OVAC all-star rosters officially set
Numerous Big Red players, Red Riders, Redskins suiting up one more time
Andrew Connor and Mike Eddy are at the point now in their preparations for next month’s OVAC Rudy Mumley all-star football game that they just simply wait.
The respective Ohio and West Virginia head coaches have their staffs in place, and their rosters are now set, too. Both head coaches officially revealed their 32-man roster, which will report to training camp at Bethany College on July 20.
As is usually the case for the head coaches, getting the nominations trimmed down to 32 wasn’t easy.
“There are so many good players that it can be tough to narrow it down to 32,” said Connor, who also serves as the head coach at Indian Creek. “We had our first team picked, but then there are always some kids you pick who decline the opportunity for one reason or another, and you have to go back and find a replacement.”
Eddy, who was the coach at South last season and will move west to Logan this year, said he and his staff had a meeting with the nomination forms and postseason accolade listings and went from there.
“I actually thought (the selection process) went well for us,” Eddy said. “We took the all-state and all-conference lists, and then laid out our depth chart with how many quarterbacks, running backs and so on we wanted.”
Once those spots were determined, Eddy turned to the coach’s nominations forms and relied heavily on the comments that the coaches of the respective athletes had supplied.
“I would say the entire process took us about 90 minutes,” Eddy said. “Plus, we still have a solid list of guys as alternates in case someone backs out in the last month or so (before camp).”
Picking the roster isn’t as simple as looking at the names and stats and taking the premier 31 players and kicker. Obviously, fitting the system and spreading the roster spots among positions and schools also is a necessity.
“Making sure you’re able to meet the required number (of schools) that the OVAC sets can be tough,” Connor said. “We were fortunate, though, that a lot of the kids we picked we had saw (play), so we had some information on them.”
Actually, the Ohio roster has a representative from 19 schools and, of those eight schools, have multiple picks. There are fewer OVAC schools in West Virginia, but Eddy still has a representation of 15 schools, and 10 of those have more than one player.
Each coach relished the opportunity to coach his own players one more time. Connor has four of his own players in Trent Bolek, Matt Mamula, Brennon Norris and Logan Wilson.
“Whenever you say goodbye to your kids (after the season), you’re always hoping or wishing for one more chance to be able to coach those guys,” Connor said. “I feel fortunate because this is the third time in nine years that I’ve been able to coach an (area) all-star game and be able to spend additional time with my guys and, obviously, meet a lot more great kids from the other schools.”
Eddy, meanwhile, selected Brayden Mooney and Nick Yoho. Both played key roles in helping the Patriots claim a West Virginia big-school playoff berth.
“I am really looking forward to another chance to spend time with those guys,” Eddy said. “They’re not only good football players, but they’re also great kids.”
Along with Indian Creek, only Steubenville and Wheeling Park garnered the maximum of four roster spots. The Big Red representatives are Keonte Holmes, Erik Lulla, Ian Phillips and Kwadre Williams. Representing Park once more will be Ryan McCave, DeVaughn McWhorter, Jermain Snodgrass and Jack Stakem.
Cade Hannahs, Barnesville; Joey Hoepfner, Bellaire; Cole LaRoche, Bellaire; Tino Kusic, Bridgeport; Trent Valentine, Cambridge; Jalen Mormon, East Liverpool; Bryce McAfoose, Edison; Evan Schob, Fort Frye; Cody Gamble, Harrison Central; Tyler West, Harrison Central; Trent Bolek, Indian Creek, Matt Mamula, Indian Creek; Brennon Norris, Indian Creek; Logan Wilson, Indian Creek; Drake Dobson, Martins Ferry; DeAndre Pugh, Martins Ferry; Davis Black, Meadowbrook; Owen Hartshorn, Monroe Central; Hunter Dennis, River; Connor Banco, Shadyside; Andrew Jobe, Shadyside; Chase Chicwak, Shenandoah; Dalton Rice, Shenandoah, Craig Bober, St. Clairsville; Justin Heatherington, St. Clairsville; Brady Kolb, St. Clairsville; Keondte Holmes, Steubenville; Erik Lulla, Steubenville; Ian Phillips, Steubenville; Kwadre Williams, Steubenville; Trent Wright, Toronto; Cal Kildow, Union Local; Derrick Suggs, Wellsville.
Hayden Hoge, Cameron; Andrew Ritchea, Cameron; Hunter Brewer, Clay-Battelle; Andrew Zedell, Hundred; Shane Hercules, John Marshall; Chas McCool, John Marshall; Brady Williams, John Marshall; Bastian Gehrer, Linsly; Jules Giovengo, Linssly; Wyatt Hirt, Linsly; Garrett Cook, Madonna; Gage Adams, Magnolia; Pat Mirandy, Magnolia; Sebastian Stickler, Magnolia; Aaron Alvarez, Morgantown; Nick DeFelice, Morgantown; Nick Malone, Morgantown; Jackson Chaney, Oak Glen; Ryan Cross, Paden City; Brayden Mooney, South; Nick Yoho, South; Jonah Phares, University; Derek Richardson, University; Jake McCoy, Weir; Reed Reitter, Weir; Rob Valenti, Weir; Anthony Robbins, Wheeling Central; Luke Duplaga, Wheeling Central; Vinny Mangino, Wheeling Central; Ryan McCave, Wheeling Park; DeVaughn McWhorter, Wheeling Park; Jermain Snodgrass, Wheeling Park; Jack Stakem, Wheeling Park.