6:00pm: Sportsline with Tony Caridi

Notebook: House honors Webster in opener; America closes in on rushing mark

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Bluefield wide receiver Jahiem House was a big part of the Beavers’ 41-27 season-opening win over rival Graham (Va.) last Friday at Mitchell Stadium.

House had a pair of 15-yard touchdown receptions in the opening half and then helped put the game away with a late 61-yard TD grab.

House’s performance went a long way for quarterback Carson Deeb in his first start, and it’s not one he’s likely soon to forget.

Listed as No. 10 on the Beavers’ official roster, House instead wore No. 5 to honor former teammate Tony Webster Jr.

Webster Jr. tragically lost his life to a ruptured brain aneurysm while lifting weights in January. His father, Tony Webster, remains a longtime member of the Bluefield coaching staff.

“We based it on the young man that gave effort, had the character and displayed as close to what Tony would’ve been for us this year,” Bluefield head coach Fred Simon said. “Coach Webster had a lot to do with picking it. He had a little bit of help from the staff, but it was mostly him. Jahiem honored it with a heck of a performance.”

Prior to the game, Governor Jim Justice was on hand to ring a bell in Webster’s honor. The Beavers plan to ring the bell each time they score this season.

“I love coach Webster and he’s been with me for a long time,” Simon said. “His son started out basically as a water boy and lived Bluefield high school football and any sport we had with all his heart. We’re just our best to honor a young man that would’ve loved to have been with us and playing out his senior year for us.”

America closing in on 4,000 yards

When Class A No. 2 Doddridge County takes on Tyler Consolidated Friday night, Bulldogs’ tailback Hunter America will almost certainly surpass 4,000 career rushing yards.

America is at 3,996 rushing yards following a 184-yard output in last week’s 49-6 win over South Harrison.

Last year’s recipient of the Curt Winner Award as the state’s top high school tailback, America is 254 yards from passing Wyatt Ford as Doddridge County’s all-time leading rusher.

Fleming picking up where he left off over summer

Petersburg senior golfer Nick Fleming narrowly missed out on the Class AA state championship a year ago and is expected to at the very least challenge for it again this season.

Fleming has consistently shot rounds in the mid-30s during nine-hole high school matches over the first month of this season, picking up where he left off over the summer.

Fleming won the Junior Match Play Championship and was the Junior Amateur runner-up this summer in a pair of events put on by the West Virginia Golf Association. 

“We only play nine holes so I can’t really expect too much,” Fleming said. “Typically I’m a slow starter, so if I shoot a 39 or a 34 through nine holes, it’s the same thing and I don’t care too much. I don’t have a back nine to bounce back on if I do shoot that bad score. It’s more of a mellow round.”

Over the summer, Fleming also finished top 50 at the West Virginia Open and top 30 at the state amateur.

“I didn’t play exceptional, but I had some good tournaments that’ve kept me going,” Fleming said. “I started the year out really slow and it’s been slow progress to get to a point where I could win the Junior Match Play championship. I played at the Open and didn’t have the best of tournaments and then I had a good finish at the Amateur.”

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