CHARMCO, W.Va. — Evan McDade will be a busy young man over the next few months.
First, there is the academic side of his last semester at Greenbrier West High School. And then, add in the athletic piece that includes prep basketball and baseball seasons that will overlap like never before in the state of West Virginia.
One thing Evan won’t have to worry about — his plan for this fall.
Last month, the Cavalier senior decided he will be a Fairmont State Fighting Falcon.
McDade signed to play baseball at Fairmont, an NCAA Division II member of the Mountain East Conference.
“They just have a really good program,” Evan said. “I like their coach. He doesn’t lie, he doesn’t pretend. They have a really good team, a really good setup there. They’re not too far from home, but they are a good distance away. They have a great campus. Morgantown is right up the road. Bridgeport’s right there.”
While he is looking forward to life as a college baseball player, Evan and his baseball teammates have some unfinished business in Charmco.
Last March, the Cavaliers were getting ready to scrimmage Greenbrier East when he and his teammates got the news that baseball season had been canceled due to COVID-19.
“I remember getting a message over my phone saying that we had no baseball season anymore,” he said. “I was very disappointed. I was ready for the season and I felt like we were going to do really good as a team.”
“Every year there’s been either a teacher’s strike or something going on,” McDade continued. “Our season is always getting a little stopped up.”
This year, McDade may have to do a little juggling act between his work on the basketball court and baseball diamond.
Baseball practice is set to start on March 15, only two weeks after basketball games start.
The state boys basketball tournament is scheduled May 4-8, almost a month after West’s baseball opener at Richwood on April 13.
“I really want to play my senior year in basketball,” Evan said. “If everything works out, I would love it.”
McDade is not the only one excited about the beginning of high school sports again in the mountain state.
Doug Nickell, West’s head baseball coach, is looking forward to a new season.
“If we’ve learned one thing [through the pandemic], this tells us not to take one thing for granted because it can be ripped away from you in a heartbeat,” Nickell said. “We’ve got to start enjoying things a little bit more. That’s just not baseball, that’s all parts of life.”
Nickell’s 2021 team could be one to watch.
“I’ve got great kids,” he said. “This has been a team that me and my assistant coach have been excited about. We have a bunch of kids that love baseball.”
And as far as McDade goes, Nickell said that he will be leaning on the 6-foot-3, 190-pound pitcher and centerfielder.
“If we needed an opening day starter right now, he would be it,” Nickell said. “Game one of a sectional tournament, he would be our man.”
Nickell also looks forward to following McDade in his college career at Fairmont State.
“Physically, he’s gifted as far as all the tools to be not only a good high school pitcher, but he has the chance to be a good collegiate pitcher in my opinion,” Nickell finished.