Sitting at 0-2
I don’t know Matt Lacy from Adam.
The beauty of the gig at times is meeting new people.
Although I’d spoken with the Morgantown High School head football coach on the phone leading up to the Big Reds’ 27-21 “upset” of the Mohigans in the West Virginia MetroNews Chick-fil-A Class AAA game of the week Friday before last, I got an education in “hard knocks” from coach Lacy as well as third-year PHS boss Mike Byus, whose squad is 1-1 after not being able to stop Cabell Midland and head man Luke Salmons’ point-blank running blitzkrieg.
Lacy and Byus were talking prior to the game, asking one another how things were looking and going with their respective programs.
The MHS head coach was talking about the difficulties of being able to get assistants hired on his staff, especially once a college-age kid who wants to help realizes how costly it is.
On the other hand, the Big Reds had several assistant coaches who hadn’t yet been approved for the opener. Obviously, that didn’t make coach Byus too happy.
With football season now fully underway, one of the worst feelings is being two games in with an 0-2 record. Such is the case for a lot of area programs and coach Lacy at MHS, which got upended 17-14 in overtime Friday night against Bridgeport after leading 14-0.
Sports are funny at times, but generally speaking the “best” team usually wins.
Nonetheless, spending countless hours preparing for a contest and losing your season opener like “Doc” Chapman’s Magnolia gang did on Friday evening at Williamstown is a tough pill to swallow, just like it was for the Yellowjackets of head coach Terry Smith in week one against Wheeling Central.
The task for the Blue Eagles doesn’t get any easier this week as Ohio power Shadyside rolls into town. The Tigers were ousted in the Division VI, Region 23 championship game by Fort Frye last fall.
Magnolia’s team might be small in numbers, but they are definitely solid and played with a ton of heart.
Nowhere was that more evident than in the trenches with Blue Eagle senior defensive lineman Mike Hamrick. A first team Class A all-state selection as a junior, the now four-year starter sure was pretty impressive — at least in my eyes — with his season-opening performance.
He created havoc against the ‘Jackets and finished with 10 total stops, seven solo tackles and four tackles for loss. Whether it was 0-0 in the first quarter or 27-0 in the fourth quarter, Hamrick was leaving it all on the field every single snap.
Of note, it’s not too often an area program has a state record, but such was the case for Wirt County in the Tigers’ 40-8 victory on Friday at Paden City.
The Tigers of head man Jason Hickman established a new state mark of 10 picks, which broke the old record of nine held by Farmington in 1970 and Richwood in 1975.
Also, Wirt’s Nathan Murray led the way with a state record-tying five interceptions. Kolton Parsons had a pair of picks and the other three were by Ryan Alton, Dustin Richards and Garrett Parsons.
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org