BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – While game one on the 2013 season for Bridgeport is a road contest at Buckhannon-Upshur, there undoubtedly will be a little extra attention on the Indians’ eventual home date with Keyser coming in October.

The Golden Tornado dealt Bridgeport two of three losses a season ago, including a convincing 42-14 victory in the Class AA playoff semifinals.

Photo by Ben Queen Photography

Keyser beat Bridgeport 42-14 in the semifinals of the 2012 playoffs.

“We lost to Keyser twice last year and I don’t want to come out and lose to them on the home field,” senior center Hunter Renquest said.

Senior running back Anthony Bonamico was injured during the regular season match-up with Keyser, but the memory of the playoff defeat still burns inside.

“I don’t think anybody returning hasn’t thought about the (Keyser) game almost every single day,” he said. “That’s the only thing we’ve been thinking about — beating Keyser.”

Bonamico will be tasked with replacing first team all-state running back Brett Hathaway in the backfield.

And he will have plenty of experience paving the way for him. The Indians return four of their five offensive linemen from last year’s 9-3 squad.

“Anytime you can bring back an offensive line with that type of experience you’re looking pretty good,” said head coach Josh Nicewarner.

Which, of course, is nothing new for Nicewarner’s club as the Indians have built a consistent winner year-in and year-out.

“Every single time we step out on the field we expect to win,” he said. “Anything less than that is a disappointment, but adversity, and how you respond to it, can be key come playoff time. We’re going to focus on week one right now and when the other games get here we will worry about those.”

While his players want to right a wrong against Keyser, Big 10 games, and the annual rivalry with Robert C. Byrd, for the Indians are of equal importance.

Photo by Ben Queen Photography

The Bridgeport coaching staff addressing the Indians following last year’s playoff loss to Keyser.

“It’s the unwritten rule to never look past week one, but the Big 10 is competitive as it has ever been,” Nicewarner said. “I believe the team to beat out there is Keyser and we’re fortunate enough to have them in the regular season.”

The teenagers Nicewarner instructs on the field understand the attitude he brings to the gridiron.

“He always wants us to try our hardest and give it 110 percent all the time,” Renquest said. “If we don’t give it 110 percent then he doesn’t want us on the field.”

- Wes McKinney

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Comments

  • James

    Keyser has to play a very good Wheeling Park, in week 1. If Keyser can beat them, they will go undefeated. And Wayne, they may of lost good bit of there talent, but i think, it will be Keyser and Wayne for the AA State title.

  • mark

    Keyser will go undefeated.if they lose, it will be in playoffs.nobody on their reg schedule will beat em.

    • Northern..

      Not so fast, did you notice week 1's game vs a VERY VERY FAST and talented Wheeling Park team.
      Just saying...

  • mark

    No doubt jason...wayne dominated keyser.that was last year.this is 2013.keyser looks dam good returning 95% of a team that wss 12 and 2 last year.not sayn they can't be beat but the numbers are definately in keysers favor in double a

  • Jason

    I figure keyser will beat them again, but to say keyser is the team to beat is a joke.. Last game keyser played I saw Wayne destroy them with ease...lol.. Team to beat..

  • sshepherd

    I guess thats why they play the game...definetly going to be a game to watch. good luck to both

  • mark

    Someone better check and see wat keyser is returning.indians brag about returning an offensive line that keyser dominated last year.well here is something u better think about.the golden tornado is returning 95% of last years team to include the entire backfield and danny fife who slapped the indians around like rag dolls.exspect the same outcome as last year or msybe worst.

  • sshepherd

    I dont know about that...but I do know why they are always so good its because they have a community that has bought into the program, they run the same offense and defense in pee wee that they do in high school. The kids play extremely hard and it obviously means alot to them. Once again I am not from there, actually from a rival town but you have to give them credit.

  • TAD

    Bridgeport, recruits players to play, thats why they are loaded.

  • sshepherd

    The Indians will beat keyser by 14 this year...write it down....and Im not even a Bridgeport fan, but they are gonna be loaded.

  • Charlotte

    You're going to have to eat a lot more Cheerios to beat Keyser!!!!!