If they do return, they'll find a new No. 18 tee box on the Old White course.
"The hole has gone from 162 to 175 yards," Ortel said.
An oak tree that fell during last year's derecho allowed for the longer hole. The course will now play at 7,301 yards from the black tees, 3,505 on the front nine and 3,796 on the back.
| On Tuesday I had a chance to speak with new West Virginia State football coach Jon Anderson, who took over in Institute after serving as a defensive coordinator at the University of Sioux Falls, S.D. (Aren't all state coaches plucked from South Dakota?)
Anderson was still having trouble pronouncing some of the area schools. (Just wait until he gets to Hurricane.) But he gets what I've been trying to stress to state college coaches for years: If you want local support, recruit local kids.
It's been a problem for years in the West Virginia Conference and I expect it to continue in the new Mountain East.
Case in point: There were 31 players named to last season's All-WVC football first team. Only four hailed from the Mountain State. One of those four was a punter.
But in these parts, for instance, schools have a better chance drawing out fans with ex-Kennedy Award winner and Scott High grad Jordan Roberts, as the University of Charleston had, or ex-Bluefield High standout Ansel Ponder, as Concord had.
The problem, yes, is there aren't many such standouts, and coaches need to win. But Anderson is trying. Of 32 scholarship players signed, 11 are West Virginia kids, including Winfield's Garrett Grafton and T.C. Kester.
| And finally . . .
Congrats to Luke Carpenter of Nitro.On Friday, Carpenter will sign to swim for Davis & Elkins College, which, thankfully, still goes by "college" and not "university" because it, like all upper in-state schools not named WVU or Marshall, is a "college" and not a "university."
Anyway, the odd part of Carpenter's signing is he's not a year-round swimmer. He swims with the Cross Lanes Sharks during the summer, but that's about it.
Basically, he's a recreational swimmer.
And in these days of year-round demands for kids in every single sport, that's refreshing.
Give 'em heck, Luke.Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.