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Is WVU prepared for a shooting on campus?


Today marks the 11 year anniversary of the shooting at Virginia Tech. This can leave students and faculty thinking, “Are we prepared?” WVU Police Chief says the public needs to be “aware and trained.” BY JORDYN JOHNSON

Victims of Virginia Tech. shooting

CULTURE EDITOR Eleven years ago today, the one deadliest mass shootings took place at a college campus about four hours from West Virginia University. On April 16, 2007, Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia experienced the worst day in its history. Beginning at around 7:15 a.m., a string of events occurred that would rock not only the Virginia Tech campus, but the entire country. SeungHui Cho, a senior at Virginia Tech, went on a shooting massacre that ended in the death of 32 innocent students and faculty members. Other than the Columbine High School massacre that happened almost eight years prior, an event like this had never occured in the United States. Immediately after the incident, college campuses around the country and the world were concerned about the safety of their students. In the past decade, mass shootings have become increasingly more prevalent: with schools being a major target. This can have some wondering: “Is WVU next?” WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts was chief at the time of the Virginia Tech shooting, and for him, it hit very close to home. “I think there’s a piece of you that just feels disbelief,” Roberts said. “But, it too changed a lot of things we do. Right now we have shotguns, we have automatic weapons, we have things that we didn’t have then.” A shooting event has not taken place at WVU since before 1999, and Roberts and the rest of the WVU Police Department would like to keep it that way. After the Columbine shooting in


Virginia Tech. students place flowers and cards in memory of their classmates and faculty who lost their lives. April of 1999, WVU PD changed the way they operate if they are dealing with an active shooter situation to help be much more proactive and protect the community even better. “Over the history of my time here and going back to Columbine, we really took a two-fold approach,” Roberts said. “One was to actually educate the community, and time gives you an advantage to step back and look at things. If you look at it over time, there’s the argument that we should put more guns out there, but actually if you look at the instances that were prevented, most of them were prevented by citizens unarmed who knew what to do or took action.” Because of that, the WVU Police Department aimed to educate the WVU community as well as Morgantown on the basics of active shooter situations. Two programs went into place, “Shots Fired” and “Flashpoint,” and those programs have been in place for around 15 years. Roberts feels that if the public is “aware and trained” on what to look out for regarding mass shootings,

they can give police information, too. This can be key to preventing these shootings. Rapid response from police has also gone into place to prevent shootings. Rapid response is quick action taken from officers closest to wherever a shooting may be occuring to stop the event from happening and save lives. “All of our officers on WVU’s campus have been trained in a program called “Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training,” Roberts said. “What that really means is that when we show up, as soon as we can get two or three officers together, they don’t have to be from our department, they know certain formations that they put together, and they enter and go towards the gun shots. We don’t wait.” The WVU Police Department has also provided students with active shooter training in residence halls and around campus, as well as table top discussions on what to do. The WVU Alert program was added to notify students of emergencies, and the Live Safe app was added.

Ross Alameddine, 20 Christopher Bishop, 35 Brian Bluhm, 25 Ryan Clark, 22 Austin Cloyd, 18 Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, 49 Kevin Granata, 46 Matthew Gwaltney, 24 Caitlin Hammaren, 19 Jeremy Herbstritt, 27 Rachel Hill, 18 Emily Hilscher, 19 Jarrett Lane, 22 Matthew La Porte, 20 Henry Lee, 20 Liviu Librescu, 76 G. V. Loganathan, 51 Partahi Lumbantoruan, 34 Lauren McCain, 20 Daniel O’Neil, 22 Juan Ortiz, 26 Minal Panchal, 26 Daniel Cueva, 21 Erin Peterson, 18 Mike Pohle, 23 Julia Pryde, 23 Mary Read, 19 Reema Samaha, 18 Waleed Shaalan, 32 Leslie Sherman, 20 Maxine Turner, 22 Nicole White, 20 INFORMATIION VIA THE WASHINGTON POST

GoFundMe started for student’s funeral Money is being raised for family of Colton Hodge

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Could Trump take things too far on Twitter? President Trump has had a difficult week with the FBI raiding his attorney’s office and the Syria air strike

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Early projection of WVU’s starting offense Mountaineers will return with multiple starters

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Continued on page 4





Forecast for the week: MONDAY 4/16:

This Day in WV History... April 16, 1894: Leonard Riggleman was born in a Randolph County cabin. As president of Morris Harvey College, he moved the school to Charleston in 1935 and led the college to accreditation in 1958.

