McDermott Sisters Find Success

WHEELING – Greg McDermott is a proud papa these days.

McDermott spent most of Wednesday inside the Wheeling Park Tennis Bubble watching his daughter, Jackie, play for the OVAC No. 1 Singles crown.

But his mind, along with Jackie’s mom, Laurie’s, was also on Springfield, Ohio, where their other daughter, Morgan, is a freshman tennis player for Wittenberg University.

Morgan McDermott won four out of five matches to start April before dropping a 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 decision to Wooster’s Rose Chiumento last weekend.

She also plays doubles.

The Tigers are 5-10 overall heading into this weekend’s North Coast Athletic Conference Championships at Oberlin College.

Cardinals Coming Together

It’s been a busy 2013 for Wheeling Jesuit University wrestling coach Sean Doyle.

Not only has Doyle been hard at work helping with all the logistics for the school’s new wrestling program, but he’s been on the road a lot working on the program’s top commodity – wrestlers.

Doyle attended state championship meets in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania looking for talent, as well as schools in the tri-state area.

Doyle said the program’s first recruiting class is coming together and more details on the group should be released soon.

Martins Ferry’s Damon Outward, who finished fifth at the recent state meet, signed his National Letter of Intent last week.

With that, Doyle looks to be off to a good start.

Walter Wows

Former Wheeling Park pitcher Corey Walter has been a key contributor on the mound for the West Virginia University baseball team this spring. The junior right-hander came up big for the Mountaineers (23-18) in the finale of last weekend’s Big 12 series against Texas in Austin.

Walter picked up a victory in relief, allowing one unearned run and two hits in 4.2 innings of work against the Longhorns.

For the season, Walter is 3-4 in nine appearances. He has one complete game and a 4.41 earned run average.

West Virginia welcomes Kansas for a three-game series this weekend. The games will be played in Beckley.

Big Ten Mea Culpa

The Big Ten had a change of heart last week. And, so far, it’s been met with mixed reviews.

When the conference decided to go to divisions and conduct a championship game in 2011, it evoked a variety of suggested names for the two six-team units.

Leaders and Legends won out. And they weren’t the most popular choices.

Now, with Maryland and Rutgers set to join the conference next summer, Commissioner Jim Delaney and his cohorts got together again to reset the alignment.

Instead of trying come up something fancy, they went with the simple East and West.

The East will be comprised of Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers. Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin comprise the West.

Legends and Leaders was, according to conference officials, based on competitive balance, not geography. The new alignment seems to be the other way around. Most of the power is in the East, with traditional names Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State.

Outside of Wisconsin, the only other team in the West to win a Big Ten title since 2002, is Iowa.

Speaking of Names …

College Football Playoff.

Sounds kind of bland doesn’t it? Well, that’s the moniker conference commissioners came up with for the first postseason tournament, which will take place following the 2014 season.

That’s like calling the Super Bowl ”Big Game on First Sunday in February With Lots of Big Commercials.”

With all the resources available, one would’ve hoped they could’ve come up with something a little more catchy. But what can you expect from a group that dragged its feet this long in even getting a playoff off the ground.

Let’s hope the games are better than the name.

WVIAC Swan Song

The final chapters in the history of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference will be written in the next few weeks.

The conference baseball and softball tournaments, along with men’s and women’s track championships, will be decided the first weekend in May. Wheeling Jesuit will play host to the track, with Jackson Park in Vienna again welcoming softball.

Beckley will play host to the baseball finale.

Rick Thorp can be reached via email at