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High Schools Begin Football Practice

August 9, 2017
BY BRUCE CRAWFORD - Sports Writer ( , Wetzel Chronicle

The 2017 edition of high school football has begun with all local teams hitting the field for practice last week.

Notably, Hundred opened its first practice with 14 players, but should have 20 to open the season. First-year head coach Shayne Minor is optimistic about the season and believes the boys are willing to work and get ready to turn the other cheek, learn from the previous years, and turn the program around to start winning some games.

But first they have to get over a devastating flood that wiped them out in many different ways. Besides trying to get the field ready, they have to help get their homes back in order as well as equipment lost in the flood, that wiped almost all the teams equipment and personal items like football cleats.

Article Photos

Photo by Bruce Crawford
A couple Valley Lumberjacks work on their upper body and their strength, flopping big tires during the first day of practice.

It starts up front with the big boys, and big boys they are. If injuries don't take a toll before the first game, the Hornets should have one of the biggest and baddest front lines in the Ohio Valley - come Aug. 25 when they open up with Clay-Battelle. They were supposed to play at home, but because of the flood and getting their bleachers and press box in, they will now play at Clay-Battelle High School.

The Cee-Bees went over and beyond to help their neighbors out by letting them practice on their field. They even fed the boys after practice. Nice neighbors.

At Magnolia, Coach Dave Chapman is optimistic about the season after winning just two games last season. He is excited about the upcoming season and believes his 30-plus players can excel and put Magnolia back in contention for a run in the playoffs once more.

At River, Pilots veteran head coach Mike Flannery has a group of 30 players that look to return the Pilots to the playoffs and beyond. But, Flannery wants his squad to take it one game at a time and improve each time out.

He lost a good many seniors to graduation, including the bulk of their line and backfield except for the Wetzel Chronicle's Player of the Year in Lukas Isaly. They will open up their season Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. on the Pilots new turf at Martin Flannery Field.

Down the river at Paden City, Wildcats head coach Brent Croasmun has close to 20 out, including a huge front line. However, Croasmun will need to look to some underclassmen to fill the void lost by some outstanding players in Aaron Heasley and Hayden Hizer. Croasmun feels that he has a nice group of skill players back to fill in that gap, but only playing time and hard work will see if that holds true.

Out at Tyler Consolidated, Silver Knights coach Ryan Walton has 20 plus players out. Walton is optimistic about the season, after making the playoffs last season and losing Tyler Anderson and Jace Reed to graduation. He has a good group to work with, including Griffin Phillips, Nate Lancaster and Colby Buchanan.

At Valley High School, second-year Head Coach Logan Miller, is chomping at the bit in getting started. He has 30 players out, with eight of them being


Miller lost a world of talent that included Matthew Throckmorton and Dylan Irvin. But with returning quarterback Tyler Kocher, running back Levi Streets and tight end Peyton Bassett, the Lumberjacks season still looks very promising.



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