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Morgantown alum Carson Poffenberger plays in all 29 games for Shepherd last season

Carson Poffenberger began playing basketball because of his sister, Paige.

“I’ve played basketball as long as I can remember,” he said. “I got into it mostly because my sister played and I enjoyed watching her, so I decided to play it, too.”

Paige played basketball at the University of Kentucky, something Poffenberger feels helped prepare him for college.

“Paige worked extremely hard at kentucky, and I attribute a lot of my success transitioning to college to her because I got to see what it would take to play college basketball at this level before I ever stepped foot on the court.”

A Morgantown native, Poffenberger is a 2021 graduate of Morgantown High.

He finished his freshman season at Shepherd University this spring.

Poffenberger has played in all 29 games for the Rams, starting two.

“I feel like it’s going very well, I tried to come into the season ready to be completely a role player and just do whatever I can to help my team win,” Poffenberger said. “But I gradually increased my playing time as I become more comfortable playing in coach (Justin) Namolik’s system.”

A 70-65 victory over West Chester in which he scored six points and grabbed five rebounds is Poffenberger’s favorite memory so far.

“I’d say our win against West Chester, it was one of our best team wins of the season and it was so much fun to be a part of because we were all celebrating each other so much,” he said. “It was a great team atmosphere.”

His time as a Mohigan was also special.

“I would say our state tournament run my senior year, where we made it to the state championship and fell short of a ring by I believe 1 point (that point difference may be wrong I’m not sure, it definitely was 3 or less).”

Playing basketball at Shepherd University is similar to MHS, but Poffenberger admits COVID-19 is still a bit of a challenge.“

“COVID has given us some problems, we had some guys get quarantined throughout the year and it really reduced our numbers for many games,” Poffenberger said. “But I think it has shown just how determined our guys are. There have been nights where we only play six guys, and we just keep fighting no matter how gassed we are. I can’t speak to that enough, we really do have a tough group of guys. And we wear the masks on the bench, but not in game.”

Poffenberger enjoys attending Shepherd.

“I would say the first thing that made me want to be here, was the culture of the basketball program,” he said. “Some programs let guys do whatever and get into trouble and just slack in areas outside of basketball. But I felt like it was very evident when I talked to coach Namolik and coach Boardley that they ran a tight ship, and I really wanted to be a part of it.

“I obviously love my team so that is my favorite thing for sure, but I also really love the nature scene of the area including a lot of hiking and the river for fishing. For anyone who has never been, Shepherd is a beautiful place to visit.”

Shepherdstown is similar to Morgantown, but also very historic.

“Shepherd is very similar to Morgantown in that everyone is super nice and It has a small town feel,” Poffenberger said. “The town is super supportive of the college as well, which I think is pretty similar to WVU being in Morgantown. Both towns really support their college teams. Shepherd has a huge fan base of people who live around the area and have no kids involved on campus, but still regularly attend events. They’re such great people and they just make shepherd feel that much more like home when they are as supportive as they are.

“Although I’ve seen several historical places, I’d say the one that sticks out in my mind the most is (James) Rumsey monument. Rumsey monument was meant to commemorate the first steamboat to go against the river in history. That’s where we did our first preseason conditioning workout. There’s nothing like some burpees and push-ups in the dirt to build team chemistry.”

Poffenberger is a Business major.

“My current plan is to come back to WVU to attend law school,” he said. “I would like to be involved with corporate law or possibly athletic administration in some way.”