Boos & Applause

Applause to local Toys for Tots officials, who said this year they have collected the most toys in the program’s nearly two-decade history. Regional Chairman Roger Ware said this year, in the Unites States Marine Corps Reserve and Marine Corps League’s 16th annual Toys for Tots program, 22,700 toys were sorted at the distribution facility, with a trailer full of toys outside. He added 2,157 families signed up and 2,248 children are receiving toys.

Applause to the two Buckhannon Police Department officers who graduated Dec. 14 from the West Virginia Police Academy 176th Basic Police Training Class. Angel McCauley and Donald “Sam” Kraemer received their graduation certificates at a ceremony in Institute near Charleston following successful completion of the 10-week course. Kraemer and McCauley joined the Buckhannon Police Department in June.

Applause to the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce for coordinating the upcoming January Legislative Update luncheon, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Jan. 3 in the Great Hall of The Arts Center. Keeping people informed and giving area residents the opportunity to be heard is a great way to start off the new year. Local representatives Sen. Bill Hamilton, Sen. Greg Boso, Delegate Bill Hartman and Delegate Cody Thompson have been invited to participate in a discussion of Randolph County policy issues.

Boo to the vandalism taking place at the Scott Ford Boat Dock in Elkins. An area resident, Roger Summerfield, who lives near the dock, said people have done “doughnuts” by spinning their vehicles in the grass and have spray-painted the facility’s handicapped accessible areas. Summerfield said he has contacted law enforcement and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources — who owns the land. Here’s hoping the ones responsible for this vandalism are found and punished for their crimes.

Boo to West Virginia University senior football players announcing they will not be playing in the Camping World Bowl, set for Dec. 28. Yes, we love Will Grier and Yodny Cajuste, and hope they are picked high in the NFL draft. And yes, senior players sitting out bowl games has become commonplace — the Washington Post reported this week that more than a dozen of the biggest college stars are planning to sit out their teams’ bowl games this year. And yes, we also understand that players risk injuries that could jeopardize their futures as professionals by playing in bowl games. Still, these players are beloved by their college’s fans, and a red carpet has been rolled out for them during their college years. When they decide to end their college careers one game early, those fans are disappointed and the bowl games’ ratings drop — certainly many more people around the country would watch the Camping World Bowl if Grier was going to be on the field. And just how much fun will it be for even the most devout WVU fans to watch the Mountaineers Dec. 28 without Grier behind center? It’s a shame that this year’s talented Mountaineer squad didn’t finish with a better record and get to play in a meaningful bowl game. But we miss the days when players still believed there was no “I” in “team,” back when football was more of a game and less of a business.