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Preston County Sport Museum Offers a Glimpse Into the Past

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ROWLESBURG -

These days, the Preston High School sports scene looks very different than it did decades ago.

Since 1991, the Knights have been the only team that represents the county, but many great teams came before them and can be remembered at the Preston County Sports Museum.

"If we don't have something to look back at and to learn from and take pride in, we have nothing basically as a society," said Retired Preston County Coach Greg Messenger. "We've got something to look back at. People take great pride in what was accomplished in these great eras."

By the mid 1930's there were 10 high schools in Preston County. By 1977, five schools remained until 1991 when final consolidation left the county just Preston High.

Once home to the Rowlesburg River Lions, the former Rowlesburg High School is now a community building and site of the Preston County Sports Museum.

Opened in 2011, the museum takes visitors back in time to the days where names like Bucky Boyard and Tony Haskiell ran the basketball courts.

"I can go into the old room and see some stuff that my former coaches have done, my uncle is in the other room. So I bring my kids here to look at my stuff, but I can see other relatives and stuff that I saw when I was growing up," said Tony Haskiell, a former Preston County athlete and record holder for points scored (63) in a Preston County basketball game.

Saturday, May 26 the museum opened its doors on a second room commemorating the years from 1977 to 1991.

"Obviously it's a work in progress," said Museum Coordinator Mike Teets. "Right now we have the framework for all the schools that existed before Preston High. So our challenge now is to enhance and add to what we have already."

Until a year ago, the teams, the championships and the past only existed in memories. Now they have a home. One that recognizes the role athletics once played in the county.

"If you grew up in Preston County, whether you were an athlete or spectator, you were involved with school sports, and other than the church, the school was the center of the community for the most part through those years," said Teets.

The museum is open Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information visit their website.