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PHS’s Waybright, Bauman highlight North-South game

Photo by Kenny Kemp North All-Star linemen Justin Waybright (left) and Charlie Bauman helped Parkersburg capture the Class AAA boys track title less than a week ago.

INSTITUTE — It never hurts to have some proven winners on your team, and that’s exactly what the North has for Saturday’s WCHS-TV/Fox 11 North-South All-Star Football Classic at South Charleston High School.

Less than a week ago, a pair of North linemen from Parkersburg — Justin Waybright and Charlie Bauman — came to University of Charleston Stadium and left with a Class AAA state track championship. Their efforts in the weight throws Saturday were a big reason the Big Reds piled up enough points to capture the boys AAA crown for coach Rod O’Donnell’s team.

Now, that same duo has returned to Kanawha County to try and help the North continue its winning ways in the annual all-star football contest, as it’s taken the last four meetings with the South.

Waybright is listed as a 6-foot-1, 235-pound defensive end and Bauman as a 6-3, 270-pound offensive and defensive lineman.

At the Class AAA state track meet, Waybright won the shot put and discus and Bauman placed second and third in those events, respectively, giving Parkersburg a total of 34 points between them. The Big Reds ended with a 29-point margin over runner-up Wheeling Park.

Waybright said he and Bauman have received some recognition of their championship efforts since North-South football camp opened on Sunday at West Virginia State.

“We’ve actually had a group chat going for a while now,” Waybright said, “just the whole team and talking about what we’re going to do, for about a month. After the (state meet), Charlie put in there what we had done — because some people had mentions in there a little bit ago about wrestling in the states. When we got down here, the coaches were like, ‘Oh yeah, you guys just won states here.’ And it was the day after, so it was fresh in everyone’s minds.

“Some of the guys for Wheeling Park who are here ran track and we talked to them a little bit about stuff, going back and forth and the competition there at the state meet. Other than that, it’s been fun. People are impressed by it, and that’s about it.”

Bauman pointed out that it’s quite different going from preparation for a track meet to getting ready to play a football game.

“Not in my mind,” he said, “because I’ve been excited to come down and play. It’s an awesome opportunity to come down here. Now for my body it is, to get that turned around and ready to go for practices and for the game, obviously. Football is a much more physically demanding sport.”

Waybright noted that the approach before a big track meet is opposite from football.

“I know for a couple days before states, we just rested pretty much,” Waybright said. “Football, you’re always going at it. You can kind of dial it down before games and stuff, but you’re all the time going at it. Track, for what we do, might be a little more technical at times.”

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