For all of our problems in our state, and there are many, we rank pretty high in the quality of the athletic accomplishments of our people.
Elkins is a small city known more for its beauty than its athletic traditions. Oh, there was a trip to the AAA state basketball tournament in 1967 when only four teams made the big event, but there haven't many other trips deep into a state basketball tournament or a state football playoff over the years.
Simms was probably the best athlete of the "modern era" in Elkins High history and was an all-stater in football and basketball, and was also good in track and baseball. He had Division I offers in both football and basketball. After graduation from Elkins in 1979, he accepted a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Detroit.
A longtime friend of Simms, WVU Tech baseball coach Lawrence Nesselrodt, had this to say about Simms:
"Roy was an incredibly natural athlete and was good at everything he did. Many people may not realize he earned nine letters in college at Detroit. He lettered in basketball, baseball and track while he was there. He also loved coaching and I take great comfort in knowing that Roy passed away doing something that he loved."
Simms initially heard from Detroit when Dick Vitale was the head coach of the Titans prior to his leaving to take the NBA job with the Pistons.
Reach Frank Giardina at fl...@hotmail.com.