Caridi takes time out from busy schedule

Tony Caridi is more recognized for his voice as the play-by-play announcer for the Mountaineers’ football and men’s basketball teams.

Tuesday night at Doddridge County High School he was simply known as dad – the father of Morgantown Trinity Christian senior Matthew Caridi.

“This is only the third of fourth time this year I’ve had an opportunity to see him (Matt) play,” said Caridi. “Due to our (WVU’s) schedule, especially on the road, it seemed like we were always traveling some place when he was scheduled to play.”

That was not the case on Tuesday as Bobby Huggins’ squad had the night off and Dana Holgorsen’s football team won’t begin spring drills until late March, leaving the veteran radio broadcaster time to see his own son compete in the second round of the Class A, Region I, Section 2 tournament at the home of the Bulldogs.

“It’s tougher watching your own child play,” admitted Caridi. “Watching WVU, especially this year, has had its moments, but they don’t compare to watching your child perform.”

Things did not go so well for the younger Caridi and his Trinity teammates as Clay-Battelle ended their season with a 61-52 setback.

But that did not stop ‘dad’ from cheering on his son’s team the entire game despite having several interruptions as one fan after another realized who was in attendance and wanted to find out about the latest happenings going on in Morgantown.

“College games are intense and they have a certain level of emotion surrounding them, but not like on the high school level where emotion is the essence of sports,” continued the broadcaster.

And there was plenty of emotion in both games played on the Bulldogs’ basketball court. Especially with this being tournament time and every one in attendance understands that teams face a win-or-go-home scenario each time they take to the hardwood.

Taking the next step toward a return to the Class A State Tournament at the Charleston Civic Center in March were the St. Marys Blue Devils of head coach Mark Barnhart.

The Pleasant Countians will look to secure a sectional championship tonight in West Union when they take on Clay-Battelle in the title game. A victory and St. Marys will play host to one of two regional championship games next Thursday while a loss would send the purple and gold on the road in search of one of the eight berths awarded each winter.

Should that happen and Barnhart’s Blue Devils advance to the Mountain State’s capital, then they would join Howard Meeks’ girls’ squad which earned another trip to the Civic Center thanks to their victory over Magnolia last night.

Some schools have to wait years to reach the state tournament – whether it be girls or boys. But the teams from St. Marys are making the process look easy.

Exact numbers aren’t easy to find, but it would be a safe bet to say that very few schools have experienced the success the Blue Devils have had on the basketball court of late.

Let’s hope it ends with a state title soon.

Contact Jim Butta at jbutta@newsandsentinel.com