Football 2016 Gets Underway
By ED PARSONS
With the temperatures soaring into the 90’s for the past month or so, and with no relief in sight, high school football players felt the heat during their first day of practice for the 2016 season. Monday Aug. 1, was the first day of legal team practice for West Virginia high schools per the rules of the WVSSAC. Coaches throughout the state brought their teams together for the opening day and as most old timers would say, the weather was just right for conditioning.
Among those teams hitting the field were the Paden City Wildcats under long time mentor and coach Brent Croasmun and the Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights, who are headed up by Head Coach and Athletic Director Ryan Walton.
The Wildcats are once again low in numbers as the turnout on Monday showed around 20. Graduation claimed several big names from last year while a couple others were lost to injury.
Coach Croasmun’s squad not only lacks numbers, but it is also short on skill players and depth will be a factor. However, based on the attitude displayed on Monday, the Wildcats will not be short on effort or desire. A few players have moved up from middle school and hopefully by opening day, they will be ready to help the Wildcats earn some victories.
Although the Knights lost some quality players from last year’s team, Walton and staff had close to 35 show up for opening day with many back for their third and fourth year. Tyler Consolidated’s young men showed no ill effects from the heat on Monday and if they keep the attitude displayed on opening day, they will be a force to contend with.
Several skilled players are returning and depth doesn’t seem to be a problem, however, like most teams throughout the state, one of the biggest concerns is injuries. If The Silver Knights can avoid the injury bug, they have a legitimate chance of being a contender.
Coming soon will be the Wheeling papers fall football preview and the following week the county papers will have their yearly football tab. It looks like it will be another interesting year for local sports with opening kickoff for football just four weeks away.
I don’t know about you, but it sure seems like yesterday that the Super Six were playing on Wheeling Island. With that being said, let’s root on our teams in hopes of making it happen once again for this area.