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BENNETT: Staying busy during summer

I have to admit getting back to the office actually felt pretty good this week.

However, a couple weeks of vacation definitely were needed for a recharge.

From all accounts, Saturday’s Summer Smackdown 3 was quite the success according to Dawghouse Promotions’ Mike Sheppard, who said it was his best event yet — despite all the stress.

It’s looking like the next show will be held the middle of October.

I wanted to give a shout out to a pair of local student-athletes.

Parkersburg High’s Molly McLean (girls golf) and Parkersburg South graduate/West Virginia University signee Grant Hussey (baseball) were recently honored as the Mountain State winners for their respective sports by USA Today in the national high school sports awards presented by the United States Polo Association.

It’s hard to believe we’re only a little more than a month away from the start of football season.

Of course, that means it’s nearly time to start gathering up rosters and working on previews and feature stories.

Parkersburg and Parkersburg South participated in some Mountain State Athletic Conference three-week summer period action last week.

Needless to say, things went fairly well for both the Big Reds and Patriots.

“The 7-on-7 we lost in the semifinals to Hurricane and our linemen finished second,” noted Patriot boss Nathan Tanner, who watched the Big Reds’ linemen take first in the competition.

“The MSAC put this together and made it kind of regional. Four different sites and eight schools in each. They took the top two at each site and on Saturday we went to Riverside.”

Big Red head coach Mike Byus didn’t put too much stock into the victory, though.

“We’ve got a lot of big kids who have worked hard to get strong,” Byus admitted. “It’s not football. It’s tire flipping and bench pressing and pushing the sled and tug-of-war.

“It’s fun and we won, yes. That’s nothing that’s going to indicate anything, but we are good up front.”

The two rivals will meet in week four on Sept. 17 when the Patriots invade Stadium Field.

“We’re just going to practice and get ready for August at this point,” Byus added.

Coach Tanner’s squad was in New Lexington on Wednesday and will be there again next week for 7-on-7s.

Today, PSHS is heading to Poca as the head coach noted “it’s kind of like a 7-on-7 and some different team competition stuff.”

On Friday, some of the Patriots will head to St. Marys for a 7-on-7 while the linemen are going to Shadyside.

“Week three, we’re going to do a youth camp on Monday and Tuesday we’re going to practice with North Marion (at Erickson),” Tanner added.

Next Thursday, the team will be at Fairmont State for 7-on-7 and linemen competition.

“I was talking to our coaches the other day,” Tanner said. “Where we are at this summer, so far, I’m pretty pleased with how our kids have progressed and how things are coming along.

“I can tell our kids are getting bored of not doing the real thing and cutting it loose.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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