Two Barbour County coaches are working with the Barbour All-County Sports Organization to raise money for middle school coaching jobs with a hike across state lines.
The event kicked off with a breakfast Monday morning to send off coaches Nick Mayle and Marcus Johnson as they began their journey to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The two coaches, who both teach at Philippi Middle School, will make the 180-mile trek in just over five days. Mayle said that although he wants to draw attention with the hike, it should be focused on the right people.
"You know this isn't about me, this isn't about this organization, it's just trying to provide opportunities for the kids to be able to succeed at something and give them opportunities to enjoy something that's good for their mental, physical, and social health," said Mayle.
The coaches set out on Monday morning at the stroke of eight, with a musket shot fired by the West Virginia University Mountaineer himself, Jonathan Kimble, and WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck both came to Philippi to walk the first few legs with Mayle and Johnson. Luck said he came out to be sure any child across the state has the same options as any other.
"It's just to make sure that we do what we can to support the effort and raise as much money as we possibly can to make sure the kids in this county have a chance to do what kids in Monongalia County can do, or Marion County, or Harrison County," said Luck.
While the sports programs are the immediate priority for the organization, its members are also looking ahead. They want to see Barbour County students take life lessons they learn in a sport and apply them to build their own brighter future.
"We're also in the business of producing world-class people, world-class students, world-class educators and businessmen and everything, and a lot of people, in fact many, many people are affected and become world-class because of the things they learn in sports," said BACSO's Eddy Poling.
The hike will wrap up this coming Saturday in Canton with a reception at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You can find more information on the organization and its efforts online here.