By Allen Hamrick
The smell of fall is in the air if you can smell deep enough and have a good enough imagination. The night bugs are announcing that this heat will soon melt into those jacket wearing days. The smell of fall always gets the fans anxious for the school sports to begin. Football is just around the corner and volleyball and cross country has also been getting ready for the season to begin. Many have hit the weights, the nets and tracks in the off season and trained individually to make sure they were ready for what is to be expected of them. The CCHS Panther football team took to the field for the first time this year in Logan to see who could catch better, throw the farthest, hit the hardest and do nothing but mean up. According to the post scrimmage information, the Panthers did an okay job but have to exterminate a lot of bugs in their play making before the season gets underway. This year the team is young with just seven seniors. Filling in the gaps will be second year players along with some of the big names from last year’s CCMS team.
The Panthers also have a lot of speed on the team and can stack some beef on the line to close or open gaps for some scoring opportunities. They will have to figure out how best to use that speed to their advantage, which I am sure they will work on before the start of the season. They will be playing their second scrimmage on Friday night at 7PM against Chapmanville; hopefully, they can get the bugs worked out before then. The regular season starts on August 27th when they butt heads with Midland Trail. This game should be a pretty good matchup; both teams look nearly equal in size but it will come down to who has the most grit. The boys seem to have a great attitude coming into the year.
New head coach Angela Nichols of the Lady Panther volleyball team has her hands full. She will be coaching a young group that, if they hang together, will be a force to reckon with as the years roll on. The new and improved CCHS gym is still unfinished with no end in sight as ribbon cutting day is in the wind. When finished, it will be a gym that will be one of the finest, so let’s hope that before the season is over it will get played on. From what I have seen so far and after talking with some of the team, they are primed and ready to give Lady Panther fans one of the best seasons yet. There were a few players who graduated last year that have went on to bigger things, which left voids in the lines, but there are some newcomers that have the ability to once again make the CCHS Lady Panther volleyball team a great one.
Cross Country is also up and running. They are a smaller team this season with not as many girls running. Their season begins at the Autumn Classic at St Mary’s on August 24th. The CCPIF football league has already played their grid, and their first game of the season was in New Martinsville. As you would figure, the A, B, and C teams went undefeated, sweeping the event leaving nothing but tears on shoulder pads. The C team went first and defeated New Martinsville by the score of 25-19. B team was next and destroyed New Martinsville by the score of 26-12. The A team had a little tougher game and ended up the winners by the score of 13-7. Their next game will be away at Calhoun County on August 22nd, and then they will be home on the 28th against Webster and on the road again on September 12th at Gilmer.
Please keep in mind that all these games depend on the situation with Covid and the new variant. It’s unsure as to how the school systems throughout the state will respond, but for now get out and support the teams while you can.
CCHS Football Schedule for August
August 27-Home against Midland Trail-7:30PM
CCPIF Football schedule for August
August 22-Away at Calhoun-1PM
August 28-Home vs Webster-12PM
CCHS Volleyball schedule for August
August 27- Away at Charleston Catholic/ South Charleston High School-6PM
Following the river
By Allen Hamrick
When Covid-19 started, it drove many people beyond their normal routine and turned them into forest wanderers, bike riders, yakers and adventurers, so to speak. It was the only opportunity for people to get out and be safe in a world that seemed to crumble around them. All adventures have their risks and their rewards. Getting back to nature after a lifetime of asphalt highways and easy living has its hazards. People who have lived in and around the mountains are used to leaving and getting back most of the time. What if, however, you end up in a different area, one that you’re not used to, and a different mountain range or trail and you have suddenly found yourself lost? Minutes pass into hours, the night sets in and there you are stuck with nothing but your wits and what you brought in your bag. You whip out the cell phone to call somebody and realize there is no signal, so you do what’s right and start walking until you find signal, right? If you were lost before, you’re really lost now. Suddenly, it becomes apparent that this normal outing has become a little intense, and you realize you should have watched a few more of those survival reality shows on TV. That backpack you are carrying has some energy bars and a couple of bottles of water but nothing else – no satellite telephone, no compass or map. What good would a map do if you didn’t know where you were anyway? Your whole survival blanket was your cell phone that’s quickly running out of battery. There are many people who have died in this situation due to dehydration, hypothermia, wild animals and starvation.
It doesn’t have to end this way; there is no need to panic. In fact, panic is one of the greatest causes of death because it impacts every other emotion including common sense. If you learn to read the signs of the mountains, you can easily get yourself home or to help. First, you should never venture so far in the woods without having some knowledge of survival or a pack with the essentials to get you through even the worst situations along with letting someone know of your plans and expected return time.
What drew you into the woods in the first place? The mountains and its forests are a mysterious place where beauty and danger dwell in the same location, and for that reason has enticed people since the beginning of time to its ambiance. It is in our blood to wander, to be nomads. Our souls search for adventure, we yearn for nature and nature summons us. What most people do not understand is that the very thing that drew you to that place you’re in is the very same thing that can get you out, your saving grace. First, get your bearings. You need to know your situation so you have to climb to a high point and try to spot either where you came from or perhaps other people that may be in the area. The biggest and most prevalent way of finding your way back to civilization is reading the water signs. Following creeks or rivers is one of your best paths to finding help. People have lived and made cities around water, without it civilization couldn’t exist, we have to have water.
You must find it, of course, and one of the ways is that when you get to the high point, listen for the sounds of water and look for the greenest vegetation. Chances are you will find water. Once you find the water, follow it, and you will eventually find people. Another way to get your bearings is that you have to know where north is; all other directions are based on true north. If you do not have a compass, stick a stick in the ground and mark the shadow the sun casts. Wait ten minutes and mark where the shadow goes to. Position your body so that your left shoulder is on that point and you will be facing north. Another way to find north if you’re out at night if the moon is in its crescent shape, draw a line from tip to tip and bring it down to the horizon, and you will be facing north. There are other ways, but the best is to have a compass in your pack. Above all, stay calm. Initial panic may set in, but keep your wits about you and make a plan. Nature is one of the wildest and most unpredictable forces on earth that can consume the average traveler, but the individual who has an understanding of nature can use it to their advantage. The greatest thing you as a wilderness wanderer can do is be prepared before you ever venture so far into the woods. Adventure is a wonderful thing but can kick you in the buttola if you don’t prepare your pack, and most of all, your mind. Stay safe and don’t forget the fly rod, compass, map, first aid kit, rope, fire starter, knife, hatchet, water straw, duct tape, multi tool, food, frying pan, poncho, emergency blanket…
headline for the front page lead in pic- Panther football ready for action
cutline for the front page lead in pic- CCHS Panthers 2021. Allen Hamrick photo.
pic1- A stream is a sure way to find civilization. Allen Hamrick photo
Pic2- A wash out is a good water sign. Allen Hamrick photo
Pic3- Nature can be harsh so watch your six. Allen Hamrick photo
pic4- A compass and a map are great tools if you know where you are and want to go. Allen Hamrick photo