Meeting Marty a pleasure

It’s always fun to meet a major sports figure who has achieved legendary status.

But I can’t remember enjoying such an encounter as much as interviewing Cincinnati Reds announcer Marty Brennaman during his appearance at the Reds Caravan on Friday at the Grand Central Mall.

He can spin a story with the best of them. And if he has an ego, it doesn’t show. What he does show is his genuine enthusiasm for his job. Even though he has done it for 39 years, he still has passion.

Happy 40th season, Marty. Maybe you will get to say in the final game of the World Series, “And this one belongs to the Reds.”

  • Ryan Switzer: The George Washington High School running back, a two-time winner of the Kennedy Award as the state high school football player of the year, will add the title all-American to his impressive resume.

Switzer wlll be selected as a first team all-American by Parade Magazine in its weekend edition.

He is expected to sign with the University of North Carolina during national letter-of-intent day.

The last Parade all-American from the Mountain State? Parkersburg High School’s Josh Jenkins, who was part of the Big Reds back-to-back state titles in 2006 and 2007.

  • 1,000-to-1: I got a good laugh when I checked on the latest odds to win the NCAA basketball championship.

Although I couldn’t believe they were still listed, odds were still available on West Virginia University, at 1,000-to-1.

Yes, for the $5 minimum bet accepted in Vegas, you can get a payout of $5,005 if WVU wins the national title.

The problem? The Mountaineers have virtually no chance of even making the tournament field.

  • Wrestling: After conducting the West Virginia Duals and the Bob Zide Rumble last week, you would think local wrestling would be due for a breather.

Instead, it is another huge week for the sport that is more popular in Parkersburg than in any other West Virginia city.

First up is the Wood County Middle School Wrestling Championships, set for tonight and Wednesday at Memorial Fieldhouse.

While Blennerhassett is the three-time defending champions, it is the other school from south of the Little Kanawha, Edison, that is the overwhelming favorite to claim the title. The undefeated Eagles are ranked No. 1 in the state.

Come Saturday, two major tournaments will take place.

The Mountain State Athletic Conference championships will return to Memorial Fieldhouse for the second straight year. League coaches were so impressed with the way the tournament was conducted last year, they voted to come back.

That’s not surprising. Local wrestling guru Brent Sams has become an expert in making tournaments run like clockwork. It is his talent that has given wrestling a major boost.

In addition to the MSAC, the Little Kanawha Conference also will decide its champion on Saturday.