From my vantage point, the year 2013 created plenty of copy in terms of accomplishments and emotional triumphs based in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
I decided to consolidate stories I reported on into a Top 10 (and one) with four honorable mention entries.
Here's hoping there is more in store for 2014.
1) Chase Fieler and Dunk City: The Parkersburg South grad and his teammates from Florida Gulf Coast captivated the college baketball world after becoming the first No. 15 seed in NCAA Tournament history to advance to the Sweet 16. Several Fieler dunks were mind-boggling and left the television announcers speechless as the Eagles became known as Dunk City.
During the summer, Florida Gulf Coast's postseason run earned an ESPY for the year's "Best Upset" according to ESPN.
2) Jim Goodwin's coaching milestone: In June, the American Legion baseball coach earned his 500th career win. It was less than a year ago, the 68-year-old Goodwin was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and spent four weeks in a Charleston hopsital where doctors inserted a new stomach and new esophagus.
During his hospital stay, Goodwin lost 35 pounds.
3) Golf standout Sydney Snodgrass: The culmination of a stellar high school golf career took place in November when the Ritchie County senior signed a national letter intent to play for the University of Alabama at Birmingham women's program.
The three-time all-stater played on two championship teams and was recognized this year by the West Virginia Golf Association as both the Girls Player of the Year and the Women's Player of the Year. One of her nine-hole rounds during the high school's fall season included an astounding 8-under par 28 at North Bend Golf Course in Harrisville.
4) Super seniors at St. Marys: In February, St. Marys' senior class of Dani Moore, Abbi Fetty and Audra Clark recorded their 100th girls basketball victory while claiming the Division I championship of the West Virginia Hometown Invitational and eventually produced their third runner-up finish at the Class A state tournament.
The seniors capped off their high school career by winning 92 percent of their games and posting four straight 20-plus win seasons.
5) Mike Kent elite in his craft: In May, the 1978 grad from Parkersburg South received the prestigious honor as Master Strength and Conditioning Coach during the annual Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches association (CSCCa) ceremony in Kansas City, Kan.
This past December as a member of the Colorado State University football staff, Kent was on the sidelines as the Rams erased a 22-point deficit and defeated Washington State on a last-second field goal in the New Mexico Bowl.
6) Roane County landslide: From Day 1, the Roane County golfers had a target on their back and the Raiders responded in dominating fashion by successfully defending their Class AA state title by a 38-stroke margin. Just as impressive were Alston Spears, Cole Moore and Cam Moore finishing 1-2-3 in the individual race.
As a preview of what was to come, Roane County won its second straight Little Kanawha Conference title as all five members (Cole Moore, Alston Spears, Cam Moore, Caleb Moore and Hunter Simmons) each earned a berth on the 10-member all-league unit.
7) South baseball clutch: On a senior-dominated roster, it was junior Tyler Berry who kept Parkersburg South's hopes alive in a regional baseball game. Down to their last out and facing an 0-2 count, Berry eventually delivered a game-tying RBI single and the Patriots added another run to defeat Morgantown 8-7 to clinch a berth in the Class AAA state semifinals.
8) Magical recovery for Magnolia: Following a last-second loss at St. Marys, the Magnolia football team slipped to 4-4 and was in danger of not making the playoffs. However, the Blue Eagles recovered with four straight wins - including two as the No. 14 seed in the Class A playoffs - before losing to eventual state runner-up Greenbrier West.
9) Locals break through at W.Va. Open: The West Virginia Open returned to Parkersburg Country Club for the first time in 30 years and several local golfers turned in solid showings - starting with Vienna's Alan Cooke finishing as the top junior golfer and Vienna's Scott Bibbee wrapping up top senior honors.
Parkersburg's Kenny Hess had his name among the leaders on the final day before finishing fifth overall.
10) Brent Croasmun's coaching milestone: Despite coaching a roster of 10 players this past spring, including six freshmen and three sophomores, Paden City's Brent Croasmun recorded his 300th career victory.
11) Perfection at City Cup: Garrett Dailey, who was demoted off the varsity lineup for several golf matches earlier in the season, worked his way back as a starter in time for the Patriots' win against Parkersburg in the City Cup. By winning his individual match, Dailey completed his career as the first Patriot golfer to go undefeated at 4-0.
* Several stories just missed the cut, including a pair which originated in April. Williamstown grad Austin Root and Spaulding University teammates broke a handful of records while winning the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference golf championship, which earned the program a berth in the NCAA Division III championships in Destin, Fla.
Closer to home in April, Oxbow Golf and Country Club celebrated its 40th anniversary. The event was commemorated by the oldest member (91-year-old Bob Pioli) and youngest member (8-year-old Aubrey Schenz) each hitting a drive off the 10th tee.
This past football season, Tyler Consolidated alum Ryan Walton made his debut coaching at the same school where he played tight end and linebacker. And despite losing their first four games, the Silver Knights closed out the season at 5-5.
And last but not least, Parkersburg South grad Kim Stephens became an assistant women's basketball coach at Division-I Sacramento State under the same coach she played for at Glenville State College in Bunky Harkleroad.
Contact Kerry Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org