Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sports column

July 8, 2014

A variety of facts, opinions about sports

MORGANTOWN — Stringing together some odds and ends that may interest you:

•Bob Hileman tells me that the Bruceton High School gymnasium building is finally being torn down. It was built in the 1930s and had been the site of countless athletic memories in basketball and other sports before consolidation of Preston County schools.

ºIn that connection, John Spiker and wife Sabra are natives of that Bruceton Mills community.

The well-known Morgantown couple have been here since 1975. Mr. Spiker remains an administrative coordinator in athletic matters at WVU and formerly spent full time with the football program until last year.

He’s also president of Morgantown Health Works. …

•The recent renewal of amateur boxing in the local area rang a bell in this writer’s memory bank.

Many, many, years ago, the late John Zan promoted boxing shows weekly at what’s now called Sunset Beach.

Some of West Virginia’s finest boxers were featured. Richard “Dick” Capelli, who now lives in Morgantown, was a lightweight amateur who grew up in Pt. Marion, Pa.

It was fun covering fight cards at Sunset Beach outdoors in those early years. …

•Being invited to the prestigious LeBron James Skills Academy was tall tribute to WVU basketball star Juwan Staten.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound guard is spending most of this week at that camp this week in Las Vegas. He’s one of just 30 top collegiate standouts from around the country selected for this competition.

Eighty top high school stars are there also.

Staten, who’s a senior, will four days of competitive skills during workouts, and in 5-on-5 team games.

“I’m pleased and thankful to have this opportunity to represent West Virginia University,” he said. “I hope to improve my skills to help me for my senior season.”

Staten is hopeful this will enable him to perform even better as a Mountaineer this year and at the next level he aims to reach (the NBA).

As a junior, Staten was the Big 12 conference top scorer in 2013-14 with an average of 18.1 points per game. He also was named to the all-conference first team and its all-defensive team. …

•John Brautigan of Morgantown is assistant golf pro at the famous Oakmont and Seminole Golf Course in the Pittsburgh area.

He is a 2005 graduate of Morgantown High School. John is the son of Jack and Carol Brautigan, who remain local residents.

John, who’s now 28, has golf associate pro experience in Chicago as well as Florida area courses.

Father Jack served athletic trainer stints at both WVU and Virginia Tech. He’s now vice president of the Health Works here. …

•Jedd Gyorko still is not appearing in the box score of the San Diego Padres. The former WVU standout has been on the baseball’s disabled list for at least a month or more.

A player by the last name of Panick, filling in for Gyorko went 4-2-2-1 at bat last Sunday in a game at San Francisco. But the Giants won that game 5-3.

In case you’re interested, the Padres are 39-49 and are in third place and 10 1/2 games behind the leader in the National League West Division.

•Josh Arbaugh of Morgantown recently qualified for the West Virginia Open Golf Tournament. A score of 79 earned him the spot.

Arbaugh played in the State Amateur Golf Tournament, but did not fare as well as he had hoped. He is a native of Summersville.

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