D.J. Johnson, who played on Riverside’s last state tournament team in 2002, has been hired as the Warriors’ boys basketball coach.
Johnson, 30, has served as an assistant coach at Capital the past two seasons. Prior to that, he spent six seasons as an assistant coach at George Washington, including the Patriots’ 2011 Class AAA championship season.
He played three years at Riverside before transferring to GW as a senior, where he averaged 13 points and eight rebounds. He also played at West Virginia State and was part of two West Virginia Conference titles with the Yellow Jackets.
“One of the biggest goals I have is to provide stability to the program,’’ Johnson said of Riverside. “There really hasn’t been much of that in a long time. Providing stability makes it more of a program than just a basketball team. I feel that in order for us to compete, we’ve got to have stability.’’
Since January of 2008, there have now been 12 head coaching changes at Riverside. Johnson takes over for Ryan Carter, who had two stints as Warriors coach. Riverside went 11 seasons without a winning record before going 11-10 in 2013-14.
Johnson thinks Riverside can compete with the teams in the Kanawha Valley and the Mountain State Athletic Conference.
“Absolutely,’’ he said. “I do feel that there is talent there. In order to beat those teams, you definitely have to have a team concept because you’re just not going to out-athlete those teams because they have a ton of really good players. But we think we have enough talent — if we play together — to compete with and beat those teams.
“A lot of it, too, is the kids who haven’t really been interested in playing, haven’t played for one reason or another. We’ve got to get those kids out playing. If we can do that, you can see that the talent is there.’’
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MARSHALL BASEBALL: Marshall baseball senior Sam Finfer has been named to the 2017 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division I Mideast All-Region First Team, as announced by the American Baseball Coaches Association Wednesday.
Finfer was named to the All-Conference USA first team and was selected as a semifinalist for the Gregg Olson Award for Breakout Player of the Year this past season. The Washington native held a .338 batting average and led the Herd with a .410 on-base and .692 slugging percentage. Finfer led C-USA at the end of the regular season with 18 home runs, good for the fifth-most in a single season in Marshall history. He finished with a team-high 68 hits, 17 doubles, 51 RBI and 139 total bases. He had 19 multi-hit games and was second on the team with 11 multi-RBI games.
Finfer joins former teammates Aaron Bossi, Tyler Ratliff, current assistant coach Victor Gomez and Nate Lape as the fifth Herd player to be named to the ABCA All-Mideast Region Team.
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WVU HOOPS CLINIC: Former WVU men’s basketball players Nathan Adrian and James Long will hold a youth basketball clinic at Parkersburg High School Thursday, June 29 at 6 p.m.
The cost of the of the clinic is $25 per player and is intended for boys and girls entering grades 1-9. To register, visit www.pshsbasketball.com/registration or call coach Mike Fallon at 304-916-2311.
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TENNIS LESSONS: The Charleston YMCA will be sponsoring free tennis lessons on weekdays through August 4.
The lessons will take place on City Courts at Edgewood Drive and is intended for players ages 9-16. Lunch will be provided to participants.
For more information, call 304-340-3533 or contact Mindy White at email@example.com.
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SOCCER CLINIC: The Teays Valley Church of God will be offering three free one-hour soccer skills clinics Saturday, July 8 at the K-Mart in Scott Depot.
The clinic is for players in grades K-5. The K-1st grade clinic will start at 9 a.m., with the 2nd-3rd grade clinic following at 10. The 4th-5th grade clinic will start at 11.
Participants should bring a soccer ball, but snacks and bottled water will be provided. To register, call 304-757-9222.