Rain throughout the day. High of 57°F, low 34°F.

TUESDAY 4/17: Chance of rain/snow. High of 43°F, low of 32°F.

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Sunny. High of 58°F, low of 47°F.

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April 12 8:57 P.M. | INACTIVE Mon. Blvd./Evansdale Drive Traffic stop - WVU citation issued for failure to obey traffic control device.

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BREAKING NEWS DANEWSROOMMAIL.WVU.EDU • 3042934141 CORRECTIONS DANEWSROOMMAIL.WVU.EDU The Daily Athenaeum strives for accuracy and fairness in the reporting of news. If a report is wrong or misleading a request for a correction or a clarification may be made.




Greek Life volunteers around Morgantown “Service is a value not only shared by our social Greek chapters, but is a part of the very essence of the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life,.”

BY KAYLA GAGNON STAFF WRITER On Saturday, more than 500 members of WVU’s Greek Life volunteered in the third annual BIG Greek Day of Service. The students participated in 23 service projects around Morgantown. “Service is a value not only shared by our social Greek chapters, but is a part of the very essence of the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life,” said Matthew Richardson, WVU director of Greek Life. Service projects ranged from making get well cards for patients at Shriners Hospital for Children, picking up trash at South Park and to setting up signs for the Spring Flower Festival at the Core Arboretum. Kirsten Kron, a junior polit-

- Matthew Richardson, WVU director of Greek Life.


Greek life members set up signs for the Spring Flower Festival at the Core Arboretum during the third annual BIG Greek Day of Service ical science major and member of Alpha Omicron Pi, helped set up signs in the Core Arboretum.

“[This is] an important day for the Greek community to show how much we care about Morgantown,” Kron

Annual Ryan’s Rally 5K raises money for Diviney family BY JOE SEVERINO STAFF WRITER The seventh annual Ryan’s Rally 5K drew 45 runners and raised $1200 for the family of former WVU student Ryan Diviney on Sunday. Beginning in 2012, the Mountaineer Maniacs have put on the Ryan’s Rally 5K and have donated 100 percent of proceeds to the Diviney family. Ryan was a student at WVU who was assaulted outside of the Willey Street Dairy Mart in November 2009 and remains in an existing vegetative state. “Ryan was a 20-year-old college student who had, essentially, his future taken away in a senseless act of violence,” said Daniel Brewster, a WVU sociology professor who has helped with the event since it began. “This is just a simple way that we can help a little bit.” The altercation outside the Dairy Mart happened just after 3 a.m. on November 7, 2009 after two WVU students, along with a group of non-students, approached Ryan and attacked him over an argument about baseball teams. After the assault, Ryan was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital with a fractured skull, a broken jaw, and bleeding of the brain. Doctors had to remove one-third of Ryan’s skull to give

said. “They plan great events that highlight aspects of the community like the Flower Festival. I



him a chance to lived. Ryan’s chance of surviving the operation was less than 50 percent, and was given a low chance of survival in the following days, according to the Ryan’s Rally website. The Maniacs sponsored the event to help offset some of Ryan’s medical costs, which costs around $2 million a year, according to Brewster. The Diviney family, who was unable to make the trip to Morgantown this year, has been very supportive of WVU over the years, according to Sabrina Cave, an advisor to the Maniacs. Cave has also worked with Ryan’s Rally since its inception and said she holds the Diviney

family in high regard. “Even though this happened, they never stopped loving Morgantown and WVU,” Cave said. “This means so much to them that we continue to support them.” Cave also said she sees the importance of Ryan’s Rally in the way the Diviney family has supported Ryan over the years. “This is personally important to me because I work with families every day, and I’ve seen the level of commitment that the Diviney family has made for their son,” Cave said. To learn more about Ryan’s Rally and Ryan’s story, visit the family’s website at

of Kappa Kappa Gamma enjoyed volunteering for the Norma Rae Huggins Research Endowment, which helps clinical cancer research. “The Greek Day of Service gives WVU students an opportunity to give back to the community that they call their second home,” said Barnum.“It is a humbling experience to get involved in something bigger than yourself.”

