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A shot of the pitch at Sahlen’s Stadium in Cary, North Carolina, where Marshall is vying for an NCAA soccer championship.

Most college sports fans in our area don’t pay much attention to soccer.

However, in recent years, the Marshall men, WVU women and the University of Charleston men have helped create excitement. With that in mind, here is some random soccer knowledge that rattles around in my brain.

Did you know that men’s soccer may be Conference USA’s best sport? Marshall’s NCAA Tournament run is not the first time that a C-USA team has advanced deep into the tournament.

In 2011, Charlotte played in the national championship match. Old Dominion has also made deep runs in the past in the NCAA tournament.

Older Marshall basketball fans may remember Western Carolina basketball coach Steve Cottrell. Did you know that he was the first soccer coach in ODU history?

Also, there really is no such thing as a “mid-major” in men’s soccer. Non-traditional powers have historically won national championships. With mostly international players, the playing field is pretty even in recruiting. Teams such as Akron, Alabama A&M, FIU, Howard and West Chester have won national championships.

Do you know which school has won the most national men’s soccer titles? St. Louis. The Billikens have won 10 NCAA titles.

I’m guessing that many fans in our state do not realize that the Big 12 and the SEC don’t play men’s soccer. That is why WVU is in the MAC and Kentucky and South Carolina are in C-USA. It would be good for soccer in our state if Marshall and WVU were in the same conference.

n At my age, 66, you begin to experience the deaths of many of your childhood friends and their parents. Some hit you harder than others.

The DuPont community experienced a significant loss on Thursday night with the passing of Nancy Williams.

She was the mother of an incredible group of children. Her sons were DuPont athletes — Danny, Mike and Doug Williams — and her two daughters are Becky (Tucker) and Cindy (Skiles). They are an incredibly accomplished group.

Consider this list of achievements. Dan was the first two-time winner of the Kennedy Award as a quarterback at DuPont in 1972 and 1973. He would go on to play for Bobby Bowden at WVU, where he became a Rhodes Scholar. He is now a doctor in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Mike was an All-State quarterback at DuPont in 1976 and also earned a scholarship to WVU. He would go on to be a longtime CEO with CAMC. Doug was a multi-sport athlete and became a successful coal operator in Beckley. Becky had a distinguished teaching career and became a college professor at WVU-Parkersburg. Cindy was the founder of Teays Valley Physical Therapy in Putnam County.

Nancy Williams also had grandchildren who went to the Naval Academy, the Coast Guard Academy, VMI and another who played football at Glenville State.

Nancy raised her family in a small home at the head of Younger Hollow up Campbell’s Creek. When Bowden recruited Danny, he often said he had to “go up a hollow that was up a hollow.” Bowden always laughed as he remembered making the home visit.

As far as I know, Nancy Williams was not a decorated athlete. Her children, however, were accomplished as students and as athletes. When you consider on-field accomplishments, academic achievement and health care, I can’t think of many families that have had a bigger impact on our region.

Contact Frank Giardina at