Football

February 22, 1963: Athlete Ira "Rat" Rodgers Dies at 67

Feb 22, 2019
Athlete Ira Rodgers
e-WV Encyclopedia

Ira Rodgers died on February 22, 1963, at age 67. "Rat," a nickname adapted from his middle name of Erret, was one of West Virginia University's greatest football players. The Bethany native was named to Walter Camp’s All-American team three times: in 1916, ‘17, and ‘19—the first of WVU's All-Americans. In 1919, Rodgers led the nation in scoring with 147 points—49 of them coming in one game. Sportswriter Grantland Rice wrote that “there was no greater all-around football player in the land.”

Coach Kellie: A Tiny West Virginia High School is Making Football History

Nov 12, 2018
Hannan High School head football coach Kellie Thomas speaks with players following their loss to Parkersburg Catholic.
Zack Harold / 100 Days in Appalachia

It took a few weeks for Hannan High School principal Karen Oldham to realize her school might have made history. She was so busy with the day-to-day grind of running the small, rural Mason County school that it didn’t cross her mind, until an elderly alumnus brought it to her attention.

Us & Them: Shack!

Aug 29, 2018

If it seems football has, perhaps unwillingly, become a platform for civil rights issues, well, keep it mind that didn’t start with Colin Kapernick but with James “Shack” Harris, the first African American to be named in a starting quarterback in the NFL.

August 20, 1946: Football Coach Fielding Yost Dies at 75

Aug 20, 2018
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Football coach Fielding Yost died in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on August 20, 1946, at age 75. In 1895 and ’96, the Marion County native played tackle for one of West Virginia University’s earliest football teams while earning a law degree.

WVU Football Entrance
Magnus Manske / wikimedia commons

West Virginia University has postponed its Fan Day following an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease among several members of the school's football program.

The school said Saturday that five cases of the highly contagious viral infection were identified within the program.

Monte Cater (left) is retiring as head football coach in spring 2018. Ernie McCook (right) has been named to replace him.
Shepherd University

Monte Cater is retiring as Shepherd University’s head football coach after 31 seasons. Shepherd became an NCAA Division II school in the mid-90s, not long after Cater began his career at the school in 1987.

At a time when the President of the United States questions the patriotism of African American football players protesting social injustice, we present the civil rights struggle of another African American who, nearly 50 years ago, broke a color barrier in the NFL — James "Shack" Harris, the first black player in NFL history to earn a job as starting quarterback.

Trump Perry, Trump Perry Sign
Twitter

A West Virginia school superintendent has issued an apology after some said they were offended by a banner at a football game that read "Trump Perry."

Ron Pennington playing quarterback for the Charleston Rockets.
Courtesy of Ron Pennington

Long before Doug Williams and those who followed blazed their paths as black quarterbacks in the National Football League, another African America play-caller graced Lailey Field in Charleston, West Virginia.

Ron Pennington played for the Charleston Rockets during the 1960s. He spoke with Us & Them podcast producer Trey Kay about his time in the Mountain State.

At 5-foot-nine and 155 lbs, Pennington used his strong arm and scrambling ability to carve out success on the field.

Us & Them: Shack!

Feb 5, 2016

The 2016 Super Bowl was the 7th time in the history of the game that an African American had started at the quarterback position. This podcast tells the story of the civil rights struggle of African Americans advancing at the quarterback position in the NFL.  James “Shack” Harris was the first black player in history of NFL to earn a job as starting quarterback.

Shepherd University

Saturday afternoon marks a historic day for Shepherd University and its football team. The Shepherd Rams will face off against Northwest Missouri State in the NCAA Division II National Championship.

Shepherd University

Backup quarterback Connor Jessop threw two touchdown passes and Shepherd survived a last-minute two-point conversion attempt to hold off Grand Valley State 34-32 in a Division II semifinal on Saturday.

Shepherd advances to Kansas City Dec. 19 for the NCAA Division II national championship to face the winner of the West Georgia-Northwest Missouri State semifinal.