WVU community raises money for student’s funeral expenses BY DOUGLAS SOULE

Participants run in the 7th annual Ryan’s Rally 5k.

wasn’t aware of it until I did the Greek Day of Service.” Calvin Komiske, a member of Lambda Chi Alpha, did landscaping work at the First Presbyterian Church. He and other Greek Life volunteers pulled weeds, picked up trash and laid down decorative rocks. “It’s a great day to be a brother or sister in Greek Life at WVU,” he said. Brooke Barnum, a junior fashion dress, and merchandising major and a member

A GoFundMe page made for WVU student Colton Hodge on Thursday has almost reached it’s goal of $20,000. As of publication, it has raised $18,533. “We’ve made a huge impact already,” said Raychal Hart, a WVU student who made the GoFundMe. The GoFundMe page is to cover the funeral expenses for Colton, a thirdyear exercise physiology student from Falls Church, Virginia. Colton died after falling from a balcony on Wednesday. Hart said she met Colton during her freshman year of college. “He was my best friend,” said Hart, a senior child development and family studies student from Spr ingfield, Virginia. “Since then, he’s been my rock at school. He’s been there for me.” Hart described Colton as

the following: “He was the funniest kid. He was wild. He had the biggest heart. He was always one to help others. He would do anything for his friends. He was a happy kid. He had a contagious smile. He was so enjoyable to be around; he’d brighten up the room anytime he was there.” WVU Phi Sigma Kappa, where Hodge was a brother, posted on Twitter Thursday morning, “Last night, we lost one of the funniest people to ever walk this campus. If you didn’t know Colt, you missed out on a legend.” In a press release, WVU said students wishing to receive counseling services can do so through the Carruth Center. “Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Colton’s family and friends,” said Corey Farris, WVU associate vice president and dean of students, in the release.

To donate, visit: colton-hodge-family-fund

WVU student Colton Hodge has died after falling more than 30 feet off a balcony on Wednesday. Police responded to the report of the fall at 4:49 p.m., according to a Morgantown Police Department press release. When the Morgantown Fire Department and the Monongalia County EMS arrived, Hodge received emergency medical treatment. Hodge, 22, was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.




Do students feel prepared for an active shooter situation? BY JULIA HILLMAN ASSISTANT CULTURE EDITOR In 2018 alone there have already been 17 school shootings in which someone has been hurt or killed. There have been 290 school shootings since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013. While Dicks Sporting Goods, Walmart and Kroger have taken a strong approach to the issue by raising their purchase age for firearms and discounting their sales of semiautomatic weapons, there is still a lot that needs to be done to help insure that campuses across the country will be safe. Many people think that it will never happen to them, until it actually does. With mass shooting on educational campuses on the rise, thousands of students across the country have been demanding stricter gun control to make their campuses a place where students don’t feel scared to go to class. With the sharp rise in mass school shootings, many students feel like it is up to the schools to make sure that those on campus


Students attend a discussion with University Police Department on tips to keep everyone safe during emergency situations. know what to do in the event of a mass shooting. An answer that schools are now trying to find out from their students and faculty is if they feel prepared in the event that someone were to bring that kind of devastation to their school. West Virginia University students have opinions on these issues. “After watching how those in mass shooting sit-

uations react on the news, I feel like I am more than prepared. God forbid someone were to do that to our community,” said WVU freshman Alex Dittmer. Schools have been implementing programs to help train all those on campus on how to handle these situations. Across the nation, schools of every level have been implementing mass shooter drills and classes so

students and faculty are prepared for the worst. While many students feel prepared for these types of incidents, many are just hoping that they never have to use the skills that they have been taught. “I just really hope that were never put in that situation. I’ve always felt safe on campus here, and I want it to stay that way,” said WVU student Karli Jenkins.

