Byus has coached in all-star games before
PARKERSBURG — Friday’s 7 p.m. 25th annual BACF Ohio vs. West Virginia Football Classic, this year at St. Marys High School, is not the first all-star grid game for Parkersburg High head coach Mike Byus.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to coach in what we called in North Carolina the East-West All-Star Game, which was the western all-stars versus the eastern all-stars and I did that in 2005,” said Byus.
“Then in 2012, I had the pleasure in coaching in the Shrine Bowl, which is the longest-standing all-star game in the country, which I think is now at 77 years.
“The Shrine Bowl is all of North Carolina’s all-stars, the whole state, versus the whole state of South Carolina — that one’s a pretty big deal.”
So Byus considered it “an honor when (game director) Jodi (Mote) asked me to do this game to participate in these kind of things, and especially to be able to support the battle against cystic fibrosis at the same time.
“You try to not lose sight of the fact that the game is for a purpose — the higher calling that is the game.”
Plus, Byus wants “the kids we’ve got playing in this game to have a good experience, and we’ll try to keep it simple and teach them as much as we can in the little bit of time that we have to do so.”
Still though, Byus noted that with “only probably seven practices at the most under our belts by the time we play the game, we’re going to try to figure out who should start and from there, we’ll get them all in at some point.”
He added too that “when you not only have players that are competitive, but also coaches too, if they put a ball on the tee, people are going to do what they can to try and win.”
The West Virginia squad is predominately more Class A and AA player-oriented, with PHS, South and Ripley the only triple-A teams involved.
But Byus himself “played (football) in a double-A school when I was growing up. You know, athletes are athletes; you can find good ones in any classification. There’s talent anywhere.”
For the game, Byus elected to bring his own Big Red coaching staff with him. One thing he noted about that was “it just makes the terminology easier with everybody on the same page already.”
Plus, “our quarterback Kam Mace from PHS is playing,” noted Byus, “so that has helped with the terminology and getting kids moved around in the right places.”
Too, Byus is looking for one of his Big Red offensive lineman, Dylan Roberts, in the game “to also help us up front with that terminology and everybody going to the right place as well.”
“We’ve been putting in some base runs and base passes to mix it up a little bit on offense, and then let the kids play,” said Byus.
Defensively, “we’ll be a 3-5 team, while Ohio is using a 3-4 formation,” Byus said.
Byus, 57, is a native West Virginian, raised in Madison. His first three years coaching were in state, but then the next 30 were in North Carolina before Byus took the PHS job last year and will begin his 35th year of coaching this fall.
In addition, Byus has been doing double duty this week, what with not only having BACF practice, but also the first week of the Big Reds’ football three-week coaching period in June.
Both West Virginia, which holds a 15-9 advantage in the BACF series, and Ohio just finished up staying at Ohio Valley University in Vienna for two nights leading up Friday evening’s kickoff.
Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis Football Classic
Ohio vs. West Virginia at 7 p.m. Friday, June 15
in Bill Hanlin Stadium at St. Marys High School
(West Virginia leads the series, 15-9)
Head coach: Mike Byus, Parkersburg
Assistant coaches: All of Byus’ staff at PHS (Dave Manzo, Zach Nolan, Mike Kupfner, Dan Fiedorczyk, Scott Cleland, Dan Lott, Murray Mace)
No. Name School Hgt. Wgt. Pos.
1 Brandon May Roane County 6-1 170 R-DB
2 Seth Dailey Parkersburg 5-11 155 R-DB
3 Christian Axman Parkersburg 6-0 181 K-P
4 Logan Gogan Doddridge County 5-10 180 FB-DE
5 Kam Mace Parkersburg 6-2 180 QB
6 Aaron Turner Point Pleasant 6-1 210 S
8 Bradan Mullenix Williamstown 6-2 182 TE-LB
9 Ahmed Ali Parkersburg South 5-11 185 K
11 Noah Garrett Wirt County 5-8 160 R
15 Matt Eichhorn St. Marys 5-7 175 R-DB
17 Devin Williams Ritchie County 5-7 155 R-OLB
18 Dalton Houser St. Marys 6-0 185 R-LB
21 Jaiden Smith St. Marys 5-9 195 RB-LB
22 Keshaun Stover Point Pleasant 5-9 175 RB/QB-S
31 Curtis James Doddridge County 6-0 190 FB-LB
40 Dylan Gray St. Marys 5-0 220 FB-DE
42 Tyler Ricker Roane County 6-0 190 RB-LB/DB
43 Evan Amos Williamstown 5-10 205 RB-LB
44 Tucker Mays Point Pleasant 6-0 215 FB-DE/LB
50 Aaron Peterman Wirt County 6-3 210 C-LB
51 Tucker Dalrymple St. Marys 5-9 265 OL-DT
53 Elijah Hearn St. Marys 5-11 235 OL-DL
55 Dylan Richards Parkersburg 6-2 220 OL/TE
63 Jesse Gleason Point Pleasant 6-1 280 OL-DL
68 Ben Scott Roane County 5-10 260 OL-DL
69 Antone Herring St. Marys 6-3 230 OL-DL
70 Ethan Mahan Ravenswood 6-5 240 OT/TE-DE
73 Ryan Morton Ritchie County 6-2 280 OL-DL
75 Andrew Simonton John Marshall 6-0 255 OL-DL
88 William Howell Doddridge County 5-9 185 NG
Head coach: Mike Flannery, River
Assistant coaches: Mike Lucas, Kevin Welsh, Jason Merryman, Toby Willis, Joey Asturi, Chris Wisvari
No. Name School Pos. Hgt. Wgt.
1 Tojzae Reams Belpre RB/DB 5-8 160
2 Bailey Sprague Belpre TE/DE 6-2 195
3 Gabe Rejonis Bellaire RB/DB 5-10 170
5 Ryan LaFollette Monroe Central QB/DB 6-0 185
11 Dakota Milosavljevic Beallsville RB/DB 6-0 145
12 Dylan Hanson Shadyside OL/LB 5-10 220
14 Cody Wittekind Marietta C/DL 5-11 240
20 Nick Miller Shenandoah RB/LB 6-0 215
24 Clint Wikander Shenandoah RB/DB 5-9 160
25 Austin McPeek Shenandoah TE/DB 5-11 215
28 Devon Moss Marietta RB/LB 5-6 185
40 Ted Smith Waterford RB/LB 5-8 170
56 Josh Robinson Shadyside OL/DL 5-8 260
57 Cash Presnell Shenandoah OL/DL 6-0 220
60 Tyson Miller Fort Frye OL/DE 5-10 175
61 Luc Baker River OL/DL 6-0 300
69 Casey Hill Beallsville OL/DL 5-11 240
70 Cameron Camp Fort Frye OL/DE 6-2 240
72 Ethan Lively River C/DE 6-0 190
77 Alex Webb Monroe Central OL/DL 6-0 210
88 Cole Hinerman River WR/DB 6-0 190