Magnolia’s Unity Is Unbreakable
NEW MARTINSVILLE -At times this season Magnolia has made the game of football look extraordinarily simple. But Coach Josh Sims will be the first to tell you it has been anything but.
The Blue Eagles (13-0) were long ago crowned West Virginia Class A champions. In fact, many predicted as much during the preseason.
Simply having star players is not enough, though. Sure, Magnolia boasts guys such as Tyler Anderson, Nick Priem, Chase Street, Carter Seckman and Kyle Ritz, just to name a few. But where would the Blue Eagles be without contributions from lesser known, but not any less talented players?
Hey, Zach Haught is a pretty good two-way lineman. Same for Joe Ledergerber and Paden McConaughey. Jared Kacor continually sets Magnolia up with good field position with his play on special teams. Brooks Parsons averages more than 40 yards a catch, but even when he isn’t targeted takes the top off defenses which allows more room for the runners to, well, run.
The list literally goes on and on.
“And those are the kids you don’t hear about,” Sims said. “Everybody contributed like they’ve done all year.”
The hope in Big Blue country is that team-wide contribution will continue for one more week. After knocking off Moorefield (11-2) by a 13-7 count Saturday at a rainy, muddy Alumni Field at Bill Stewart Memorial Stadium, top-ranked and unblemished Magnolia gets its first shot at a Class A football crown at 7 next Saturday at Wheeling Island Stadium.
“That’s a credit to how hard these kids have worked and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Thirteen have tried, and each has failed. There have blowouts and squeakers, shutouts and even a couple head-scratchers. But that team mentality that Sims and his coaching staff have built, makes this a tough bunch to crack.
And really, if you’ve ever been to New Martinsville you realize this season’s version of the Blue Eagles personifies what that community is all about. It’s gritty, tough and will go any length to defend a brother.
You can have the best players, but that alone doesn’t win a championship. You have to be willing to fight harder for the guy next to you than you would for yourself.
Collectively Magnolia does have the best players. A leg up, sure. But what makes this group impossible to beat is its unselfish nature. Everyone pulls the rope and it only goes one direction.
This Saturday it will be going to Wheeling Island Stadium. From 4-6 to a berth in the state title game isn’t too shabby.
“We’re obviously very excited,’ Sims said. “One more.” 100