Is WVU prepared for a shooting on campus? continued from page 1 “We’ve really tried to get people engaged, and we’ve created a system to where we can notify you if something happens,” Roberts said. “We are probably as prepared as you can be for these types of situations. I still take the position that prevention is and should be our focus,” he said. “You can’t prevent all these from happening, but if we can get people engaged and prepared, then hopefully we will be able to prevent one of these here.” Roberts thinks that the community is very in tuned and share as much information with his department as they can, which helps prevent anything from happening. From WVU students, Roberts would like to see more engagement. He would like to see more student training in the programs that are in place right now, so they will be educated on what to do if a shooting takes place. “There are things we can control, and that’s making sure that people have the knowledge to protect themselves,” Roberts said. He also wants people to know that even though it seems like mass shootings are taking place constantly, there are other emergencies that are more likely to occur such as bad weather and fires

“If we can educate ourselves, knowledge replaces the one thing that makes us freeze and that’s fear. When you become afraid a lot of things happen, and very few of them are good.” - Bob Roberts, WVU Police Chief that they need to be prepared for as well. “If we can educate ourselves, knowledge replaces the one thing that makes us freeze and that’s fear. When you become afraid a lot of things happen, and very few of them are good,” Roberts said. “So knowledge will conquer that fear, and that’s really what we want to focus on-- giving you the tools so that you don’t get fearful and get hurt.”

What to do in an active shooter situation BY CLAIRE O’NEIL CORRESPONDENT An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people by gun in a populated area. By following these important tips from the WVU Police Department, you’ll know what to do if this situation were to occur, and you could save your life as well as others’. When an active shooter is

in your vicinity, you must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with the situation. You have three options: 1.Run a.Have an escape route and plan in mind. b.Leave your belongings behind. c.Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow. d. Help others escape if possible. e.Do not attempt to move the wounded.

f.Prevent others from entering an area where the active shooter may be. g.Keep your hands visible. 2.Hide a.Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view. b.Lock door or block entry to your hiding place. c.Silence your cell phone (including vibrate mode) and remain quiet. 3.Fight a.Fight as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.

b.Attempt to incapacitate the shooter. c.Act with as much physical physical aggression as possible. d.Improvise weapons or throw items at the active shooter. e.Commit to your actions… your life depends on it. When law enforcement arrives: •Remain calm and follow instructions. •Drop items in your hands. (e.g., bags, jackets)

•Raise hands and spread fingers. •Keep hands visible at all times. •Avoid quick movements towards officers, such as holding onto them for safety. •Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling. •Do not ask questions when evacuating. Information to provide to 911 operators: •Location of the active shooter. •Number of shooters.

•Physical description of shooters. •Number and type of weapons shooter has. •Number of potential victims at location. Information via WVU Police Department. For questions or additional assistance, visit WVU Police Department’s website at or call WVU Police Emergency Preparedness at 304-293-3136.




Could the President take things too far on Twitter? BY KAMERON DUNCAN OPINION EDITOR To say that the last week was an eventful one for President Trump would be an understatement. The frenzy began on Monday when the FBI raided the office and home of Michael Cohen, the president’s personal attorney. According to CNN, the raid was done as an effort to procure records of payments made to Stormy Daniels and another adult model, Karen McDougal, regarding their silence about alleged affairs with the then-presidential candidate. Later in the week, reports began to surface that the President intended to order the military to take action in Syria following what is believed to be a chemical attack on civilians by the country’s regime. That action came in the form of missile strikes on Friday night. President Trump addressed the country from the White House as the strike took place. This public acknowledgement of the strike, televised on major broadcast and news networks, contrasts strongly with the words the President used on Twitter regarding the matter earlier in the week. In a tweet sent in the early hours of Wednesday morning, President Trump tweeted that Russia needed to “Get ready...because they [the missiles] will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal


A Syrian research facility destroyed by the joint strike force of the US, France, and the United Kingdom.


President Trump walks outside to the White House rose garden. who kills his people and enjoys it!” The “Gas Killing Animal.” Trump refers to in the tweet is Bashar-El Assad, Syr-

Opinion Staff Kameron Duncan, Payton Otterman, John Zaleski and Rebecca Toro Opinion expressed in columns and letters are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the DA or organizations with which the author(s) are associated.

