Vienna in state spotlight

Four state championship events in four weeks.

Charleston already has conducted the state tennis tournament and track meet and will be the site of the last high school event of the school year, the state baseball tournament next week.

For the next two days, it’s our turn.

Vienna’s Jackson Park will be the site of the state softball tournament.

The dozen best teams in the state will compete for the Class AAA, AA and A state championships.

It’s the only state high school championship conducted on an annual basis in Wood County.

Not only is Jackson Park a great venue as it allows each classification to have its own field, complete with dugouts and a pressbox, but it also excels in concessions and hospitality.

The concessions not only are of quality, but Vienna charges state tournament attendees the same prices it does to natives on Little League nights.

No price-gouging the tourists. Rather, they are treated like family.

Then there’s the hospitality room, where food is available to coaches, umpires, tournament officials, and yes, even lowly media members throughout the tournament. It’s the best spread of any state championship.

After attending the state basketball tournament for four days and knowing you will get little more than potato chips, it’s a pleasure to see a local group go all-out to make its guests feel welcome.

While teams from the city of Parkersburg have won more than 200 state high school championships, qualifying our city as the runnerup for ESPN’s TitleTown USA, many have done so despite playing in less than adequate facilities.

And that’s why there are no other state championship events taking place here. We have one football stadium with a condemned grandstands and another with a natural grass field. Our baseball fields can’t hold a candle to Appalachian Power Park, which appears to be the permanent venue of the state baseball tournament, and rightfully so.

The only other tournament for which we could put in a successful bid is tennis, thanks to the complex at the Erickson All-Sports Facility, which is far superior to the venue being used in Charleston. The drawback here is lack of indoor courts.

So, it appears until we build a venue large enough to conduct the state wrestling tournament -the one event that no can argue belongs in the state’s wrestling capital -the only state titles decided here will be in softball.

Speaking of softball, it appears we may be battling the elements over the next two days with thunderstorms in the forecast. No grounds crew works harder than Norm Harris and his Vienna employees to keep the fields playable.

We’ve had several days when the only games taking place in the entire Mid-Ohio Valley have been at Jackson Park because of their efforts.

It’s our turn to shine in the state spotlight.

Let the games begin.

Contact Dave Poe at