By KYLE LOVERN
Sydney Moss, who was voted as Miss Kentucky Basketball last weekend for 2012, has Williamson, W.Va. roots.
Her grandfather Frank Offutt was a fine athlete in the late 1950s at Williamson High School and for the American Legion Post 49 baseball team.
Moss, a 5-10 forward, is the daughter of NFL and All-Pro receiver Randy Moss and Libby Offutt, who was a standout swimmer in the Charleston area back in the early 1990s.
Sydney played her final three years of a 6-year high school career at Boone County High School under the legendary coach Nell Fookes. She set a Boone County career scoring record of 2,267 points and also had 1,074 rebounds for the Lady Rebels. Her career totals were 2,297 points and 1,602 rebounds.
Sydney, who was born in West Virginia and has strong Mountain State ties, she has signed with the University of Florida to play her college basketball. Sydney was highly recruited by multiple schools including West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, Purdue, LSU and many others. She was ranked as high as the 12th best senior in the country by one recruiting publication.
Her grandfather is a huge Mountaineer fan and would have loved to see Sydney go to WVU. However, he knew it was her decision and he is happy with her choice.
As for his own Williamson athletic career, Offutt is modest when talking about it. “I came through there with a bunch of good athletes,” he said from his St. Albans home. “I always had confidence in my defensive ability.”
He was a shortstop in baseball and also played basketball. Offutt graduated from WVU in 1961. His father was the former water superintendent for the city of Williamson.
“Williamson was a great place to grow up,” Offutt said. “I have a lot of great memories.”
He is a member of the WHS Hall of Fame.
Offutt loves talking about his granddaughter and is obviously proud of her.
“She handles it well,” Offutt said of the attention Sydney has gotten. “She would be happy if nobody knew. I don’t think it’s a pressure thing. She wants to be recognized for her own ability, rather than being Randy Moss’ daughter.”
Of course if you know West Virginia sports, you recall what an athlete Randy Moss was at the old Dupont High School. On the football field, Moss led the Panthers to back-to-back state championships in 1992 and 1993. He was a star at wide receiver, but also played defensive back, returned kickoffs and punts, and was the team’s kicker and punter. In 1994, he was honored as the West Virginia Football Player of the Year. Parade magazine named him to their annual All-American high school football team in 1995 and in 2009 named him one of the 50 greatest high school football players of all time.
In addition to playing football at DuPont, Moss was twice named West Virginia Player of the Year in basketball in 1993 and 1994. He went on to become a Heisman finalist at Marshall University.
So needless to say, she had big shoes to fill, from both sides of her family.
Moss was a three-time All-State selection and this year was named the Gatorade Player of the Year, the AP Player of the Year, and was the leading vote getter on all three Kentucky All-State teams as selected by the AP, the Louisville Courier-Journal, and the Lexington Herald-Leader. She led her team to two Sweet Sixteen appearances and this season scored 41 points in her teams OT loss in the tournament. Sydney averaged 23.3 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 4.2 APG, and 4.1 steals per game her senior year and averaged a double-double for her 153 game career.
As Miss Basketball, Moss will lead the Kentucky All-Stars against their counterparts from Indiana in a two game series on June 8th and 9th.
Now, Offutt said she is ready for the next phase of her career.