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County sports writing icon Bob Staats passes away


Jackson Newspapers

RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. — Bob Staats, whose byline appeared on the pages of newspapers based in Ravenswood for many years, has died.

Staats suffered a stroke on Saturday and passed away Sunday.

Bob Staats

During a period that stretched nearly five decades, Staats wrote sports first for The Ravenswood News and later The Jackson Star-News.

A proud Ravenswood High graduate, Staats was a die-hard supporter of Red Devil athletics through his writing. But he also provided outstanding coverage to Ripley High teams.

In addition, he cranked out volumes of copy surrounding recreational and youth league competition from the county.

Staats’ sports coverage also extended across the river into Meigs County, doing many stories on Southern Local and Eastern Local teams.

He made it a point to keep readers up to date on how area athletes were performing at the collegiate level in their chosen sport.

His popular Sports Scope column was a must-read on a weekly basis.

An individual with an outstanding sense of humor, Staats also enjoyed picking high school, college and NFL games.

He did his high school and college picks under the name of Offsides Harry (the sage of Sand Creek). Never once did he pick Ravenswood to lose a football game.

Staats, who was honored for his writing and photography work several times, contributed to the paper in a big-time way while holding down a full-time job at Kaiser Aluminum (and the various names that followed).

More on Staats will be forthcoming in future editions of Jackson Newspapers, including comments from Fred Taylor and Mick Price, whose teams he followed for many years.

Funeral services were pending.

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