Cumberland Times-News

Local News

June 2, 2014

Mountain Ridge students compile sports documentary

— FROSTBURG — Fifteen students at Mountain Ridge High School participated in the creation of a documentary video on sports in western Allegany County, particularly the Georges Creek area, that features interviews with former Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Bob Robertson, Bob Kirk and a great-niece of baseball hall-of-famer Robert “Lefty” Grove.

“The kids did a great job. They did around 50 interviews,” said Matthew Ravenscroft, Mountain Ridge teacher.

Containing stories from all sports, the one-hour, 25-minute documentary is titled “More Than a Game.” The film will be screened for the public Thursday at the Palace Theatre at 7 p.m.

“We hope the community enjoys learning about the stories behind the scores. People told us stories they said they had never shared before. It’s something you don’t find in the box scores,” said Ravenscroft.

The documentary was made in a class that Ravenscroft teaches called historical research methods.

“We spent the entire school year on it. It was a challenge to finish since we had lost so many days to bad weather,” said Ravenscroft.

The students did research, used video cameras, took still photos, created audio tracks, edited footage, wrote copy and narratives and did voice-over work. With the seniors already done for the year, the juniors at Mountain Ridge shared their experience on the project.

“It was a lot of work. I enjoyed putting it all together and seeing the finished product. It turned out great,” said student Mason Holloway.

The documentary was based primarily on the high school sports programs at Bruce, Barton, Beall, Central, Valley, Westmar, Mount Savage and Mountain Ridge. Also providing interviews for the film were Jack Gilmore and Dave Hobel, current head basketball coach at Mountain Ridge.

“I’m not a sports person. But once I got into it, I found it really interesting,” said student Elizabeth Kirby.

“We provided some material from as far back as the 1920s. However, most of the stories begin in the 1950s,” said junior Carly Hanna.

The documentary covers baseball, football, basketball, track and field, soccer, wrestling and more.

“It was great to learn about Bob Robertson and (retired Allegany College of Maryland basketball coach) Bob Kirk. It amazes me what some people in our area have done,” said Calan Clark, a student.

Robertson, the home run-slugging first baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates, was from Mount Savage. He played in the Pirates World Series-winning 1971 season.

“He came up and gave us a long, in-person interview and brought his World Series ring,” said Ravenscroft.

“Sports is a big part of this area. It’s great to learn the stories behind the games,” said Alex Beeman, a junior.

The students were also able to interview Dorothy Thompson, the great-niece of pitching legend and Major League Baseball Hall of Fame member Lefty Grove. Thompson was able to provide stories of Grove’s life growing up in Lonaconing.

“The kids put a lot into it. I’m really pleased with the final product,” said Ravenscroft.

“It really opens my eyes to how much goes into something like this,” said Sidney Beeman, a student.

A donation is required to attend Thursday’s showing at the Palace Theatre. DVDs of “More than a Game” will be on sale at the premiere. Copies will also be available at Main Street Books in Frostburg or by calling Mountain Ridge at 301-687-8014.

Greg Larry can be contacted at

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