Depew looking for balance

WHEELING – West Virginia head coach B.J. Depew wants his team to be balanced during the Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic, which is slated for Wheeling Island Stadium on July 27.

And he’s confident that his team will have plenty of capable targets from which his quarterbacks can choose to make the passing effective.

“You’re always going to have guys with good speed and great hands in an all-star receiving corps,” Depew, the head coach at Linsly, said. “We have good, big targers who are fundamentally sound, good route runners and they’ve been well coached.

“We think we’re very solid at receiver and there’s really no weak link.”

Set to battle for the starting spots when the players report for camp on July 20 are Eric Banks (Wheeling Park), Will Bowser (Madonna), Clarence Bennett (Weir) and LaVonte Hampton (Bishop Donahue).

Here’s a capsule look at the players who returned their information sheets:

WILL BOWSER, Madonna – This Blue Don did a a lot of winning and made a lot of plays during his career under Doug Taylor.

The 6-foot, 180-pounder was a standout on both sides of the ball and as the team’s punter. He earned four letters and finished as the Madonna career leader in interceptions. He scored seven touchdowns last season, which finished as Class A state champions.

Bowser was a member of state championship teams in baseball (2012) and basketball (2011), earning all-state in all three sports.

Away from sports, Bowser was active in National Honor Society, student council, class volunteer, newspaper staff, altar server, Interact Club, Pro-Life Club and he volunteers.

The son of Bill and Donna Bowser plans to attend Washington & Jefferson.

CLARENCE BENNETT, Weir – This former Red Rider was a standout on the perimeter for coach Tony Filberto’s squad.

The 5-11, 160-pounder was a four-year regular for the Red Riders.

He is undecided about his collegiate future.

ERIC BANKS, Wheeling Park – This Patriots’ playmaker was a consistent home-run threat in the passing game for coach Chris Daugherty’s team last season.

The 5-9, 170-pounder caught 46 passes for 796 yards and seven touchdowns. All told, he accounted for 1,098 all-purpose yards.

Banks earned several postseason honors, including all-OVAC, is all-time receiving yards (1,521) at Wheeling Park.

The grandson of Bill and Tammy Gooch plans to attend Fairmont State.

LAVONTE HAMPTON, Bishop Donahue – This former Bishop saw time all over the field for coach John Durdines’ squad during his career.

The 6-1, 185-pounder caught 42 passes for 715 yards and nine touchdowns last season. He had three touchdowns on punt returns. He also ran for five scores.

Hampton was a first-team all-state pick along with all-OVAC and all-Mason Dixon.

The son of Kelly Smith plans to attend Bethany College.