‘Cats and Knights set for BACF game
Tyler Consolidated and Paden City high schools will once again have a strong presence in the Parkersburg area as both athletes and coaches prepare for the annual BACF Football Classic.
This year’s edition will see West Virginia’s Mid-Ohio Valley all-stars led by Paden City’s Brent Croasmun, aided by his coaching staff, while five area football players strap the pads on once again.
“This is a great way to start the football season,” said Croasmun, coaching in the game for his first time. “We’re loaded with good athletes at every position. We’ve had a lot of good hitting. It’s exciting to be coaching football right now.”
Tyler Consolidated’s Rob Caldwell led the Mountaineers last year in the charity game takes its name as a battle against cystic fibrosis.
“Anytime you’re raising money for a charity it’s a great thing to be involved with,” Croasmun said about the real reason why the game is played. “When you can throw a football game into the mix, it that makes everything that much more fun for the football players and hopefully for the fans. Hopefully we can provided a good night of entertainment, but the main thing we’re trying to do is raise money for cystic fibrosis.”
Six local athletes will once again strap the pads on for West Virginia as they look to show the area fans why they were some of the best in the valley.
Participating for the Silver Knights will be first team all-state lineman Cullen Grover, future Marietta Pioneer gridiron player Nate Zills, and Aaron Matthews.
Representing the Wildcats will be first team all-state utility player Wes Cosper, Keith Kline, and Ronnie Blatt.
“I’ve been very excited after coming home from the first few practices, and we haven’t even had the whole team there yet,” stated Croasmun in regards to the talent playing for West Virginia. “It’s like being in football heaven. Coaching from a small school, at times you don’t have the best kids at every position and you try to hide kids here and there and you worry about whether or not they’ll be able to make plays. In this game you have a good player at every position and expect them to make plays. As a coach it’s just a great feeling to know those kids can do that.”
This year’s game should have a different look as Croasmun will attempt to implement a spread offense, but knows a lot of what will happen depends on the short practice week.
“I’ve got about 12 pass patterns out of different formations I would like to try and put in,” Croasmun said. “It will depend on much the kids can digest in the amount of time we have.”
He should benefit from having a quarterback that played in a similar offense as Seth Parsons will line up behind center at quarterback. He was a special honorable mention for Class AAA in 2008 for Ripley.
It shouldn’t be too difficult for him to adjust as three of his Vikings teammates will play in the game as well. Jeff Tomlin is listed as a running back while two lineman, Linnie Kiser and Josh Williams, will battle in the trenches.
The only other school that has more representatives that are playing is St. Marys with five. Derek Spitzer, Nick Whystell, Zac Anderson, Bryan Casto, and Robert Hall will all suit up for the Blue Devils.
The Parkersburg area will have six players between two schools. Chanz Jarrell, Jeremy Hardman, and Jordan Holliday will represent the South Patriots while Brad Wilson, Tommy Brunoni and Jacob Reifsteck will don the powder blue helmets of the Catholic Crusaders again.
The Little Kanawha Conference tends to be represented well year in and year out and it’s no different for this game. Calhoun County’s Jeremy Conley and Cody Cunningham will join Ritchie County’s Ryan Richards, Ravenswood’s Zack Shriver, and Doddridge County’s Justin Dillion to round out the West Virginia squad.
Assisting Coach Croasmun will be Ron Casto, Joe Anderson, Bob Postlethwait, former player Bryan Casto, and Parkersburg South head coach Joe Bolen.
Names on the roster for Ohio that may sound familiar include Taylor Potts, Dan Star, Jordan Clegg, and Travis Wells from River; Luke Lucas, Eric Lucas, Justin Fisher and George Ruckman from Beallsville; Mikey Russell, Mikey Mabig, Schuyler Bondy, and Kyle Jorris from Monroe Central; and Justin Ross and Ryan Neader from Frontier.
The game is set to kick off Friday at 7 p.m. from the legendary Stadium Field at Parkersburg High School.