Ian Donnen

Raising the Jolly Roger With… Ian Donnen

TENNERTON — In continuing to bring you the best sports coverage in Upshur County, the My Buckhannon sports department is pleased to present another edition of our exclusive — Raising the Jolly Roger With…

In ‘Raising the Jolly Roger With…’ the My Buckhannon sports department will interview a senior student-athlete from Buckhannon-Upshur to get to know them better and what makes them tick both on and off the field. Don’t settle for cheap knockoffs!

Our student-athlete this week is Ian Donnen — enjoy!

1. Please list all the sports you have played at B-U and what year you played them? I have played football and baseball every year since my freshman year. I was also on the track team my freshman year, but both my track and baseball seasons were cancelled before I could play any games or run any meets. I didn’t run track any following year.

2. What has been your favorite athletic moment at Buckhannon-Upshur that you participated in? I have a few moments in mind but not any one in particular I hold above the rest. My first favorite memory was having the chance to play quarterback during a varsity game at Greenbrier East. Ryan got hurt at the end of the first quarter and I finished the game as a tiny freshman. I ended up throwing a touchdown pass to TK (Tyler Kuhn) which was my memorable moment. The thrill of Friday night lights became addicting to me and it brought out my inner competitor. My second favorite moment was hitting my first home run at Elkins my sophomore year. It was one of the happiest moments of my life, and I enjoyed it extra because it was against Elkins. My next favorite moment was Bryson’s pick six to end the game against Phillip-Barbour my junior year. The moment was surreal and I’ll never forget singing the alma mater with our student section on the sideline at the end of the game. Lastly I’ve been blessed to spend my athletic career with the passionate and hardworking coaches and athletes at B-UHS, and while some moments are more memorable than others I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world.

3. Describe your toughest practice at Buckhannon-Upshur. What sport and who was the coach? The toughest practice I’ve ever had during my time at B-UHS was during the last week of the football season my freshman year. We were preparing to play Elkins and it was 30  degrees and snowing all week. They might not have been the most physically demanding, but the harsh wind mixed with the snow and freezing temperatures definitely cement its place as the hardest practice in my high school career.

4. Do you have a favorite saying from one of your head coaches? I have a few favorite sayings I’ve picked up such as “Nothin’ hurt” and “Iron sharpens iron” but those were from my youth sports career. My favorite saying the past two years has definitely been “Lock the gates”. Its one of coach Davis’s go-to’s and it means that once the game starts and the first whistle is the blown, the gates are locked and the opposing team is stuck on the field with us and they have no way out. It’s motivates the team to give it their all and it reminds us that they have to deal with us and not the other way around.

5. What was or is your favorite class you have taken at Buckhannon-Upshur and who taught it? Why was it your favorite? Both of the classes I’ve had with Mrs. Dawson (AP Literature and AP Language) have been two of my favorite classes because she is easily one of my favorite teachers and the environments are always very friendly and engaging. I also really enjoy AP Calculus this year with Mr. Revels because the class is very small and I always feel like I’m learning without dreading the course load or going to class. Mr. Revels is also one of my favorite teachers and I have had him for class five times in the past two years.

6. What is your favorite thing about being a Buccaneer? I love being able to represent the town every time I step on to the field whatever it may be. As I have grown and matured I have learned to appreciate the little things about being raised in Buckhannon and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

7. If you were asked to play another sport, what would it be and why? Realistically I would probably play basketball before any other sport, but if given the opportunity I would love to play men’s volleyball. I grew up playing basketball all the way from Stockert Youth through middle school. I would love to play volleyball  because I’ve been exposed to it a lot and I think it is very fun and enjoyable to play.

8. Who is your hero and why? To be honest, I don’t have one hero in particular. I’m a pretty observational person and I have become the man I am today by learning a little but from every single person I meet. I don’t want to have one hero I aspire to be exactly like because I understand that I am unique and what works for someone else might not work as well for me. I try to be true to myself and learn as much as I can from as many people as possible.

9. What do you want to be when you grow up? Career-wise I would love to be some sort of engineer. I would also love to retire somewhat early in order to find away to support the local community however I can once I reach that age. But more importantly than anything I plan on being a man of God and an amazing son, father, husband, brother, and friend.

10. What are your initial plans after graduation this spring? I have already been accepting into WVU and the Statler school of engineering at WVU, and I plan on pursuing a career in some sort of engineering field. My athletic career will end at B-UHS after this baseball season, and I will be done with sports forever after Legion baseball season this summer.

11. What question do you hate to answer? Despite the arrogant quarterback stereotype, the questions I hate answering most are ones about myself and my accomplishments. Every sport or activity I participate involves and team and the camaraderie between my teammates and I, so when I don’t like answering questions about my individual performance because I believe that whatever individual success I might achieve is more of a reflection of the hard work that the team as a whole has put in.

12. Who is the best athlete in your family?  This might actually be my least favorite question lol. I pride myself in my humility, but I am also the best athlete in my family. I might be the best athlete, but without the sacrifices, lessons, time, and resources my family has put into my athletic career, I would not be the athlete or, more importantly, the man I am today.

13. Do you have a favorite vacation spot? If so, where? My favorite vacation spot that I’ve been to is probably Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. The Mariott Resort I stayed at was beautiful and the food and beach was amazing. I have a few dream vacation spots that I would love to go to. I would love to visit Moraine Lake in Banf, Alberta Canada. I would also love to visit most European cities, but more than that I would love to go hiking throughout the Alps. My favorite tropical vacation is definite Bali, Indonesia.

14. What is your favorite food and one thing you won’t eat. Another thing I pride myself in is not being a picky eater. I will eat pretty much anything, but my favorite food is probably Blackened Mahi that I had at a seafood place in Cocoa Beach, Florida. I will eat pretty much anything but I hate olives and blue cheese.

15. What advice would you give to a young athlete ready to start his/her time as a Buccaneer? I would encourage young athletes to find a tight knit group of people to put it the work with year-round. A lot of people only practice during their sports seasons, but what separates average athletes from the good and the good from the great is their dedication to improving as often and as much as possible. Getting slightly better every single day year-round will get you a lot farther than only 3 months of hard-work at a time. Having a small circle to practice and workout with makes it a lot easier to push yourself and to be more consistent. My second piece of advice would to be to step up as a leader if your team doesn’t have one. And remember that leaders might not be the best athlete or player on a team but they are the glue that holds the team together. Leaders take responsibility when something goes wrong and when something goes right they give credit to everyone else and they are the last to take credit.

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