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Pioneers debut against Concord

GLENVILLE — It’s finally time for the return of football inside Morris Stadium as Glenville State College welcomes in the Dave Walker-coached Concord Mountain Lions for a 7 p.m. Mountain East Conference showdown this evening.

“I was in Dave Walker’s high school (Martinsburg) recruiting his players and now a lot are on his team,” said GSC head man Mike Kellar, who expects to start Morehead State transfer DeAndre Clayton at quarterback with Tim Heltzel backing him up. “You think how far that program has come in two years. He’s went through two spring balls and a fall camp and he’s played one game. They are hard to judge. I’ve got one game to judge them off of in the spring.

“You try to just do the best you can. You think you have a good grasp going in, but truth of the matter we’ve played four games in two years, and I watch us practicing everyday and I’m not sure what our strengths and weaknesses are from one day to the next. What we are going to try and do is go out and play with the right attitude and enthusiasm and hopefully our blocking and tackling and throwing and catching and doing all this it takes to win.”

Concord is expected to start signal-caller Jack Mangel, who threw for 310 yards and five touchdowns in the Mountain Lions’ lone game last year. Tywan Pearce, who had 10 grabs for 149 stripes and two scores in that affair, is the top threat at receiver. The Concord defense, led by sixth-year defensive back Jonathan Roebuck (32 career games) features 10 returning starters who have combined to play in more than 150 games.

GSC is coming off an 0-4 spring effort and was picked two spots ahead of 10th-place Concord in the preseason MEC poll.

Senior Javon Butler leads the Pioneer wide receivers and he’ll be joined by Zay Huff and Tre Gulley, who is being backed up by Parkersburg South graduate Dylan Day. Aaron Hopkins is listed as the starter at tight end.

Alfred Menjor and Nyle Ervin are expected to carry the load on the ground for GSC, which is expected to start Roy Coppedge and Joey Palmer at tackles, Brock Robey at center along with Ian Pomeroy and Josh McNemar at guard. Parkersburg High graduate Charlie Bauman is listed as Pomeroy’s backup on the two-deep.

First-year Pioneer defensive coordinator Brian Hill is expected to use Ellis Lilly, Justin Collier, Abu Kaikai, Max Boyd and Marcus Haigler on the D-line.

Seth Arnold, a senior from Braxton County, will join Sean Bowers at linebacker. Dane Lynch Jr. and Mark Shepherd are expected to start at corner while Shaun Sterling and ex-Parkersburg South Patriot Brandon Penn are the safeties.

“I really do like the talent. I like the skill level we got,” added coach Kellar, who will use Josh Jones at kicker, Avery Book at punter and ex-Spring Valley signal-caller Will Adkins at long snapper with Heltzel acting as the holder. “Concord has a high skill level. They got a lot of skill, but I like our skill, too.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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