Sports writers aren't supposed to have favorites.
But, being human beings, we can't help it. Some people leave such a great impression on us we can't help but silently pull for them and delight when they receive their just due.
Three sports figures who would appear on my favorites list recently have received major honors.
Start with Ed Pastilong, the former athletics director at West Virginia University.
Just as his successor, Oliver Luck, seems to be the right man at the right time, the same could be said for Pastilong, who will head this year's induction class of the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame, an organization with which he is credited as being one of the founders.
While Luck can be described as dynamic, Pastilong was Steady Eddie. He served as athletics director from 1989 to 2010. Pastilong was loyal to WVU's coaches. He inherited both head football coach Don Nehlen, who stayed until his retirement following the 2000 season, and basketball coach Gale Catlett, who left following the 2002 campaign.
Pastilong not only was responsible for hiring football coaches Rich Rodriguez and Bill Stewart, but he also is the one who brought John Beilein and Bob Huggins to Morgantown to coach the Mountaineer basketball program.
Speaking of coaches, one of the top high school basketball coaches in the history of the Mid-Ohio Valley, Dick Wildt, is about to be inducted into the Mid Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame come Saturday night.
Wildt is best known for guiding Parkersburg Catholic's girls basketball program to five state championships. Coaching at Catholic was a natural for Wildt, who was a star for the Crusader basketball team before continuing his playing career at Marshall University.
Wildt had a great influence on many other coaches. I remember talking to Joe Crislip one day about how well his Parkersburg South team was playing defense. Instead of taking credit for the accomplishment, Crislip said he had sought coach Wildt's help in installing the system.
Wildt wasn't just a great coach, he's a great guy with a giant personality who always seems to be having fun.
While I have known Pastilong and Wildt for many years, I didn't meet professional bowler Sean Rash until he participated in the 2006 West Virginia Championship, conducted at Emerson Lanes. Rash came to Parkersburg as a rookie just trying to make the 64-member tournament field.
He left town not only having accomplished that, but also winning his first PBA title. In doing so, he became the first person in the history of the PBA Tour to come through the qualifying round and claim the championship.
Parkersburg served as the launching pad for Rash's career, which recently saw him be named as the PBA Player of the Year. Rash is one of those personable, charismatic figures you can't help but like.
It's good to see some of my favorites get their just dues.
Contact Dave Poe at email@example.com