August 20, 1946: Football Coach Fielding Yost Dies at 75

Aug 20, 2015
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Football coach Fielding Yost died in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on August 20, 1946, at age 75. In 1895 and ’96, the Marion County native played tackle for one of West Virginia University’s earliest football teams while earning a law degree.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Both Marshall and Concord Universities head into the weekend with big games before them. Marshall will take on Louisiana Tech in the Conference USA Championship in Huntington and Concord will meet Bloomsberg for the Super Region One Championship in Athens.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller gave his farewell speech on the U.S. Senate floor Thursday, thanking his family, staff and fellow West Virginians for allowing him to serve.

This episode also include the Mountain Stage Song of the Week "Whatch'a Gonna Do" by Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn.

Wes McKinney

The Concord University Football program ended the regular season undefeated, giving them a home field advantage for their first playoff game.

The Mountain Lions earned that spot after winning the Mountain East Conference title, when they ousted Shepherd University. This is Concord’s second playoff berth in four years. Concord will play the winner of the game between West Chester University and Slippery Rock University. Both of those teams will travel to West Virginia from Pennsylvania.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, U.S. Senate candidates Shelley Moore Capito and Natalie Tennant speak to the state's Chamber of Commerce, Clark Davis has a preview of WVU and Marshall’s football openers tomorrow and in Pennsylvania Glynis Board reports from the famous Frank Lloyd Wright home in Falling water.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Human trafficking is happening in West Virginia and law enforcement learns what to look for to stop it. Athletic officials at WVU are hoping that the 2014 football season will be a lot better than last year’s when the team finished 4-8.  And we’ll meet Chelsea McBee, a 29 year old banjo player from Shepherdstown.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has revoked the trademark of the NFL's Washington Redskins, after ruling in a case brought by five Native Americans who say the name disparages them. While the decision could have wide repercussions, it does not require the team to change its name. It is also subject to appeal, which the team has confirmed it will pursue.

The Gridiron Is Coming to The Greenbrier

Mar 13, 2014
Greenbier
Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikimedia Commons

The New Orleans Saints announced Thursday they will be using the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs for part of its 2014 training camp.

General Manager of the Saints Mickey Loomis says the team wants to take advantage of a more moderate climate and setting in West Virginia. It will still spend some time training in New Orleans.

The Saints won a Super Bowl a few years ago under head coach Sean Payton.

The locations, times and dates haven't yet been released of when the Saints will be in town.

@chrismmmccomas / Twitter

  Marshall University graduate and systems integration analyst Chris McComas wants to become the next head coach of the North Dakota Fighting Sioux football team. The way he went about applying for the job is genius.

He began his pursuit for the position by emailing Brian Faison, the athletic director of the university. In that email McComas attached a hilarious Powerpoint presentation detailing his coaching philosophy that wasn't short of brazen confidence.

Sports websites like Deadspin began picking up the story.

McDowell County ranks the lowest in the country for life expectancy for men and women, Concord University students remember loved ones taken by cancer, plumbing and pipe fitting trades grow because of the natural gas boom, and Martinsburg High School makes history by bringing home their fourth state football title in as many years.

Herd Ready to Play for First C-USA Title

Dec 4, 2013
conferenceusa.com

For the first time since joining Conference USA in 2005 Marshall Football will compete for a conference championship.

State legislators concerned with head injuries

Oct 24, 2013
football helmet
wikimedia / mdscottis

There’s been a lot of attention on how head injuries are affecting football players, and athletes, on all levels—including when they are very young. Stakeholders concerned about this issue hope new protocols will sufficiently prevent serious injuries.

football helmet
wikimedia / mdscottis

Updated October 9, 2013 1:39 p.m.

   The West Virginia Board of Education has postponed consideration of the concussion rule until its meeting next month. 

The West Virginia Board of Education is set to vote on a proposal that would require high schools to inform parents, coaches and student-athletes of the risk of sports-related head injuries.

Newcastle H.S. athletic trainer Damon Glass administers the King Devick test
Courtesy the producers of The Smartest Team

For some high school youth, playing for a winning football team can be the ultimate dream. But what are the risks in a sport that now goes beyond the high school field? Players not only compete with other teams, but their performance on the gridiron can lead to scholarships at universities that could ultimately determine their future. Greater competition, some say, is leading to more injuries, which could also determine a teenager's future.