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Catholic’s Jalen Brunny will throw at W.Va. Wesleyan

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Parkersburg Catholic's Jalen Brunny throws the discus at last year's Kim Nutter Invitational at Parkersburg High School.

PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg Catholic senior Jalen Brunny is nearly ready to begin his next chapter in life.

A two-time Class A state qualifier in the discus for the Crusaders, Brunny didn’t get to see his final season of track this spring materialize.

However, he will continue throwing for head coach Alan Crise at Division II Mountain East Conference member West Virginia Wesleyan College.

“They’ve got the javelin and the hammer. Hammer is what I really want to do. It seems really fun,” Brunny admitted.

“They still got the shot put and discus. (I’ll do) pretty much any of them. Wherever they put me at I guess.”

A four-year letterwinner in football and three in basketball, Brunny was looking forward to another letter, his fourth, this spring in track and hitting the podium in Charleston.

“The team did have practices, but I hadn’t got to any of the practices because basketball was still going on,” he added. “I didn’t even have one practice.”

PCHS was hoping to get back to the state basketball tournament after a runner-up finish a year ago, but lost in a regional co-final at Tug Valley.

Not long after, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and tossed everything into disarray, which for the time being still includes graduation.

“It’s good. It’s different though,” Brunny admitted of having to finish his senior year with online classes. “It’s going pretty good.”

Also involved in recruiting Brunny was Bobcat assistant coach Andrea Chidester, who competed at Williamstown before running at Marshall University.

“I went up there for a visit and I really like it there,” Brunny said of Buckhannon. “They have what I want to study. I just really liked it up there and it seemed like a good fit.

“They really want me there. I visited Marietta. I really like it there, too. I just feel like Wesleyan was a better fit for me. Marietta doesn’t have criminal justice and that helped my decision with my field of study.”

Brunny, who had a 4.0 GPA on his last report card, added “they are giving me a pretty good deal to come there” when it came to his financial aid package.

Being a student-athlete at the next level was “always something I wanted to do, but I always wanted to play football,” he said.

As things progressed, Brunny enjoyed track and started focusing on it more. He decided last year competing in track at the next level is something he’d like to pursue.

“Definitely going to miss football a lot, just playing it and being around everyone and the coaches,” Brunny said. “It was always my sport all the way up to now.

“I’m going to miss that a lot. I never really liked basketball, but being there with everyone and all my friends was the best part. It was always fun and especially the coaching staff.”

Still unable to do anything with school closed, the Crusader said he’s mainly just working out on his own and has thrown every now and then.

“I was hoping we’d at least have some meets and the state meet,” he added. “When they canceled everything we were at the girls state basketball tournament and I was like dang it’s really happening right now.

“It was kind of crazy. I always had some hope. That’s (state track) always a really fun meet to be at. Just being there is fun. Just had to wait and see what they would do.”

Brunny added he was “feeling pretty confident about everything,” when it comes to the rigors of the next level. “Wesleyan is not too big of a college.

“It’s nice, small and everything is together. It kind of reminds me of being at a small school like Catholic.”

He also noted he’ll have fond memories of the faithful Crusader fanbase, all of his coaches and all of his friends.

“My friends were always great to me. It was always amazing everyone was always at games,” Brunny stated. “I don’t think I’ve ever had better coaches than what I had at Catholic. It’s been great.

“The biggest thing that probably sticks out is making it to the state championship last year in basketball. That was one of the coolest things or making it to the playoffs in football and making it to the state meet two years in a row. I planned on making it again this year.”

Overall, Brunny is taking everything in stride and is just hoping his first semester in college will be a normal one.

“I’m doing good, just really miss my friends and being able to hang out with everyone,” he said.

“I’m going to miss it there, but I’m ready to go start something new. It’s going to be fun and I’m looking forward to it.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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