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2019 Pigskin Preview

WVU’s McKivitz soaking up every minute of final collegiate season

MORGANTOWN — Where does the time go? That’s one of the many questions that Colton McKivitz has found himself pondering as he prepares for his final season at West Virginia University. “It sure went by pretty quickly,” McKivitz, who will start Saturday at left tackle when the ...

Martins Ferry boasts veteran skill players

MARTINS FERRY — Another Ohio High School Athletic Association playoff berth is the goal as Martins Ferry enters year two of the Chas Yoder era. The Purple Riders went 7-4 last season, earning a Division V home postseason game against long-time rival Bellaire in a contest they dropped in ...

Monroe thinking more about ‘win-loss’

WOODSFIELD — Goals for high school football teams vary from year to year. They depend on many variables. At Monroe Central, although they aren’t yet written in stone, second-year head coach Josh Ischy believes his team’s aims are quite different than a year ago. “Last year, our goal ...

River wants to build on 2018 experiences

HANNIBAL — River continues to prove the pundits wrong. Two years ago, the Pilots squeaked into the Division VII, Region 27 field with a 6-4 record and came within a whisker of shocking top seed Danville in the regional championship game. Last fall, River opened the campaign with a pair of ...

Shadyside celebrating 100th football season

SHADYSIDE — The level of excitement for Shadyside football is always high in August. The level is even a bit higher than normal as this season approaches. The 2019 campaign promises to be one to remember. Shadyside is celebrating its 100th season of football and has a season’s worth of ...

St. Clairsville to feature plenty of new faces

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — It’s almost become the norm around St. Clairsville. As they’ve been doing with regularity, the Red Devils put forth another impressive campaign in 2018. Like at every high school, graduation occurred in the spring and members of the roster were presented a ...

Union Local wants to take the next step

By SETH STASKEY Times Leader Sports Editor MORRISTOWN — There’s no substitute for first-hand experience. Bernie Thompson agrees with that philosophy, but there are times when he wished he didn’t. As it pertains to himself, Thompson is totally on board with the idea as he prepares for ...

Barnesville looks to build on strong finish

BARNESVILLE — Momentum is a big factor in determining who wins and who losses in athletic competition. After going 3-7 in Blake Allen’s first year as head coach, Barnesville struggled to a 2-5 record after seven weeks in his second season. However, the Shamrocks caught fire and breezed to ...

Beallsville optimistic despite low numbers

BEALLSVILLE — Numbers are low but expectations are high at Beallsville. Rusty Lucas takes over the Blue Devil grid reins this fall. He succeeds Larry Deem who did a masterful job of keeping the program afloat for four seasons. Lucas has just 15 gridders to work with. However, a lack of ...

Morgantown Trinity making grid comeback

MORGANTOWN — When it comes to OVAC football, there is a new kid on the block. Morgantown Trinity is ushering in the gridiron sport this season for the first time since 2009. The Warriors will feature a 20-plus member squad and will be coached by Marcus Law. Trinity will tackle a nine-game ...

Numbers, expectations up at Bellaire

BELLAIRE — Mark Spigarelli entered the offseason with a renewed vigor. It didn’t take long, however, for him to jot down a few concerns that he knew had to be addressed before the 2019 Bellaire football season got under way. Spigarelli ventured to a few basketball and baseball games last ...

Bridgeport features youthful roster

By KIM NORTH Times Leader Sports Writer BRIDGEPORT — Year two of the Fred Ray era at Bridgeport is filled with plenty of question marks. Some of which are on the field and some that are off. One of those questions was filled recently when Clarksburg Notre Dame officially announced it was ...

Buckeye Local looking for turnaround

YORKVILLE — Roger Herbert is starting his third season as Buckeye Local’s head coach and is still looking for that elusive first win. That may be the bad news. On the other hand, Herbert is starting his third season with the Panthers and not only does he believe this is the best group of ...

Ohio State begins a new ‘Day’ with high hopes

COLUMBUS — All eyes are on Ryan Day as he steps into the role as architect of one of America’s top college football programs. Day, 40, looked full of vigor and vitality earlier this month as he led Ohio State onto the Scarlet and Gray turf at “The Woody” for the Buckeyes’ first ...

Brown era set to begin at West Virginia

MORGANTOWN — The Neal Brown Era begins at West Virginia. The former Troy University coach begins his first season in charge of the Mountaineers, taking over for Dana Holgorsen, who left after nine seasons to take the job at the University of Houston. Brown complied a 35-16 record with the ...

Oklahoma picked to win another Big 12 championship

Oklahoma earned a trip to the College Football Playoff after a 12-1 season in which the Sooners avenge their only loss, beating rival Texas in the Big 12 title game. Oklahoma saw its national title hopes ended by Alabama in the Orange Bowl. But despite losing a Heisman Trophy-winning ...

Linsly set to face daunting schedule

WHEELING — Linsly is no stranger to tackling demanding football schedules over the years. The Cadets’ 2019 slate, however, is one of the most challenging yet. Coach B.J. Depew’s charges are coming off a 6-4 campaign and two years removed from a 9-2 OVAC 2A championship season. Despite ...

Wheeling Park’s line play will be key

WHEELING — The numbers are big at Wheeling Park — 105 players came out this summer for football. The starting quarterback and all three running backs return. So does much of the defense. Where Wheeling Park will have the biggest questions this season comes in front of its electric ...

Heasley takes over at Paden City

PADEN CITY — Zach Heasley cares deeply about the Paden City community. His focus on team chemistry and family, along with his knowledge of football could be exactly what the Wildcats need for their football program. Heasley takes over as head coach at his alma mater after 20-year head ...

Wheeling Central eyes third straight title

WHEELING — Expectations are always high at Wheeling Central and this year is no exception. The Maroon Knights are coming off two straight W.Va. Class A state championships and return a plethora of talent, including two-time Huff Award winner Adam Murray and sensational starting quarterback ...