Time for the Minutemen of Lewis County to take next step

WESTON, W.Va. — A senior-laden and experienced roster will take the field for the Lewis County Minutemen this fall. It is a group that has led Lewis to back-to-back playoff appearances for the third time in school history.

“This senior class that kind of paced us all the way through, we have a lot of kids that played as freshmen,” said Lewis County head coach Dustin Cogar. “And then they paced us as sophomores and juniors and got over the hump last year and had a really good season.”

The Minutemen posted a 7-4 mark in 2019 thanks in large part to the play of Marshall Hobbs. He scored a dozen touchdowns and rushed for 1,231 yards as a junior.

“He is a terrific worker and he is a great leader. And just having him around, the guys pep up a little bit. He challenges them and he is a guy that leads by example. So there isn’t much really said to him because he is out there doing it everyday.”

Hobbs will be joined in the backfield by fellow senior Jaycob Smith. Lewis features a run-heavy offense but Smith provides some big-play ability.

“When we get him out on play action and things like that, he knows he can turn that in and get stuff with his legs. But then he showed some pretty good accuracy at times, not throwing the ball a whole lot but when it mattered, when he did it was 40-yard completions or first down completions. It was quality over quantity with him.”

The backfield will go to work behind a line that is one of the deepest and most experienced groups Lewis has fielded in a few years.

“We lost Bryson Greenlief on the line. He is headed over to Glenville State to play. Other than that, we are bringing everybody back. We actually have a couple guys, two-deep in that rotation that all saw some type of starting experience last year.”

While Lewis has been a playoff team in each of the last two seasons, their challenge now is to compete for a better seed. They have drawn the eventual Class AA state champion twice. The Minutemen are a combined 0-6 against Fairmont Senior and Bridgeport in the last two seasons, 13-3 against everyone else.

“We are right there. I think just one more game puts us maybe in the top eight. So we really have to find a way to get through that and get over that hump. The big thing for us is that we don’t want to end up in that bottom 14, 15, 16 where we are seeing a Bridgeport or a Fairmont Senior. We have played those cats 6 times in the last 2 years. It is crazy.”

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