WHEELING - As everyone knows, we're already well involved in the fall prep season with volleyball and golf under way around the valley and soccer not far behind. With that in mind, let's take a look at what some of our student-athletes have been up to as summer winds down.
Let's start in Hershey, Pa., where a couple of girls' basketball standouts took part and excelled for the NSBC Rampage at the 12th annual Hershey National Showcase, which utilizes 22 courts, welcomes teams from 15 different states and provides bragging rights in seven different age brackets. Rising Brooke junior Angela Staffileno and rising John Marshall sophomore Torie Derrow both drew rave reviews from Blue Star Media.
Of Staffileno, already a two-time All-Valley performer, Blue Star said: ''you see a deceptively agile and physically strong individual capable on the block but also competent away from the rim. ... For good measure she spotted up from 3-point range and connected a couple times to the dismay of defenders. On the catch, she can create down low and from the 12-15-foot range, or call on some sound ballhandling.''
Meanwhile, the site has praise for Derrow, who got her feet wet in the high school game last season, noting she ''is just starting to find her comfort level on the floor. ... Active and covering a lot of floor, it seems that she's involved in play after play. ... Derrow's active play also provided more than her share of offensive boards and kept her slight build from taking too much of a beating in traffic.''
It seems as though people around the country are beginning to find out what we've known for a while. It's easy to see we have a couple of stars on our hands.
A couple of area standouts are currently competing in the USA Baseball National Team Identification Series (NTIS) in Cary, N.C. The event runs through the weekend.
Linsly's' Logan Goodnight and Madonna's Luca Fuscardo went through a series of tryouts within their region to get to this point. Should they continue through this round, the duo will be asked to come back for the 17U National Team Development Program, which is the 40-man roster for the 18U National team.
The showcase in Cary brought some of the best players the country has to offer - roughly 750 participants - for the purpose of picking the national team. There's said to be no other experience like it in the U.S.
St. C.'s Otto Selected
From the baseball field to the softball one, the Ohio Valley is loaded with prospective superstars. One of those is St. Clairsville's Mackenzi Otto, who has been selected to compete in the Queen of Diamonds Showcase South at Winthrop University.
Otto batted .293 for the Red Devils as a first baseman, including five doubles and a home run, as she helped lead the team to the district championship this spring.
In its seventh season, the Queen of Diamonds is the largest fast-pitch showcase in the nation and attracts athletes from more than 30 states, and even some from Canada.
Candidates - more than 1,500 - are nominated to take part, but only 264 of those are selected to participate in the two-day showcase, which attracts a large numver of college coaches from throughout the eastern portion of the United States.
Concussions in Ohio
The hot-button topic as we get set for football season - it opens a week from tonight - is concussions. There was some confusion about how these particular situations would be handled when Ohio teams travel to play schools in West Virginia, since the rules are a little bit different.
Ohio High School Athletic Association assistant commissioner Beau Rugg recently cleared those up for OVAC football commissioner Dave Clutter. The same rules that would apply if the teams were playing in Ohio, will now be enforced on the W.Va. side of the river.
What does that mean?
Well, any Ohio player that is removed from a game with concussion symptoms cannot return to the contest no matter where the game is played. This is in accordance with a state law that affects players that play for Ohio-based schools.
Shawn Rine can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org