Feedback policy The DA encourages discussion but does not guarantee its publication. We reserve the right to edit or reject any letter or online feedback. Send your letters to Letters must include the name(s), phone number(s), Majors and/or group affiliation(s) and year in school of the author(s). Phone numbers and addresses will not be published. The Daily Athenaeum 284 Prospect Street, Morgantown, WV 26506 304-293-4141

ia’s president. This sort of provocative, childish banter that the President chooses to engage in on social media sets a negative example of America, as well as a dangerous precedent for certain actions. While it is understandable that the President would want to condemn a chemical attack, there is without question a more tactful way of doing it. Resorting to juvenile name calling solves nothing and only causes America to be taken less seriously. This is, of course, not the first time that something like this has happened. The Pres-

ident has had a long-standing war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, including a January tweet in which Trump remarked that his “nuclear button” is “much bigger & more powerful” than the Korean leader. Trump’s Twitter vitriol is also not only reserved for those who share positions of such esteem. Over the course of his candidacy and now his presidency, he has tweeted disparaging remarks about talk show hosts (Mika Brezinski of “Morning Joe”, who he referred to as “Crazy Mika” and bullied for alleged plas-


US B1 bomber lifts off to assist in the counter-strike force in Syria. tic surgery), professional athletes (NBA star Stephen Curry, who had his “invitation” to the White House “revoked” after electing to not meet with Trump), and the entirety of Hollywood as an institution. The President’s Twitter presence is often the subject of humor and mockery, often cast aside as nothing more than “just a tweet.” In situations like these, however, it’s difficult to find any of it funny. When the leader of one of the most powerful nations on Earth is resorting to calling other world leaders names

and insulting them for an audience of millions, it suddenly becomes apparent that this is no way for the President to behave. This is not to say that the President should not be on Twitter at all, or even that he shouldn’t be active on the platform. He has as much of a right as anyone to use the site to exercise his opinion, whether people agree with it or not. With that said, it’s not unreasonable to expect the President to not engage in name calling and petty insults with other leaders and dignitaries.

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Romeo’s spring picture for his senior year.

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Spring ephemeral wildflowers to take over Morgantown You only have a short time to witness the spring ephemeral flower bloom in Morgantown. Ephemeral wildflowers are beautiful and unique plants. They have evolved to fit their entire active life as a blooming flower into a couple of weeks. These flowers take advantage of the extra light due to few leaves being on the trees and the warmth at this time of year. A lot of flowers begin to bloom at the same time and can be seen blooming for only a few weeks. According to the WVU Department of Biology, wildflowers found in West Virginia include bloodroot, celandine poppy, Dutchman’s breeches, dwarf larkspur, foamflower, harbinger of spring, hepaticas, rue anemone, spring beauties, squirrel corn, toothworts, trilliums, trout lily, twinleaf, Virginia bluebells, wild blue phlox, wild ginger and wood anemone. Some of these plants have

leaves that persist through the summer, but most are dormant within a short time. The arboretum is host to many of these flowers, up to 45 species, and holds a multitude of events to promote these flowers every year. This weekend they held one of their major events, the Spring Flower Festival. The Flower Festival included live music, food trucks and guided flower walks to promote the arboretum’s natural treasures. The arboretum holds many events like this throughout the year. “Our big spring event is the amazing native spring ephemeral wildflower display that we have here in the Arboretum, and we have guided walks every year,” said Zach Fowler, the Core Arboretum Director. “This year, we are in the process of planning a spring open house celebration for April 14 to coin-

cide with the typical peak of the wildflower display.” “We also have guided spring bird walks. During the summer, we have weekly nature lectures as part of our Nature Connection Series on Tuesday evenings (this year’s schedule is not complete, but you can find a link to last year’s schedule on the website), and we recently started a Moth Night tradition. In the fall, we have the much-anticipated Pawpaw Parties. We have a weekly service event called Work Day Wednesday, and other service events are scheduled throughout the year.” The people at the arboretum very much want visitors to connect with the natural beauty offered to them right in their backyard. “The purpose of the festival is to promote the amazing spring ephemeral wildflower display that happens here each spring.” Fowler said.

