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Stiles: The Not-So-Final Frontier

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If you've been with WBGV since the beginning, you may remember our old buddy Stiles. Stiles, you see, was an original founding member of this site, along with your's truly. When we made the move to the new digs here at WordPress, Stiles and WBGV parted ways, though he still poked his head in every once and awhile, contributing his thoughts on Mountaineer basketball.

Well, Stiles is moving on to a new chapter in his life, and he wanted to share his thoughts before he departed. After the jump, you'll find those thoughts. I encourage everyone to read on and to remember what it truly means to be a Mountaineer.

October 22, 2003.

The waning seconds of the WVU-Virginia Tech game are counting down. Myself along with hundred of rabid fans are taunting Kevin Jones and the rest of the Hokies. It’s sheer pandemonium.

Earlier that night, we cheered as a monstrous WVU defensive effort. We cheered Inmate #7 streaking down the sideline that put the Mountaineers in control. Finally, we cheered as the clock hit zero.

Ever since I saw Mountaineer Field being stormed, I wanted to do it. Finally, I was getting my chance. My roommate and I got down to the wall. I looked at him and yelled "let’s go". As I scaled down the wall and touched the field, I’m pretty sure I blacked out. I ran like a wild-man to the center of the field. In a complete daze, I looked around and noticed that I lost my roommate. It didn’t matter. I had a couple thousand friends on the field. I probably gave a hundred high fives and slapped about a dozen shoulder pads. It was nirvana. Well, until the pepper spray came out.

The moment will always be amongst my favorite Mountaineer memories. It was where the past met the present.

August 12, 2008.

The past and present meet the future.

Ever since I was a little kid, my dad and I attended Mountaineer football and basketball games. The memories date back to the memorable 1988 campaign. I can still picture Undra Johnson streaking down the sideline against Penn State. I remember being devastated after the Fiesta Bowl. I fondly reminisce about the magical ’93 season. I still get mad thinking about Miami in ’96. I still don’t think I’ve ever jumped higher than I did after Jarrod West hit the shot to beat Cincinnati. And I know, I’ve never been more emotionally and physically drained leaving a football game like I was after the 2006 Sugar Bowl. There are a ton of memories more -- all storied away.

That’s why I’m writing this today. Because come today, I’m only going to have these memories. There will be no Mountaineer football and basketball for me over the next two years -- just memories.

Today, I’m leaving for Miami on my way to Panama where I’m joining the Peace Corps.

I’m not sure when I’ll get scores from the games. I’m not sure if Bill Stewart is the answer at coach. I’m not sure if Devin Ebanks is a one and done type talent. I’m not sure about a lot of things, really.

But I am sure of one thing -- I'll always be a Mountaineer.