RAVENSWOOD-He has thrown a state playoff record 98-yard touchdown pass and has returned an interception 107 yards for a score. But, that's just the tip of the iceberg when talk begins about Ravenswood's Cole Starcher.
"He (Starcher) is one of the most versatile players I've coached," head coach Dick Sturm explained. "Offensively or defensively, Cole has the ability to break a game open."
The 175-pounder did both during No. 1 Ravenswood's 24-19 victory over No. 4 Bluefield in the semifinal round at Flinn Field. Offensively, the senior quarterback rushed for a game-high 184 yards on 32 carries-scoring one touchdown on an eye-popping 68-yard run-and completed half of his 10 passes for 83 yards.
Photo by Kerry Patrick
Heavy emphasis will be placed on Ravenswood senior Cole Starcher during Friday’s Class AA state championship game between the Red Devils and Magnolia.
Defensively, the three-year starter at safety ended any hope of a Bluefield comeback when he picked off a Levi Beckett attempt at the Beavers' 48 with 33 seconds left to play.
"The coaches and my teammates put a lot of faith in me and I don't like letting them down," said Starcher. "I want the ball in my hands when the game is on the line , but I will do whatever our team needs me to do for us to win."
And, win the Red Devils have done in 2010, going 13-0 for the first time in the school's history.
"Our fans have just been outstanding," continued the player. "They have been so enthusiastic and vocal that we (the players) do whatever we can to keep them fired up."
Starcher and his teammates have done a lot of that in the postseason, beginning with a 63-21 win over No. 16 Poca in the opening round and then eliminating Little Kanawha Conference, and No. 9, Roane County by a 48-20 score in the quarterfinal round.
In the first three rounds of the playoffs Starcher has rushed the ball 60 times for 570 yards (9.5 ypc) and six touchdowns while passing for three other scores.
"He (Starcher) can do it all," added Sturm. "About the only negative thing you can say about the kid is that he gets too hard on himself and we have to work to calm him down."
In his final season with the red and black, Starcher has carried the football 160 times for 1,402 yards (8.7 ypc) and 13 touchdowns and completed 46-of-99 attempts for 794 yards and seven touchdowns with six interceptions. And, all of this despite missing the first two games of the season for violating team rules.
"All I want to do is win," continued the player.
Starcher and his Red Devil teammates will get one last opportunity for a victory at 7:30 p.m. Friday when they take on No. 2 Magnolia (13-0) for the Class AA championship at Wheeling Island Stadium.
"This is what we have been working for," said Starcher. "Everybody (in Ravenswood) will be there and we want to bring home that championship. It's been a long time since we've been able to do that."