By Fred Persinger II
BECKLEY AT WINFIELD
The 2012 season saw the Woodrow Wilson get to the playoffs for the second straight year – but for the second straight year, the Flying Eagles lost to the eventual state champion Martinsburg. This year, Beckley must replace quarterback Andrew Johnson and speedster Ramon Edwards from that 2012 squad. Those two players accounted for the majority of yards gained by the Flying Eagles last year.
The quarterback position will be filled by 6-foot-3, 200 pound junior Brent Osborne, who was the backup last year – he’s also a two year starter on the defensive side of the ball. Osborne will have some weapons around him to help put points on the scoreboard. Senior Donte Nabors, an all-state basketball player, will be on the outside, and will give the Flying Eagles a deep threat.
Running the ball this year will be a couple of capable backs in Chase Hancock and Troy Lilly. On the defensive side of the ball, Beckley will feature two very athletic, and young defensive ends. Noah Hancock, a 6-foot-5, 240 pound junior, has already turned some heads in the two scrimmages. On the other side, it will be 6-foot-3, 231pound sophomore Justin Ward, who is expected to be a staple at the DE position for the next three years.
This will be the first ever matchup between Winfield and Beckley. The Generals return five of six offensive skill players from last year’s 4-6 team. Leading the way for Winfield will be quarterback Toby Show, who threw for over 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns last year. Also back is receiver Chris Turner, who accounted for 38 receptions and six touchdowns.
Kickoff Friday night is set for 7:30 p.m. You can hear the game on 99.5 WJLS and WJLS.com.
GRAHAM VS. BLUEFIELD
One of the best rivalries in the nation is renewed on Friday Night at Mitchell Stadium as the Bluefield Beavers will battle Graham (Va.). The Beavers, this season, are looking to win their 11th state championship.
On the offensive side of the ball, Bluefield will rely on D.J. Edwards, who has moved from the quarterback position (where he has played for the past two seasons), to running back. Junior R.J. Bourne, meanwhile, takes over the quarterback duties.
Joining Edwards in the backfield is D.J. Stewart and 6-foot-4, 233 pound Corey Coppolla. The offensive line, though, will feature four new starters. On the defensive side, Bluefield will be very experienced, as nine starters return from last years 9-3 team, which lost to Robert C. Byrd in the quarterfinals of the playoffs.
For the Graham G-Men, one of the strengths for this year’s team will be the offensive line which returns four starters. Graham will be breaking in a new quarterback in Colby Hill who takes over for the graduated Spencer Sheets. It is one of the best atmospheres for high school football, as the tailgating begins early, and over 10,000 fans will pack Mitchell Stadium. If you have a chance, go to Mitchell Stadium and check out the Battle of the Bluefields on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
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Greenbrier West at Nicholas County
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