Frank Giardina

Frank Giardina

In late June, the Kanawha Valley lost one of its more amazing sports figures with the passing of Carl Nutter at the age of 86.

Nutter was a multi-sport athlete at Dunbar High School who went on to play baseball at Marshall, but that was just the beginning.

He was a football and basketball official for 40 years and was one of the more respected officials in the state.

Nutter also played fast-pitch softball back in the days when the old Heck’s Discount team dominated our state and was one of the best teams in the country. Former East Bank player and Cleveland Indians farmhand Roy Kuhl was on the team along with former Pioneer Freddie Doss and former Gazette sports writer S.J. Easterling.

Amazingly, Nutter played competitive softball into his 80s. As a senior Olympian in slow-pitch softball, he established himself as a world-class player and was known and respected across the nation. He played third base in tournaments all over the country for a team based in Maryland.

Nutter leaves behind a lasting athletic legacy. His son David played on the 1972 Nitro baseball team that played in the state tournament. His daughter Lynda ran track at Marshall. His son-in-law Steve Biron was a swimmer at Marshall.

Kanawha Valley sports fans will miss Carl Nutter. He never stopped playing and competing. I am not sure many athletes in our area enjoyed competition more.

n I feel a great sense of loss with the tearing down of the old WVU Fieldhouse, Stansbury Hall.

It’s the building where Jerry West and the 1959 NCAA runner-up Mountaineers played. It is also a building where folks from towns all over our state used to go to the state tournament. Rod Hundley, “Fritz” Williams, Willie Akers and other stars also played there.

It’s a basketball shrine and a piece of our history. We’re often quick to tear down our sports history in our state. It always gave me a sense of importance to drive by the building and point out to a visitor, ”That’s where Jerry West played.” I know it is an old, outdated building, but I will miss it.

n Cincinnati Reds fans in this area are cautiously optimistic that the Reds will make a run at the National League playoffs in the second half of the baseball season.

On an individual level, it is understandable that Reds fans are excited about the future of outfielder Nick Senzel. I am guessing that 2019 may be the last time that Senzel will be left off the National League All-Star team.

n One of the more effective players at the 2019 boys prep basketball state tournament was University point guard Kaden Metheny, who led the Hawks to the Class AAA championship with a 51-45 win over previously unbeaten Martinsburg in the finals.

This summer, despite being listed at 5-foot-10, Metheny’s recruiting stock has been on the rise. He has drawn Division I interest from such schools as Drexel, George Mason, Penn, William & Mary, Youngstown State and the service academies.