OVAC All-Star Game coaches named
Playing in the Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic is a goal of many prep football players in the Ohio Valley.
Having the opportunity to lead either the Ohio or West Virginia All-Stars is the goal of area coaches.
For Jose Davis and B.J. Depew, they’ve been honored in both capacities.
Davis – the now former coach at Bellaire High School – and Depew – the head coach at Linsly – have formally accepted the invitation from the OVAC to guide their respective states in this summer’s 69th annual Rudy Mumley OVAC Game, which will be held on Sunday, July 27th at Wheeling Island Stadium.
Davis was the Ohio quarterback in the 1996 game and capped a strong five-year stint as the head coach at his alma mater by winning the OVAC Class 3A title this past season.
“I am excited for the opportunity to go represent Ohio and try to win a game,” Davis said. “It’s definitely an honor to play in the game and to have the opportunity to coach in it, too was important to me, which is one of the main reasons why I accepted the position.”
Davis resigned from his post with the Big Reds shortly after the first of the year. He guided the Big Reds to the postseason each of the last two seasons and finished with a 7-4 record this season.
Both coaching staffs have received their nomination forms to begin the selection process of the players, who will report to camp at Bethany College on July 20.
“We’re probably going to meet as a staff next week and see where we’re at with picking this team,” Davis said. “It’s a tough job. You kind of have an idea of the guys you want, but there are some really good players who might not fit your system or what you’re planning on doing (scheme-wise).”
One of the perks of coaching in the game is the ability to honor the players who helped get the staffs into the game.
“That’s going to be tough with our guys because we have several deserving, but we can only take so many,” Davis explained. “But, those kids understand that it’s not personal. I am going to do what’s best for the Ohio All-Star team.”
DEPEW didn’t know he’d be afforded the opportunity to lead the West Virginia squad for the second time in his career. He finished behind Magnolia in the OVAC Class 3A standings, but the Blue Eagles’ staff elected to turn down the invitation.
“When (the OVAC) asked, there was no hesitation on my part,” Depew said. “I wanted to check with my entire staff to make sure they wanted to do it and it would work out well for our families to commit that time in July. We’re excited to do it.”
The Cadets finished with a strong 8-2 record last season with a relatively young squad.
This will be Depew’s fourth time affiliated with the game. He was a player for the Mountain State in 1994 and then coached under his dad, Terry, in the 2005 contest and led the team in 2008.
“I am guessing this will be an even better experience because there’s a lot less of an unknown,” Depew said. “I am looking forward to being around the kids and getting to know some of the guys we played against.”
When Depew last coached in the game, Ohio was in the midst of lengthy winning streak. The Buckeye State lost in last year’s game and the balance of power has shifted somewhat since the OVAC expanded and added larger West Virginia schools to the conference.
“This game is going to be a toss up,” Depew said. “I am not sure you can ever just predict this game to go one way or another because both states have plenty of talented players.”