Ohio, West Virginia all-stars putting the work in
BETHANY — As it pertains to OVAC All-Star camp, which now is in its second full day at Bethany College, a lot of work can get done in a short amount of time.
Both coaches — Ohio’s Eric Huck and West Virginia’s B.J. Depew — hope that trend continues, as they continue to prepare their teams for the 75th edition of the OVAC Rudy Mumley game Saturday at Wheeling Island Stadium.
One of the issues — on top of making sure their teams are well schooled on the offensive and defensive schemes — is making sure they keep their players focused on the preparation with the mindset that the game isn’t played on Tuesday.
“We have a lot of kids who are ready to play in this game,” Depew said. “We’re really happy so far, and when you get all of these kids together (on the field), it’s impressive.”
West Virginia had the bulk of its offense installed in two practices and so far Depew likes what he’s seen.
“These kids have picked things up quickly,” Depew said. “We wanted to get everything in as early (in the week) as possible because if you’re still working on that at like Thursday, it’s not going to tough on Saturday. These are bright kids and they’re eager to learn.”
Meanwhile in the Ohio camp, Huck also has been pleased, but it’s been a slower process simply for the fact that the Ohio coaching staff is trying to install a Wing-T-based system.
“Our offense isn’t something you pick up really quick with the timing and everything like that, but the kids are doing really well,” Huck said. “They’re competing hard already.”
Though the Ohio timing will come as more and more reps are given throughout the remaining eight practices, the Buckeye State offense is picking up the scheme.
“The kids are definitely getting the hang of it and most importantly, they’re working so hard and are eager to figure it out.”
It was clear as media day unfolded Monday that both states really are coming together off the field, too. Both seem to be building chemistry in the dorm and away from football.
“It’s really neat to see how they interact and get along with each other,” Huck said. “Even after we got off the field (Sunday night), they were coming into (the coaches’) rooms and asking questions. They’re excited to play and compete.”
West Virginia practiced in the later window on Sunday, so Depew didn’t have many visitors like Huck did because many of his players went to sleep.
“Everyone was tired (Sunday), so for the most part it was very quiet,” Depew smiled. “We’ve not had enough time to have anything (bad) happen.”
Depew and his staff aligned the rooming assignments so that no player from the same school was in the same room. Basically, he forced his players to make new friends.
“The goal is to have them get to know each other and make relationships that will last well beyond this week,” Depew said.
• The OVAC McDonald’s All-Star Band reports to Bethany College today to begin its preparations. The band will perform a show consistent from the music of Queen and features nearly 100 members.
• Fans are reminded that no tickets will be sold at the gate. All tickets must be purchased in advance online. Information and links to purchase can be found at ovac.org