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MHS hosts 1st annual Mohigan Classic at Mon County Ballpark

MORGANTOWN — You always remember your first. 

Like most kids from small high schools, Morgantown High baseball coach Pat Sherald will never forget the first time he played in a big-time ballpark. 

“Oh yeah,” he recalled fondly. “I was selected for a Maryland high school all-star game at Camden Yards in Baltimore, right after an Orioles game against the White Sox. I almost hit one out – the ball hit six inches below the top of the left field fence – for a triple, got named MVP, and met (O’s Hall of Famer) Mike Mussina. It was unbelievable. 

“For a kid from Single-A Catoctin High,” he continued, “it meant everything, and I think that’s been a big part of the inspiration for us – giving a bunch of young ballplayers the chance to play on a beautiful, professional field.” 

The field Sherald is describing is Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark, the chance is the first annual Mohigan Classic, running today and Saturday, and the ‘us’ is Sherald and his coaching staff, Morgantown City Commissioner Ron Justice, WVU, and the West Virginia Black Bears. 

“The ultimate idea is eventually to have the Mohigan Classic become a weekend celebration of Mon County spring scholastic sports,” Sherald explained. “We want softball and track and field involved, and we want to feature MHS, UHS, Clay-Battelle, and Trinity. We’re excited to have three of those schools involved this weekend (Trinity’s baseball team had a scheduling conflict), and we want to involve as many teams throughout our state and the region in the future. It will highlight our city, our schools, and our facilities because we’re proud of it all.”     

Other baseball teams involved in games at Mon County Ballpark this weekend include University, Clay-Battelle, Wheeling Park, Uniontown (PA), Parkersburg South, and Spring Mills. 

As excited as Sherald is for the weekend’s games, he’s especially thrilled to honor the 1970 MHS baseball team with a Saturday morning brunch at MHS. 

“This group revived baseball at MHS, and Coach Chester Brooks, who is in his 90’s, will be there,” Sherald marveled. “I’ve told our players that what those guys did over 50 years ago paved the way for all that you have right now. It’s a great opportunity to honor and appreciate them because they deserve it.” 

For the players, there’s no doubt that the highlight of the weekend will be stepping on the same field where MLB stars Tyler Glasnow and Ke’Bryan Hayes got their start for the Black Bears, where Mountaineer legend Jedd Gyorko managed, and where Blue Jays All-Star Alek Manoah became a 1st round draft pick. 

“You know, coaches sometimes forget what it was like to be a kid,” Sherald said, “and what an amazingly exciting thrill it is to play on the same professional and Division I diamond where their heroes play. We’re so happy to give these hard-working kids something they’ll never forget.” 


1st Annual Mohigan Classic

(All Games at Mon County Ballpark)

Friday, March 31
Morgantown vs. Wheeling Park, 2 p.m.
University vs. Uniontown (Pa.), 5 p.m.
Clay-Battelle vs. Morgantown JV, 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 1
University vs. Parkersburg South, 10 a.m.
Parkersburg South vs. Wheeling Park, 12:30 p.m.
Morgantown vs. Uniontown (Pa.), 3 p.m.
Morgantown vs. Spring Mills, 5:30 p.m.

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