Ready to greet MU, WVU stars

Wood County is receiving its fair share of visits by coaches and athletes of high-profile teams.

Recently, members of the Cincinnati Reds appeared at the Grand Central Mall. Even though it was one of the worst weather days of what has been by our standards a rough winter, several hundred fans braved the conditions and gave the Reds a warm welcome.

Last year, the Reds Caravan that stopped here featured veteran announcer Marty Brennaman, who delighted us with stories and his passion for the game in particular and the Reds in general.

This year, we were treated to rookie manager Bryan Price, who was so impressive when he interviewed with team management he literally talked his way into the job.

Getting to spend just five minutes with Price, I could see why. He is an impressive guy.

If he can raise the energy level of this massively talented team, the Reds could win the World Series this year.

This Thursday, members of West Virginia University’s athletic teams will be at the Grand Pointe Conference Center for the annual Steak and Burger Dinner, a major fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with dinner served at 6:30 p.m.

In past years, virtually all of the WVU contingent represented the football team. This year, while the football team still will be well represented, local fans also will get an opportunity to meet other Mountaineer athletes, including members of the baseball, rifle, volleyball, gymnastics, wrestling and crew teams.

Among those representing the football program will be Parkersburg South graduates Ron Crook -who serves as the team’s offensive line coach -and Michael Molinari, who kicks off, holds on extra points and field goals and can perform virtually any special teams task.

This is always a great night for a great cause.

Shortly after we will bid a fond farewell to the Mountaineers, it will be time to greet members of the Thundering Herd.

The Marshall University Alumni Thundering Herd Bison Club of the Mid-Ohio Valley will conduct its 2014 scholarship and vision campaign fundraiser, also at the Grand Pointe, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 10.

Keynote speaker for the event will be former Marshall quarterback Chad Pennington, who won the Hardman Award as the state’s Amateur Athlete of the Year following the 1999 season.

Also expected to be in attendance will be Stephen Kopp, the president of Marshall University, and the school’s athletic director, Mike Hamrick.

The group intends to honor Joe Roedersheimer, the owner of the North End Tavern & Brewery, which long has served as the host for the annual Rally In The Alley to salute Marshall athletics.

Tickets should be purchased by March 1. Contact Laurie Martin at 304-488-3297, Buddy James at 304-295-7127, Jane Graham at 304-428-4504, Dale Lowther at 304-485-2107, Ed Hofmann at 304-428-3941 or Lois Ingles at 304-489-2503.

Contact Dave Poe at dpoe@newsandsentinel.com