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Local Football Practice Kicks Off

By Staff | Aug 10, 2016

Magnolia enters this season as reigning state champs. Despite losing 15 players to graduation and a change in coaching staff, head coach Dave Chapman is optimistic about the season. Photos by Bruce Crawford

The 2016 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 24 players, but should have more than 30 to open the season.

Head coach Greg Hostetler 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.

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 line in the Ohio Valley. Come Aug. 26 when they open up with Cameron in Hornets territory, the front line should be 230 plus across the board. When push comes to shove, the Hornets have a few more to put in and not miss a beat.

At Magnolia, Coach Dave Chapman is optimistic about the season after running the table and winning the state championship in 2015. He is excited about the upcoming season and believes his 34 players out can excel and put Magnolia back in contention for a run in the playoffs once more, even after losing 15 seniors.

At River, Pilots coach Mike Flannery has a group of 30 studs 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 only lost a few seniors to graduation, but the biggest loss was his son and starting quarterback Joey Flannery.

Hundred coach Greg Hostetler leads his crew during the 2016 football season’s first practice on Aug. 1.

Down the river at Paden City, Wildcats coach Brent Croasmun has 20 out, including starting quarterback Aaron Heasley. However, Croasmun will need to look to some underclassmen to fill the void lost by some outstanding players. 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 39 players out to lead the area in numbers. Walton is optimistic about the season. He has a good group to work with, including Tyler Anderson, Jace Reed and Brandon Keys. Walton is excited in what he sees.

At Valley High School, Shane Highley left the head coaching duties to be Wetzel County’s assistant superintendent. Highley handed the duties to his offensive coordinator, Logan Miller. Miller, 28, is chomping at the bits in getting started. He has 28 players out, with only five of them being seniors.

Miller lost a world of talent that included the schools all-time rushing leader and OVAC MVP in this years All-Star game – Trey Streets. But returning is promising back-up quarterback Tyler Kocher and running-back Matthew Throckmorton. The Lumberjacks season still looks very promising.

Paden City coach Brent Croasmun is confident that he has a skilled group of players to earn some wins during the upcoming football season.

Valley suffered a blow by losing Coach Shane Highley so close to the beginning of the season. However, Logan Miller has experience as the Lumberjacks’ offensive coordinator.