Laughter is good medicine

The times continue to be trying indeed, especially in the world of basically no sports.

Any morsel of potential good news and a break in the pandemic cycle is welcome.

That’s why it was great to hear the PGA Tour is planning to resume action starting on June 11 with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

Not everyone enjoys the game of golf, but at least for those who do they can get out and play a round.

I happened to run into former Wirt County boys basketball coach Roy Alltop the other day at the store.

We exchanged some quick pleasantries and went our separate ways, but it’s always good to have that human interaction.

I talked with Mike Sheppard of Dawghouse Promotions earlier this week and to be honest his situation is a little different than most.

He pretty much stays constantly busy with teaching at Wirt County, working at his gym and putting on fights.

“It wasn’t bad for me because I needed it,” he admitted. “I’ve run myself really thin.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic basically shut everything down, Sheppard was gearing up for the Southside Rumble 5.

“I just sent everybody the same message saying that we’re going to have it,” he added.

“Postpone the event indefinitely. Whenever they let us do it we’ll do it. It cost me some money.”

Despite being spread thin, Sheppard’s attitude has changed recently.

“It’s starting to get old now. Two or three weeks I was liking it,” he said. “A lot of people can’t work. How are they going to pay their bills?

“A lot of people are paycheck to paycheck anyway. When you don’t have that paycheck now what are you, maybe hungry?”

Sheppard is hoping for the best and added “I miss the kids and the people I work with.”

When I first started out at the paper the legendary Joe Handlan Jr. was coaching the Parkersburg High School wrestling program.

Thanks to 52 individual state mat champs, Handlan still holds the Mountain State record in that category by one over former Oak Glen boss Larry Shaw.

Wrestlers, of course, are a different breed in general and as I’ve learned through the years so are their coaches.

Dedication is needed to excel in any sport, but in my mind the wrestler usually is the person one doesn’t want to mess with.

With that being said, it’s always fun messing around with coach Handlan because he can tell some funny stories.

I decided to check in on him Tuesday to see how he was handling the new normal.

“I walk the dogs a lot and I get out,” admitted the 2019 PHS Hall of Fame inductee, who said a bad rotator cuff has sidelined him from riding his motorcycle. “My dogs keep me busy. I do enough.

“I don’t stay in the house all the time. If I had to do that I think it would be tough. I used to think those guys on house arrest, crap, they got it made compared to where they could be, but it’s not the easiest thing.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com


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