The then and now of Jett
The first thing which comes to my mind when I think about the last name Jett is pure Olympic gold medal speed.
For the younger crowd perhaps checking in, that would be Mr. James Jett of West Virginia fame. He’s a former Jefferson High Cougar, Los Angeles/Oakland Raider, top of the Olympic podium legend.
However, I’ve never had a conversation with James Jett.
Rather, through the years one Mr. Jett I’ve had some interaction with is Brad Jett, the once retired South Harrison High School head man turned current second year Alderson Broaddus gridiron sprint football guru.
Although his prep team the Hawks never won the last game of the season, I’m not going to count the Battlers out in what some might refer to as smaller person football.
“If we play a Saturday game, on Tuesday you have to be 178 (pounds) or below to be eligible to play,” Jett said.
“On game day they give you hydration so you can be up to 185, but no more than 185. Everything is the same except for the weight.”
Jett noted it’s “Division II rules and man it is a fast game. It’s quick. You don’t have any 300 pound bubbas. Everybody can run.”
Despite a one-win season a year ago in seven attempts, Jett likes how things are coming together as COVID-19 is hopefully on the way out.
“I’m an offensive coordinator and I went out and got linemen,” added the coach of trying to shore up a need. “(Last year) we started with 52 and ended with 42.
“We’re going to have I think 30 returners and we’ve already signed 40. Last year the West Virginia kids didn’t take it serious. It was almost like it was beneath them to be honest with you.”
Like any good coach, Jett spent the offseason trying to fortify his roster by attending everything from 7-on-7s, to the 304 Elite Camp and also combines.
“It gives a good kid that is undersized a chance to keep playing,” Jett remarked of sprint football. “They’ll get to play Division I opponents.”
In week two of last year, the Battlers earned their only win. It was a 21-2 defeat in Philippi of Post University.
Hopefully, sprint football catches on more and more across the nation.
Jett has been recruiting hard and gridiron fans can expect to see several Mid-Ohio Valley athletes build the Battler program up along the way.
“I retired with 32 years of service at South Harrison in 2015 and coached 2016 and 2017 and retired from football,” added the coach.
Even though Jett sticks with the statement “I had really and truthfully not even thought about doing anything else,” opportunity came knocking.
“I was playing golf in Fairmont and the phone rang and I was with my uncle,” Jett explained. “I said I don’t know anybody in Philippi, it’s probably a nuisance call.
“He said you better answer it and it was Denny Creehan. I didn’t think it was him and the vice president of the college got on, Eric Shor, and he said we’re serious.”
Just like that, Jett went up the next day, was offered the job and the rest is history.
“My wife and grandson were all for it and that’s how I ended up being the first sprint football coach,” Jett said.
Contact Jay Bennett at email@example.com