. In the second half it tightened up and I couldn’t really get a lot of movement on it,” Yost said. “It’s a bad sprain, nothing is broken. I am out two to four weeks. I’m going to therapy three times a week so hopefully that will help a lot.”

Large talked about Yost’s determination and commitment.

“At first I didn’t believe it,” Large said. “We’re in the hallway getting ready to have our prayer and go back on the floor and his comment was, ‘Tape it up. I’m going to play.’

“He went out on the floor and played absolutely courageously, played his heart out. I could tell he was in pain. It was one of the most courageous efforts I’ve ever seen as a coach.”

Yost said, “The team was like ‘We need you,’ so I sucked it up for them and went out there, just played my game and tried not to think about my ankle that much. It was the worst pain I have ever played with.”

The Beavers, defending West Virginia Class AA champions, won their first game without Yost, beating No. 2 Wyoming East on Tuesday. Wednesday night Bluefield topped rival Graham to improve to 7-1.

“It’s been a good year so far,” Yost said. “We lost to Greenbrier East but it was a hard-fought game. They’re a good team, one of the top teams in AAA. Hopefully the next time we play them I’ll be back. Hopefully it will be a different game the next time.”

Yost started playing the game in the Bluefield Rec League where his first coach was his dad, Steve. His brother, Steve Jr., played for the Beavers from 1996-2000.

“Coming up my dad was like, ‘Some day that will be you out there.’ Finally it hit me and it is me out there,” Yost commented. “He always coached me, little league up and I played AAU and had Eric Smalls and Mike Eades, they really taught me a whole lot about basketball. All the guys I play with now, e always played AAU together. We’ve always been a family.”

Yost expects to be out of action anywhere from two to four weeks. He explained what he must do.

“I’m going to have to do my therapy, listen to the doctors, hopefully get my strength back and come back 100 percent ready to play and ready to go upstate and go back-to-back,” Yost said.

The 6’3 senior wing said he hopes to play ball in college, has had some contact with schools, but has not yet made a decision about his future.

Large concluded, saying, “As far as I am concerned there are a lot of very good players and he is one of the most under-rated players in the state. He’s that important to us.

“He is an outstanding defensive player, an outstanding shooter from the perimeter. He plays both ways, outside-inside for us and is an excellent free throw shooter and most importantly an outstanding student-athlete and an outstanding young man.”

— Contact Bob Redd at

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