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2018 Pigskin Preview

Lowery takes over at Cambridge

By BUBBA KAPRAL Executive Sports Editor CAMBRIDGE — Josh Lowery did a superb job of leading Cambridge as a quarterback. Now, the affable 34-year-old steps into the role as the Bobcats’ head coach. Lowery takes over for Kevin Gunn who resigned after last season, just a year after being ...

Meadowbrook not shying away from expectations

By SETH STASKEY Times Leader Sports Editor BYESVILLE — As it pertains to what he thinks about his 2018 Meadowbrook Colts, head coach Jeff Twiddy isn’t bashful. “From day one (when I was hired), the expectation has been to win a state championship and I don’t want to sound cocky or ...

Indian Creek poised for success

By BUBBA KAPRAL Executive Sports Editor WINTERSVILLE — Finishing. That is the focus for Indian Creek football this fall. The Redskins ended 2017 with a deceptive 6-4 mark. Three of those losses were by six points or less while a fourth setback saw the outcome still up for grabs in the ...

Steubenville set to open defense of title

By ED LOOMAN For The Times Leader STEUBENVILLE — Big Red’s ultra successful football program boasts a bevy of first-class components, including the high-quality game day magazine sold outside Harding Stadium. Supporters of the Crimson and the Black will definitely need that publication ...

Steubenville CC skilled, but not deep

By ED LOOMAN For The Times Leader STEUBENVILLE — Steve Daley isn’t exactly stuck between a rock and a hard place as he gets his Steubenville Catholic Central football team ready for the 2018 season, but he is pretty darn close. With a boatload of starters back on both sides of the ball, ...

Willis calling the shots at John Marshall

By SHAWN RINE For The Times Leader GLEN DALE — Jason Willis has been around the John Marshall program for decades, first as the team’s quarterback in the early 1990s and most recently as a longtime assistant coach. So when the head coach position came open with the retirement of Rick ...

Weir High roster is deep and talented

By RALPH COX For The Times Leader WEIRTON — With a wealth of experience, some outstanding underclassmen and three top transfers, the Weir High football team could be in for a very exciting 2018 campaign. Veteran Red Rider coach Tony Filberto already has a strong group returning from the ...

Madonna roster includes only four seniors

By RALPH COX For The Times Leader WEIRTON — After returning Madonna football to the playoffs for the first time since 2013, Darin Hicks hopes the culture of playoff football is once again something that is expected at the small Catholic school on Weirton Heights. Hicks has nine lettermen ...

Togetherness a key attribute for Magnolia

By CODY TOMER For The Times Leader NEW MARTINSVILLE—As Magnolia football coach Dave Chapman watches his team practice in the early going of the 2018 season, he notices three things. Team chemistry, speed and a group of seniors itching to finish their careers the way they started—with a ...

McLean high on Brooke sophomore class

By KYLE LUTZ For The Times Leader WELLSBURG — On the first official day they could practice, coach Mac McLean and his Brooke squad wasted no time, literally. At the stroke of midnight on Sunday, July 29, McLean and the Bruins got together at Brooke field to begin the 2018 season. “We ...

Five new coaches set to begin careers

By RICK DeLUCA Times Leader Sports Writer Anyone that thought that the 2017 football season brought a lot of changes in the coaching ranks of the schools in The Times Leader’s coverage area, take a look at 2018. Not only are there at least seven new coaches on the sidelines this season, but ...

West Liberty returns 15 starters and 40 lettermen

By DON CLEGG For The Times Leader WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – A series of injuries short-circuited a promising start to West Liberty’s 2017 campaign but head coach Roger Waialae expects a brighter 2018 when the Hilltoppers return to West Family Stadium this fall. “I like our talent level and ...

Ohio University looks to take next step in MAC

By RICK THORP Times Leader Sports Writer DETROIT — The Ohio University football team ended its 2017 season with a bang, crushing UAB, 41-6, in the Bahamas Bowl. Despite that, the Bobcats cleaned out their lockers with a bitter taste in their mouths. Despite a 9-4 campaign, it was one that ...

Wheeling Jesuit set for maiden voyage

By JOSH STROPE For The Times Leader WHEELING — A new era begins for Wheeling Jesuit University this fall as football finally comes to the school. Martins Ferry native Zac Bruney was hired last year to build the program from scratch and the team took to the field during the second week of ...

OVAC Football Capsules

BEAVER LOCAL BEAVERS Head Coach: Mike McKenzie 2017 Record: 7-3 Last Playoff Appearance: 2005 (lost to Steubenville, 34-7, in regional quarterfinal) Key Returnees: Garrett Givens, Sr., RB/LB; Jacob Kane, Jr., RB/DB; Jared Wright, Sr., LB/C; Alec Pos, Sr., OL/DL; Donovan Garcia, Sr., ...

Franke now leading the way at Toronto

By AARON PETCHAL For The Times Leader TORONTO — The Toronto football team is looking to get back on track after a disappointing end to 2017. The Red Knights began the season 4-1 but lost its last five games to finish at 4-6 and miss the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Toronto’s ...

Morris returns to the sideline to lead Frontier

By Mike Morrison For The Times Leader NEW MATAMORAS - -After a 12-year hiatus, veteran head coach Russ Morris returns for his 13th season as head coach of a very young Frontier Cougar squad in 2018. Frontier will be looking to rebound from a pair of 1-9 seasons with a roster of 24 kids that ...

Defense could lead Notre Dame to playoff

By JOSH STROPE For The Times Leader SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Last October, Notre Dame was ranked No. 3 in the College Football Playoff standings. The Fighting Irish were going to crash the party and leave a conference champion on the outside looking in. Then Notre Dame went to Miami and got ...

Pittsburgh looking to rebound from 5-7 season

By TRACY WATSON For The Times Leader PITTSBURGH - With three losses to nationally-ranked teams and three more losses by six points or less, the 2017 college football season may be one to forget for Coach Pat Narduzzi and his Pittsburgh Panthers. However, while Pitt finished off a 5-7 ...