BIDWELL, Ohio — As was the case during his prep career, the best is still yet to come.
After four years of constant growth with the River Valley boys basketball program, senior Jarret McCarley will keep expanding his game after signing a letter of intent with Glenville State College on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at RVHS.
McCarley — a 6-foot-1 guard — was a three-year letterwinner who also played on the Raiders’ varsity squad as a freshman, but he spent the better part of his first three seasons as a second or third option offensively.
McCarley’s senior campaign, however, ended up being his breakout season after earning All-TVC Ohio and third-team all-district honors with averages of 15.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.0 steals per outing.
Although the Silver and Black struggled through a 5-18 overall mark, McCarley’s versatility was on full display most every night — rather it be as the team’s leading scorer or banging inside against taller, more-physical players out of necessity.
Those characteristics did not go unnoticed, as Glenville State College — a NCAA Division II program that competes in the Mountain East Conference — swooped in and made McCarley an offer that the senior had hoped for over most of his career.
Now, with his dream a reality, McCarley is simply looking forward to make the most out of being a member of the Pioneers’ basketball family.
“This means a lot to me because I know I’ve put a lot of hours in the gymnasium, and it feels like it’s really starting to pay off,” McCarley said. “I’m looking forward to getting to Glenville and being part of something new, something challenging. I’m really excited to see just how much I can grow as a player with that program.”
McCarley — who also played multiple seasons of football while at RVHS — acknowledged that he needed two years of varsity basketball before he realized that he could possibly extend his basketball career.
When that realization came, McCarley says he did everything he possibly could to make that wish come true.
“It was my junior year that I really started thinking about how amazing it would be just to have an opportunity to play college basketball. That was when I really started pushing myself even more to get in the gym and improve my game,” McCarley said. “I worked as hard as I could, even during football season, and I held out hope that this day would be possible. To have this day come to reality, well, let’s just say that I’m ready to go to work and I’m excited about becoming a Pioneer.”
Besides the athletics, McCarley noted that the biggest draw to GSC was its academic base in his field of study. McCarley plans on majoring in Elementary Education, and Glenville State is known quite well for its education program.
He also felt that the campus — which resides in Glenville, W.Va. — will really help him stay focused on his goals over the next four years.
“The thing about Glenville is that it’s a small college town, but a lot of the campus has been modernized with new buildings and new dorms. There’s not a lot of extra-curriculars to get into, so it becomes a lot easier to stay focused on studies and practices,” McCarley said. “Glenville has an excellent Elementary Education program, and I really see it as a chance to impact lives and make a difference with the profession I am choosing. I want to make a difference, and helping shape the lives of young people is an area that I feel I can accomplish that.”
McCarley was never part of a team that finished the season with a winning record, plus the senior endured two different coaches over the course of his four-year prep career.
Nonetheless, McCarley made the most of his time in the Silver and Black — and the senior believes that being a Raider has as much to do with him becoming a Pioneer as anything.
And for that, he is truly grateful.
“I’m thankful for this opportunity, and I have a lot of people to thank for helping me get to this point in my life,” McCarley said. “Obviously, my family and teammates have played a huge part in this moment, and I really want to thank both Coach Peck and Coach Drummond for always trying to make me better as a player. I also want to thank the River Valley community for welcoming me in as a new student my freshman year because the last four years have helped mold me into the person I am today.”
Jarret currently holds a 3.7 grade-point average and is the son of Ryan McCarley of Vinton (OH) and Kari Ryan of Point Pleasant (WV).
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.