CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- SOMETIMES A newspaper obituary doesn't tell the whole story.
Earlier this week the community of St. Albans lost one its great sports stars with the passing of football, basketball and track star Reggie "Papa" Cain at the young age of 62.
In the 1960s, no community had more spirit than St. Albans. In those days, Crawford Field did not have lights and Red Dragons home games were played on Saturday afternoons. Every year, the stands were packed as legendary coach Sam LeRose had over 100 players on his roster.
The 1968 team was one of LeRose's best and they finished the year No. 2 in the state, losing to Charleston High in the Class AAA state championship game 3-0. Among the team's stars were quarterback Donnie Carr, running back Malcolm Calhoun and the electrifying Cain.
Earlier in the season, the undefeated Red Dragons played then-unbeaten DuPont in a game with playoff implications on a Saturday afternoon. The game was so big that it was moved to the old Laidley Field to accommodate the crowd. It was also televised by WCHS-TV, Channel 8.
On the third play of game's first series, the Red Dragons broke it open on an 85-yard pass play to the speedy Cain and no one could catch him. That play seemed to set the tone for the game and St. Albans went on to win handily.
Following high school, Cain went on to play football and run track at Compton Junior College in California.
Eventually he came back to this area and was involved with many things, including drug counseling. He was CEO and founder of Redemption House. Those who know him best said he truly lived up to his nickname of "Papa" Cain as he seemed to have a natural gift for working with youngsters who did not have a father in their lives. His impact on young people in the Kanawha Valley will be greatly missed.