Showalter Memorial Classic a success

The 8th annual Jeffrey Showalter Memorial Celebrity Golf Classic teed off at spacious Belmont Hills County Club under ideal conditions Wednesday.

And, when all the birdies, pars and bogeys (double and triple at times) were recorded, the Pike Island Dental team of Chuck DeMatte, Gary Schrickel, Eric Coe, Brock Woods and John Becca claimed the ‘A’ Flight with an amazing 20-under-par 52.

This marks the second straight year that DeMatte has brought a winning team to the hill-filled St. Clairsville course.

Winning the ‘B’ Flight was the Costanzo & Associates fivesome of Mike Costanzo, Jeff Thomas, Joe Doerr, Jeff Knight and Gerry Myers who carded a 17-under 55.

All proceeds from the star-studded event go to the Christian-based charitable group, the Ohio Valley Christian Soldiers.

A variety of sports celebrities were on hand, including former West Virginia University quarterback Major Harris.

I asked Major what his thoughts were on the Mountaineers entering Big 12 play this season.

“I think it is big for West Virginia,” he said following his lengthy round on the links. “The Big East seemed like it was falling apart, so I think it was the best move. Now, I think WVU can recruit all over the country. So that’s big.”

Harris said it shouldn’t take any time for an adjustment.

“I think they (WVU) can compete right away since Coach (Dana) Holgorsen is from the Big 12. He knows what it takes to win in the conference, so I think it’s a good fit.”

Sticking with the football theme, I also asked former Pittsburgh Steelers’ All-Pro safety Mel Blount and former Arizona Cardinals’ defensive end Devon McDonald their thoughts on the new concussion rule in the NFL.

“I think it’s good that the league is taking a serious look at the issue of concussions,” Blount said. “For the players, there’s a lot of life after football, and you don’t want players walking around not knowing who they are, or vegetables, as they say.

“I think the league is doing the right thing and I think the players understand,” he continued. “That’s the thing about players, they can always adjust to the game.”

Blount will have his hands full this fall as his oldest son, Akil, will be a freshman at Florida A&M. His two youngest, Jibri and Kalid, are members of The Linsly School football team.

McDonald offered these thoughts on concussions.

“I think it’s great,” the Jamaican-born former Notre Dame standout offered. “First of all, I think it will keep guys healthier, but, secondly, I think it might soften up the game a bit.”

Being a defensive player, McDonald called himself a “purist. I like to see the hitting and all of that, but at the end of the day, it’s all about being healthy. After you’re done with the game, you still want to have your cognizant skills, and I know because there are some times when my memory isn’t the best. But, at the end of the day, I lean more on the side of being healthy.”

McDonald also gave a heart-warming keynote speech during the post-scramble dinner, which was catered by Ye Olde Alpha.

North can be reached at