“The purpose of the festival is to promote the amazing spring ephemeral wildflower display that happens here each spring.” - Zach Fowler, Core Arboretum Director “These flowers bloom by the millions, but only for a few weeks in April. We think that it is a WVU and Morgantown treasure, and we want to share it with as many students and community members as possible. Because the blooming period for these flowers is so short, it is easy to miss them for the year, and having an event like this is a reminder of and an attractor for the real event—the spring ephemeral wildflowers.” “We hope to expose many students and community members to the Arboretum and the spring ephemeral wildflowers, and we would like people to

make viewing the wildflowers an anticipated annual event.” Even if you couldn’t make it to the Flower Festival this year, or to the arboretums other events, you can still visit and enjoy the flowers. The arboretum has a variety of flowers throughout all the trails, and has information on their website on what flowers can be spotted in various locations throughout the arboretum. Don’t miss the short-lived spring wildflower display at the arboretum. Head over today to enjoy a hike and view some beautiful flowers.

Wildflowers found in West Virginia • Bloodroot • Celandine Poppy • Dutchman’s Breeches • Dwarf Larkspur • Foamflower • Harbinger of Spring • Hepaticas • Rue Anemone • Spring Beauties • Squirrel Corn • Toothworts • Trilliums • Trout Willy • Twinleaf • Virginia Bluebells • Wild Blue Phlox • Wild Ginger • Wood Anemone




An early projection of WVU’s starting offense FOOTBALL BY PATRICK KOTNIK SPORTS EDITOR With spring football in the books, West Virginia will turn its attention to summer workouts and fall camp. The Mountaineers return multiple starters on all three sides of the ball, bur numerous newcomers and position battles have emerged in the winter in spring and will carry on throughout the summer and early part of fall. Let’s take a look at an early projection of who could be on the offensive side of the ball for West Virginia. Quarterback: Will Grier Grier is without a doubt the team’s starting quarterback heading into next season after throwing for 3,490 yards and 34 touchdowns last season. He missed the last two games of the year after suffering a broken finger in a loss to Texas, but seemed to not have missed a beat during spring practices and is primed for an even bigger year. “He’s our starting quarterback, so his status is pretty set in stone,” said WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen. “He looks like a fifth-year quarterback to me. It’s his second year in this system, and he’s much more comfortable. His timing with the guys is as good as I’ve seen, so from a quarterback perspective, it’s as good as anyone in the country.” Halfback: Kennedy McKoy Running back is an interesting position for West Virginia with multiple options to work with. The Mountaineers have two key contributors returning in juniors Kennedy McKoy and Martell Pettaway who have both had success in the run game, but have faltered at times. McKoy brings more speed and elusiveness to the position while Pettaway brings power and more of a downhill style of running. However, the team has a third running back in the mix in redshirt freshman Alec Sinkfield, who has earned nothing but praise from his teammates and coaches since he’s arrived on campus for his instincts and abilities to change both direction and speed. West Virginia will have plenty of options to work with at running back, but for now, McKoy looks to be the starter for now based off his experience and success in the offense “Kennedy has had a lot of


Quarterback Will Grier hands the ball off to running back Kennedy McKoy during a game against the Baylor Bears in Waco, Texas. reps and has played a lot of games as well as Martell, but Sinkfield is coming along for a young guy and doing really well,” said running backs coach Marquel Blackwell. “I was just talking about the different skill sets so hopefully they complement each other. I’m just proud of the way that they are competing and challenging one another. Fullback/Tight End: Jovani Haskins Like the running back position, West Virginia will have a couple of options to work with at tight end. One of those options is Jovani Haskins, who was once a high school quarterback and transferred to West Virginia from the University of Miami where he played tight end. West Virginia has an offense that doesn’t necessarily get the tight end involved in the passing game, but that may change this season. Haskins brings more athleticism at the position and has the ability to run routes and catch passes, but will have to improve on his blocking. His competitor is the opposite. Fellow tight end Trevon Wesco brings more experience to the table, but his a block first tight end. In the end, Haskins might prove to be the better option

