Doddridge’s Burnside excited for North-South football classic

INSTITUTE – Not only does the Mid-Ohio Valley have five players on the North team for the West Virginia North-South Football Classic Saturday night, but also a member of the North coaching staff as well.

Bobby Burnside, entering his fifth season as the head football coach at Doddridge County High School, is the North special teams coach for the 7 p.m. state game at Laidley Field in Charleston.

North head coach Ryan Wilson from Clay-Battelle “just called me up and asked me if I’d be interested, and I accepted,” said Burnside.

“It’s a big honor to be down here.”

For Burnside, being a West Virginian born and raised, coaching in the annual state game pitting senior players from the North versus the South is “something I’m really looking forward to. It’s a pretty special week down here” at North-South camp at West Virginia State University.

“You’ve got one week and two practices each day,” said Burnside. “We started to see some progress after a day or two. The team’s jelling, but we still have some work to do though.”

On special teams, Burnside has East Fairmont’s Colin Harvath as both his kicker and punter for the game.

“He’s doing a nice job,” said Burnside of Harvath. “But we’ve got some great athletes on special teams too, including some good return men. We’ve basically got the positions all installed.”

As a team, the North squad’s “attitude is good and they’ve been working hard,” said Burnside. “The South may have won the last 10 games (in the series) and probably have us outsized by a little bit. But we have some really good speed. I don’t really know about their team, but I think we’ve progressed pretty nicely so far this week.”

One of Burnside’s Doddridge seniors, Clayton Lagasse, “would have had the opportunity to be down here,” noted Burnside. However, the 5-9, 175-pound running back/linebacker for the Bulldogs had shoulder surgery and also signed to play football at Glenville State. “But he was just on the border of being too close to play yet, so he didn’t risk it,” explained Burnside.

Still, Burnside was joined this week by five North players from the Mid-Ohio Valley in Parkersburg South’s Cole Day and Levi Putnam, St. Marys’ Zach Davis and Magnolia’s Tyler Anderson and Kyle Ritz.