Blue Eagles Left No Doubt in Victory
WHEELING – After finishing 4-6 last season with several close losses, Magnolia was on a mission to finish games and leave no doubt.
Mission completed Saturday night as the Blue Eagles ended a perfect season going 14-0 with a Class A state championship, 62-0, against East Hardy.
“This is a special group,” Sims said. “I am very proud. Take all the wins away and take all of the other stuff away and I am most proud of the conduct of these guys. They are gentlemen, they have done it the right way and they deserve this.
“With all the close losses they had last year, they realized that it didn’t matter what anybody said, you have to finish games and you have to go out and perform. These kids didn’t just want to win, they wanted to dominate and they never took the foot off the gas all season.”
In the previous two games to get to the state championship, Magnolia was in dogfights. The Blue Eagles dug their claws into the mud against Moorefield in the semifinals and finished off the Williamstown in the closing seconds of the quarters. In the rain against the Yellowjackets, Magnolia stopped Trenton Tallman and company when its backs were against the walls.
“We were 4-6 last year.” Sims said. “And we made a commitment last year midway through that season that no matter what we were going to stick together and do this thing. I think you saw the results. We take a lot of pride in everything and I think you saw everybody step it up.
”Chase (Street) has been doing that all year. What about the effort Tyler Anderson gave and the effort of Kyle Ritz and Nick Priem? The list goes on and one with this team and I think that’s why we are so successful.”
Everybody did their job and then some for Magnolia this season. Todd Lemasters and Peau Halahingano crack down at receiver with runs to the outside. Hunter Brill, Joseph Ledergerber, Carter Seckman, Paden McConaughey, Zach Haught, and Garret Price made the perfect holes for Street and Anderson to have 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
“We all work as one,” Street said. “There is no star on this team. I won the player of the game but I am not the star on this team. I couldn’t have done anything without the guys up front and this is a great day for all of us. This is a great feeling because we are brothers, we are family and that is why we did so well. We were such a tight-knight group that worked together and left no doubt at doing their own job.”
The team effort was seen as Street ran for 194 yards, Anderson chewed up 130, and Halahingano caught a touchdown pass and returned an interception for a touchdown. Sophomore Brooks Parsons caught four passes for 44 yards to win another state championship for himself after one in basketball and and another in track.
Looking up and down the boxscore against East Hardy, you see plenty of names. One thing was for sure this season, as the late Bill Stewart, a Magnolia graduate once said, “Leave No Doubt.” The Blue Eagles did just that, running the table for a perfect season.
“This was a culmination of years of preparation,” Sims said. “This is the most special part of this team, the hard work and willingness and unselfishness.
”That is where the success starts, is the unselfish play. These guys accepted their roles and what they cared about the most is winning football games and finishing their jobs.”