It feels great to be bowl eligible. However, the time between the last regular season game and the bowl games is stress-inducing. It has become a trend over the past couple years for players to either transfer or declare for the draft in this period, and the Mountaineers have already had 4 players announce their intent to transfer since the Kansas game. None of these players were outright starters, but Banks and Esdale played valuable roles on the offense and will be missed. We still have a bunch of noteworthy athletes at WVU, and now is a good time to highlight those Mountaineers who are still competing for WVU. This is the list of Magnificent Mountaineers for the week ending December 5th.
- Zach Frazier, Sophomore Center (Football) – I know WVU didn’t have a football game last week, but Zach Frazier had a good week, being named to the All-Big 12 2nd Team All-Conference team as a true Sophomore. Frazier is the best offensive lineman on the team, and over the past two games, he was a huge reason why the running game had so much success. He is a road grader as a run blocker, creating huge lanes to run regularly. It makes it even more rewarding that he is a local product from Fairmont, WV. The center is arguably the most important part of a good offensive line. They are responsible for identifying defenses, calling protections, and calling audibles for other lineman based on the look the defense shows. Having such an elite center already on our team for at least another year is huge, and as long as Frazier is snapping the ball, WVU should have success running the football.
- Ceili McCabe, Junior (Cross Country) – I don’t like re-using people on this list, but it’s hard to pass up an athlete that wins Women’s National Athlete of the Week by the US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. And her performance on December 4th was well deserving. McCabe set a WVU record of 8:52.52 in the 3,000 meter run, which she finished first in. Not only was her time a WVU record, but her time also puts her as the 8th fastest runner in collegiate history. WVU has a very impressive, world-class athlete in McCabe, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her enshrined in the WVU Sports Hall of Fame one day.
- The Men’s Soccer team – The Men’s Soccer Team did something no other team has done in the past 40 years: make it to the NCAA Quarterfinals. While they ended up losing to the number 3 seeded Georgetown, they took it down to the wire, losing 4-1 on penalties after 2 scoreless overtime periods. It was an impressive year for the team, finishing 12-4-5 and taking a team that has only lost twice on the season to the brink. The Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams have both been trending upwards the past couple years, and it’s great to see sports other than the big two (football and basketball) build formidable programs.
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