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State volleyball tournament begins today in Clarksburg

by Jim Fisher

STAFF WRITER

CLARKSBURG -- Some of the best high school volleyball players in the state, as well as their friends, family and fans, will descend on Clarksburg today for the two-day state tournament being held at Robert C. Byrd High School.

Event organizers, state athletic officials and city leaders alike say the tourney will be good for Clarksburg -- and the area as a whole -- not only from increased revenues, but from exposure.

"We wanted to bring this to North Central West Virginia because we figured if we do well, maybe in a couple of years we can have a shot at the Super 6 (state football championships)," said RCB assistant principal Doug Hogue.

Clarksburg was a prime choice for the tournament because of its central location, said Betsy Best, assistant executive with the Secondary Schools Athletic Commission. RCB becomes just the fourth school to host the event. Past host schools were perennial volleyball powerhouse Parkersburg South, Cabell-Midland and East Fairmont. RCB will host the tournament next year, as well.

"It's great that Clarksburg has been given the opportunity to show that we can put on an event of this magnitude," said Mayor Terry Greaver. "It will bring a lot of new faces to town so they can see what Clarksburg is all about, and it will let the people of Clarksburg get out and see the best volleyball players in the state at the high school level."

Hogue said organizing the event was more difficult than he thought it would be, but it's rewarding now that the day is here. Coordinating sponsors, lining up hotel and motel rooms and alerting area restaurants to an expected increase in customers were just some of the tasks that went into the event.

"There were just so many things to do," he said. "We were also trying for minimal disruption to the school day here at RCB. It's been a big task and there was a big effort by everyone involved.

"I believe it's worth it because it's for the kids," he said. "That's one of the things we have to go on in this day and age is taking care of our kids and making sure they're raised right and educated. This is a good venue for them to display their athletic abilities."

The tournament kicks off today with matches scheduled for noon, 2 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Hogue said there will be two courts, so the AAA and AA-A matches will be played simultaneously.

Semi-final and final matches will be played Saturday. Semi-finals are slated to begin at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The AAA championship game is slated to begin at 2 p.m., with the AA-A match to start about 20 minutes after that match concludes.

Staff writer Jim Fisher can be reached at 626-1446 or by e-mail at jfisher@exponent-telegram.com

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