Ohio captains elected

BETHANY – The cliche says leaders aren’t made, they’re born.

When it comes to the 2013 Ohio squad for Sunday’s 68th annual Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic, the leaders stood out and caught the eye of their teammates.

Chase Kinemond (Shadyside), Matt Kinnick (St. Clairsville), Trent Neavin (Martins Ferry) and Dashon Redman (Steubenville) were voted captains for Sunday’s matchup with West Virginia by their teammates, head coach Mark Holenka announced.

“Those guys have all done a great job this week and they’re very deserving of the honor,” Holenka said.

It’s not surprising since all four were leaders on their respective high school teams.

Kinemond was the field general on both sides of the ball for Holenka’s 10-1 Tigers last fall. He played quarterback and was a first-team all-Ohioan as a defensive back.

“It’s really humbling to be thought so highly of by your teammates,” Kinemond said. “Putting the pads on all week has been exciting and we’re really anxious to get out there and play, but it’s going to be tough on Sunday after the game when we go our separate ways, but this has been a great time.”

Along with being the leader on the field, Kinemond served as a captain for the Tigers.

“We’re ready to go out and try to win a game, that’s why we’re all here,” Kinemond said. “Just being picked for this game is an honor, but to be named a captain adds a little bit of pressure, but it’s a good thing.

Kinnick served as a leader by example for the Division IV state runner-up Red Devils, quarterbacking his squad to a 14-1 record.

Kinnick, who Holenka called one of the most coachable kids in the camp, realizes that his teammates expect him to lead them this weekend.

“Anytime you’re voted for something by your peers, it’s an honor,” Kinnick said. “I’m not a vocal guy, but I try to go out and do what I’m told and coached to do. Practices have gone well and we’re ready to play.”

Kinnick is expected to be the starting quarterback when the Buckeye State takes the field on offense Sunday.

“We’ve came together well this week and we’ve become like a family now,” Kinnick explained. “We’re all really good friends off the field, too. It’s going to be tough when the game’s over to say good-bye to everyone.”

Neavin was a leader for the Martins Ferry Purple Riders despite playing in only two games after suffering a torn achilles tendon in the spring of 2012.

On top of battling his way back from the injury, Neavin also demonstrated how much the OVAC game means to him when he opted to leave the University of Pittsburgh campus and pre-season training program to play on Team Ohio this weekend.

“It’s honor and exciting to know that the guys on this team think a lot about me,” Neavin said. “These guys really believe in me and appreciate me being here.”

Neavin hasn’t left a stone unturned as he’s prepared for this weekend’s game. According to his head coach, he could see time at fullback and along the defensive front.

“I’ve just gone all out since we got here,” Neavin said. “I went as hard as I could and interacted really well with all of the guys. We’re excited to get out there on Sunday and represent our high schools and the state of Ohio. We’re ready to go, we talk about it every day.”

The West Virginia squad’s captains were also chosen and announced by head coach Mike Young. Heading out for the coin flip will be: Blaine Stewart (Morgantown), Chinelo Oparanozie (Linsly), Jake Fieler (Parkersburg South), Jon Lewis (University).

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com