ALBRIGHT: Forget about Ravenswood’s Annie Hunt? Oops.
This certainly wasn’t the plan.
Annie Hunt earned better. Of this, there is no doubt.
The Ravenswood point guard completed a freshman season full of promise and potential in 2017. Toe stepping wasn’t on her agenda. But, her genetic gifts and hoops’ IQ still emerged inside the cage.
Year two brought the hope of big things.
Maybe, just maybe the injury bug would spare the Red Devils for the first time in four years.
“That is other people, I am probably not going to tear my ACL,” said Hunt before her sophomore season.
Annie are you OK? Are you OK, Annie?
Did she just jinx herself?
And maybe, just maybe Hunt could continue the chase of her mother Mary Beth Varney Hunt’s records and accomplishments.
All four seasons would be needed.
Those marks still stand as tall as Ravenswood graduate 6-foot-7 Riley Heatherington.
Mom’s plaque in the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame hangs jam packed with accomplishments during her time in the Jackson County high school:
¯ She finished as a finalist for the state player of the year in 1994.
¯ She co-captained the 1994 Class AA All-State Team, was twice named a USA Today All-American, and was a three-time LKC player of the year.
¯ She was Ravenswood’s initial four-time all-state first-team selection and just the third ever in the state at the time.
¯ And she had amassed 1,401 career points as a Red Devil.
“I want her to kill them all,” said Mary Beth. “My big dream is to see her jersey up there beside mine.”
Her daughter’s scoring prowess rivaled her own. The talent appeared in big flashes. There were several 20- and 30-point games in the inaugural prep season.
Prepare the jersey ceremony now …
All good things in the world cannot be without flaws though, apparently. Starburst’s can’t be all red or pink.
The date was Oct. 21, 2018.
Cara Williams’s Red Devils were competing in fall league inside Parkersburg South’s Rod Oldham Athletic Center.
The reward for making what mother Mary Beth calls “a great defensive block?”
One awkward landing later and the day would live in infamy.
It was an insult. No one in the family had suffered a major injury. All four members were physically fit.
Given the undergone sports’ journey to finally get her on the court, this was more than needless.
Basketball wasn’t THE choice made for her by mom.
All sports were on the menu. “I even tried dancing,” said Annie.
Getting past soccer though at age 4?
I don’t know if you could call it an inspiring takeaway.
“Annie was out in the middle of the field talking to everyone as a social butterfly and I yell to her ‘Annie kick the ball’ and she goes ‘But mom there is someone in front of me,’ and I looked at Scott and said ‘This was not my kid,'” said Mary Beth.
But it was …
Basketball was finally the choice.
Annie’s achievements on the hardwood came fast.
And she expects to re-introduce herself to the state in a big way in just a few weeks.
“It is nerve-wracking and exciting because I want to get back to top speed so bad,” she said. “I think I am going to understand a lot more from a coaching standpoint because I had to sit on the bench and watch plays. I really got to look at everything that is happening on the court and I have a better IQ,” said Hunt.
One is inclined to believe her. Devouring film and having a point guard mom helps. But you can hear the fire in her voice. See the determination in her eyes.
An impact will be immediate.
There are changes to her game, too. Somewhere between playing defense in the bleachers and being a possible YouTube sensation, Mary Beth observed good happenings on the hardwood.
“Prior to the injury she had all these goals she wanted to meet but she wasn’t enjoying the game necessarily,” she said. “This summer I saw her smile even after an air ball. She has a fresh perspective.”
Annie still has those goals.
The Red Devils may be a young team, but the outlook shines bright.
“I think we are going to put it all together this year,” she said.
She may not have been all right a few months ago.
But she is just fine now.
Don’t forget, folks.
Annie is indeed OK.
And she is coming to gym near you soon.
Contact Joe Albright at firstname.lastname@example.org.