based off his athleticism and could be yet another weapon in a West Virginia offense that contains a top-notch passing game set with Grier at quarterback and numerous talented receivers. “He is a really talented player who hasn’t played tight end for very long,” said assistant coach Dan Gerberry. “He obviously was a quarterback in high school, and then he went to Miami, and now, he is here. He’s coming along. It is important to him. He is doing a good job.” Wide Receivers: David Sills, Gary Jennings, T.J. Simmons, Marcus Simms Speaking of wide receivers, the Mountaineers will have plenty of threats in the passing game this season. West Virginia returns three top receivers in Biletnikoff Award finalist David Sills, a deep threat in Marcus Simms and last year’s team leader in receptions and receiving yards in Gary Jennings. The team also has Alabama transfer T.J. Simmons in the mix after he sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. Where exactly this receivers will play is up in the air, but it’s expected that Jennings’ will be in the slot and Sills and Simmons have the abilities to play

just about anywhere at the receiver position. These four will most likely serve as the team’s primary receivers, but the Mountaineers will more options in terms of depth with receivers in Druw Bowen, Reggie Roberson Jr. and Dominique Maiden. “Still need some depth, but I thought Reggie Roberson and (Dominique Maiden), I thought those guys made strides,” offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said. “Will (Grier) is pretty comfortable if they have to come in and give some of these guys a break then he feels comfortable going to them. Still, we have four more receivers coming in in June, so that competition is going to keep increasing every day.” Left Tackle: Yodny Cajuste Left Guard: Josh Sills Center: Jacob Buccigrossi Right Guard: Isaiah Hardy Right Tackle: Colton McKivitz

There some are some questions about the offensive line, but barring injuries, most of the starting positions seem set. Cajuste, Sills and McKivitz have established themselves as starters and will occupy the left tackle, left guard and right tackle positions. Position battles are ongoing at center and right guard.


Wide reciever David Sills V stands idle before a play during the Heart of Dallas bowl. At center, Jacob Buccigrossi is battling with last year’s starter at the position, Matt Jones, who is coming off of injuries he suffered last season. Buccigrossi had worked himself into the backup role during last year’s spring prior to tearing his ACL. At right guard, West Virginia has a solid option in Hardy, a 6-foot-6, 335-pound

offensive lineman to replace Kyle Bosch who brings both size and physicality and can play both guard and tackle. “As a group, we also improved,” said redshirt junior offensive lineman Colton McKivitz. “The inside is still working and fighting, and it’s a job to get those guys ready. We are looking forward to this season.”



Carey adds two former McDonald’s All-Americans WOMEN’S BASKETBALL BY JOHN LOWE ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR The WVU women’s basketball team added two former McDonald’s All-Americans last week. De’Janae Boykin, a native of Springdale, Maryland, was named Gatorade Maryland Player of the Year as a junior at C.H. Flowers High School and was named a Naismith Trophy Third Team All-American and a McDonald’s All-American as a senior. In international play, Boykin has represented the United States at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship, claiming gold medals in both. She teamed up with UConn phenom Katie Lou Samuelson in the three-onthree basketball event at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, claiming gold. Originally signing with UConn, Boykin immediately transferred to Penn State. After sitting out most of the 2016-17 season due to NCAA transfer rules, she found an immediate spot in the starting lineup and averaged 5.8 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game. “De’Janae is a player we recruited out of high school, so we’re very familiar with




Head Coach Mike Carey stands on the sidelines during a game against the Pittsburgh Panthers. her,” said WVU head coach Mike Carey. “She is a player that will have an immedi-

ate impact on our team, especially at the three and the four. We look forward to hav-

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ing her on our roster.” Boykin will have to sit out one year due to NCAA trans-

fer rules and will have one year of eligibility starting in the 2019-20 season. Later in the week, Carey added a grad transfer in Bianca Cuevas-Moore. Cuevas-Moore comes to Morgantown from South Carolina. During her time there, she helped the Gamecocks win a national championship in 2017. She holds the NCAA record for most steals in a single tournament (12) and the most steals in the NCAA Tournament over a career (21). She sat out the 2017-18 season due to injuries. “Bianca is an impact

player,” Carey said. “She’s someone that we initially recruited, so we saw her play a lot in high school. I’m very excited for what she brings to our team at both the one and the two.” Cuevas-Moore hails from The Bronx and during her time in high school, she was named a McDonald’s All-American and New York AA State Player of the Year. Adding to the Mountaineer lineup in 2018-19 will be Tynice Martin, who sat out all of 2017-18 due to a foot injury, Katrina Pardee and Kysre Gondrezick, who sat out all of 2017-18 due to NCAA transfer rules.

