Time to win some state titles

It’s beginning to look a lot like . . . tournament time.

The crowning of the first state high school winter sports champions will take place this week when the best swimmers in the state meet Thursday and Friday at the West Virginia University Natatorium.

While it’s unlikely either of Parkersburg’s high schools will bring home a team title, there’s a distinct possibility either Parkersburg South or Parkersburg High could bring home a team trophy as well as some individual and relay titles.

While swimming isn’t considered a revenue sport and doesn’t draw the attention of basketball or wrestling, the two city schools are blessed to have talented and passionate coaches who care about the young men and women who are members of their team.

Both Linda Alt at Parkersburg High and Steve Lutz at Parkersburg South do a great job.

This is Alt’s final season as the PHS?swim coach and I’m going to miss her dearly.

She’s been around the local swimming community for decades.

She’s taught so many youths to swim and so many swimmers the proper technique for improving their times.

Lutz is the only head swimming coach in the history of Parkersburg South. He started with nothing. But through his tireless dedication and determination, he has put South swimming on the state map with his boys team winning two straight Ohio Valley Athletic Conference and Region 1 titles.

Both Alt and Lutz want to make sure their swimmers get their due recognition. Any time the Big Reds or the Patriots swim, no matter where the meet is conducted, our sports staff has learned to expect them to pay a visit to the newspaper to present us with their results.

It’s gotten to the point we will hear the doorbell ring and we’ll guess which one of them it is.

That’s what happened on Saturday following the Region 1 meet.

Both Alt and Lutz stopped by to make sure we had what we needed and to promote their programs. While they are fierce rivals during a meet, they have great respect for each other.

This is also regional tournament week for high school wrestling with the top four finishers in each region qualifying for next week’s state tournament in Huntington.

Last year in Class AAA, the top three teams were Huntington, Parkersburg High and Parkersburg South. Don’t bet against that being the top three again this year, although the two local teams would love to change the order of finish.

Finally, we’ll crown six state basketball champions. If any team other than Parkersburg South wins the Class AAA girls championship, it will be considered a major upset.

With each win, South moves one step closer to an undefeated season, not to mention winning back-to-back state titles.

Contact Dave Poe at dpoe@newsandsentinel.com