2018 Pigskin Preview

McKivitz focused strictly on the season at hand for WVU

By SETH STASKEY Times Leader Sports Editor MORGANTOWN — Colton McKivitz admits there are times when he has to snap himself back into reality. Who could blame him though for getting caught up in the moment at times? After all, McKivitz is embarking on his third season as a starting ...

Yoder takes over for Bruney at Ferry

By KIM NORTH Times Leader Sports Writer MARTINS FERRY — Chas Yoder played football at Martins Ferry where he was an all-stater and Eastern District Defensive Player of the Year for the Purple-and-White following the 2004 season. After a stellar career at Mount Union and serveral years as an ...

Hayes calling the shots at Harrison Central

By KIM NORTH Times Leader Sports Writer CADIZ — Anthony Hayes, a 1996 Cadiz High graduate, has taken over the Harrison Central reins after veteran head coach Justin Kropka stepped down following last season — his 13th. However, Hayes is no stranger to the Huskies program as he served as ...

Ischy takes over the reins at Monroe Central

By RICK THORP Times Leader Sports Writer WOODSFIELD — As his players readied for media day outside of his office, Josh Ischy sat behind his desk riffling through a myriad of paperwork. Ischy is a familiar face inside the Jay Circosta Fieldhouse, but not one accustomed to being seated in ...

River set to begin life without Isaly

By SETH STASKEY Times Leader Sports Editor HANNIBAL — There have been a few times this summer when Mike Flannery has to had to catch himself. The veteran River head coach has spent the last three seasons relying heavily on Lukas Isaly. It’s been a successful recipe, too. The Pilots won ...

Shadyside returns experienced cast

By SETH STASKEY Times Leader Sports Editor SHADYSIDE — Mark Holenka has a lot of hobbies, but other than helping his grandchildren, putting jigsaw puzzles together usually isn’t high on the list. The Shadyside head football coach may grow to enjoy them even more as he embarks on his 12th ...

St. Clairsville boasts size and talent

By SETH STASKEY Times Leader Sports Editor ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Whether it’s a practice, an opponent or even as it pertains to evaluating itself, St. Clairsville doesn’t plan to leave a stone unturned. Quite simply, for Brett McLean, the entire season boils down to the word ...

Thompson takes over at Union Local

By SETH STASKEY Times Leader Sports Editor MORRISTOWN — Someone may have to pinch Bernie Thompson. The personable, 25-year old has actually been pinching himself basically every day since March when he hired as the football coach at his alma mater, Union Local. “It’s still a little ...

Expectations on the rise in Barnesville

By SETH STASKEY Times Leader Sports Editor BARNESVILLE — In many ways, the 2017 Barnesville football season was a learning experience. Head coach Blake Allen — who experienced his fair share of learning last season — is now looking for his team to take what it learned and apply it to ...

Bellaire features increased depth

By SETH STASKEY Times Leader Sports Editor BELLAIRE — Mark Spigarelli is certainly aware of the expectations that surround the Bellaire football program. After all, other than a handful of seasons that he spent coaching at West Liberty, Spigarelli has been a part of the Big Reds program ...

Ray returns to the OV to coach Bridgeport

By KIM NORTH Times Leader Sports Writer BRIDGEPORT — The head coaching carousel at Bridgeport continues in 2018 as Martins Ferry native Fred Ray takes over the Bulldogs’ helm. The 37-year-old follows in the footsteps of another Martins Ferry alum, Gary Krol, who led Bridgeport to a 3-7 ...

Buckeye Local aims to restore the roar

By RICK DELUCA Times Leader Sports Writer CONNORVILLE — Roger Herbert came to Buckeye Local last fall set on re-building the Panther football program. He endured a winless season as the school’s third coach in three years. Talking to Coach Herbert, it takes just a minute of the ...

Ohio State tries to put turmoil aside

By RICK THORP Times Leader Sports Writer COLUMBUS — The Ohio State football team will take the field a week from Saturday. And when it does, the Buckeyes will need to put the turmoil that’s surrounded the program during the last month aside and focus on the Week 1 opponent — Oregon ...

Maturity, continuity present for WVU

By JIM BUTTA For The Times Leader MORGANTOWN – Veteran West Virginia University head football coach Dana Holgorsen has a number of reasons to believe this year’s edition of the Old Gold and Blue will be much better than the ones he led during his first seven seasons in Morgantown. The ...

Newcomers to play a role for WVU

By JIM BUTTA Special to The Times Leader MORGANTOWN – It would be hard pressed to find a fan of West Virginia University football who hasn’t heard of Will Grier, David Sills V, Gary Jennings Jr., Yodny Cajuste, David Long Jr. or Dravon Askew-Henry. But, when it comes to the 2018 ...

Oklahoma, WVU picked to play for Big 12 title

By JIM BUTTA Special to The Times Leader MORGANTOWN – When the 10 head coaches from the Big 12 got together for the league’s annual preseason Media Days in Frisco, Texas, there was little surprised when the media covering the conference released its first poll of the year. Oklahoma, ...

Linsly primed for another big year

By BUBBA KAPRAL Executive Sports Editor WHEELING — The 2017 grid season was a very special one for Linsly. The ensuing campaign could be another. The Cadets rolled to a 9-2 mark en route to claiming the OVAC 3A championship. Coach B.J. Depew’s charges pocketed several impressive ...

Wheeling Park’s strength lies up front

By JOSH STROPE For The Times Leader WHEELING — Coaches around the state have been waiting for the day former Wheeling Park quarterback Cross Wilkinson graduated. That day has come but don’t expect Wheeling Park to be “easy pickings.” In fact, Patriots coach Chris Daugherty is ...

Wheeling Central primed for another title run

By JOSH STROPE For The Times Leader WHEELING — Mike Young will be the first one to tell you that “expectations are always high” at Wheeling Central. And coming off a state championship, they are about as sky-high as you could imagine. “This is definitely a group we are proud of what ...

Buckeye Trail is now fully buying in

By RICK THORP Times Leader Sports Writer OLD WASHINGTON — When Donnie Kerns took over the Buckeye Trail football program one of the things he wanted to do was change the culture. “I wanted the ‘buy in’” Kerns, entering his third season at his alma mater, said. “We had a lot of ...