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Countdown to Kickoff
July 18, 2011 - Robert "Bubba" Kapral
High school football officially got under way Sunday in the Ohio Valley. That is when OVAC All-Stars arrived at Bethany College for a week's work before Sunday's Rudy Mumley OVAC Charity Football Classic. This week, in anticipation of the all-star clash, triggers a sense of excitement only high school football can bring to the valley. There are only two times of year in the Ohio Valley, prep football season and waiting for prep football season. While the regular season is still more than a month away, the juices now begin flowing for prep grid fans. All eyes will be cast toward the OVAC game. After that, official practice begins in a week which dovetails into double sessions and pre-season scrimmages. The next month will be filled with optimism throughout the OVAC as all schools are still unbeaten. Excitement and fanfare will escalate until the opening weekend of games, commencing on Aug. 25. It is a special time in the Ohio Valley. Nothing energizes the area like high school sports with football being the linchpin. The Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Game is one that Ohio is always expected to win. For the most part, the Buckeyes justify the role as favorites. But in one game, with emotions running high, anything can happen. Upsets have happened, and with the Mountain State now able to call upon big school rosters at Morgantown, University and Parkersburg South, the talent unbalance is leveling. The Ohio squad is again under the direction of Martins Ferry's venerable Dave Bruney. It is Bruney's fifth tour of duty guiding the Buckeyes, remarkably in five different decades. Bruney is 4-0 as Ohio's head honcho. Despite, much roster shuffling, I will be shocked if the Purple coaching legend isn't 5-0 once the final horn sounds Sunday night.
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