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West Virginia’s RPI certainly looks good, but there is still a lot of work to be done if it wants to make a second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. It does rank No. 27 in the RPI, which would assuredly put it in the NCAA Tournament based on sheer numbers. Sixty-four teams make it to the penultimate baseball tournament in college baseball, and being at No. 27 puts you in the upper-echelon of those 24 teams. Yet there is still more the Mountaineers need to do. That is a number it works in their favor, but the overall resume still needs a few kinks. First, WVU is only 16-16 this season, putting it at exactly .500 for the season. If you look at how sub-.500 teams have fared in terms of making the NCAA Tournament, the odds are not in their favor. And that would be the case for WVU if it would finish with a .500 record. Only four of last year’s 64 NCAA Tournament teams had records below .500, and all four were No. 4 seeds in their regions. The No. 4 seed is the lowest seeding a program can get in any given region to begin the postseason (there are 16 regionals with four teams each). All four of those teams — Holy Cross (24-29), Radford (27-32), Texas Southern (27-32) and UMBC (23-25) — came from lower-tier conferences that pale in comparison to that of the Big 12 (WVU’s conference), SEC, Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten. All four needed to win their smaller conferences tournaments to earn their spot in the NCAA Tournament. Another mark against WVU is its 2-6 mark in Big 12 play. That puts it in last place. It is difficult to make the NCAA Tournament if you can’t get anywhere near a .500 record in the conference or finish in the top half of the standings or, at least, close to the top half of the standings. What could work as a plus for WVU is that seven of the Big 12’s nine teams qualified for the NCAA Tournament last year. The No. 7 and No. 9 teams did not. No. 8 Oklahoma State likely would not have if not for its incredible 4-0 stretch in the Big 12 Tournament to win the conference and make its way into the 64-team field.

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Right hand pitcher Shane Ennis with the follow-through after the pitch to Oklahoma State. The Big 12 is the No. 2 RPI conference in all of college baseball. No. 1 is the SEC, which has five teams in the top 10 of the RPI rankings. Being such a highly-rated conference like the Big 12 can certainly help WVU’s case as winning in the conference is a daunting task. It is clear that playing in the Big 12 has made WVU’s schedule one of the toughest in the country. Only two teams have played a harder schedule up to this point — No. 1 Miami (FL) and No. 2 Rhode Island). There is not quite a schedule like WVU’s, though, and it is not only because it is a member of the Big 12. Its first 15 games were on the road due to playing in a colder climate and the weather not being right to host games in February, compiling a 7-8 record during that span. Most teams — besides the bluebloods of the sport — would accumulate a similar record or worse. WVU’s home opener was not until March 16 against Canisius. RPI is a big thing, and WVU definitely has that. Being at No. 27 even though the overall and Big 12 records are

not significant is big. And WVU is in the midst of a successful stretch, which should likely continue due to the fact that 12 of its final 20 games are at home. But there are still tough series remaining, and WVU does not have a marquee series win besides the one against UNLV, whose offense is among the best nationally and has helped it to a 25-11 record and No. 39 RPI ranking. It did take one of three on the road at Texas Tech, who ranks sixth nationally in the regular rankings and No. 3 in the RPI, but it was unable to take the series. If it can win a majority of its final games and win a few of its remaining conference series against Kansas State, Baylor, TCU and Baylor, then there is no reason this program will not find its way into the NCAA Tournament for a second straight season. The RPI ranking is already there. There is still a lot more that can be done, and both the overall and Big 12 records will need to improve to help it solidify a spot in the coveted postseason.



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