St. Marys back on the rise after 9-win season

ST. MARYS, W.Va. — After a one-year absence from postseason play, St. Marys returned to the Class A playoffs in 2019. The Blue Devils defeated Cameron in round one before falling at Pendleton County in the quarterfinals.

“For the most part we were able to stay healthy,” said St. Marys head coach Jodi Mote. “When we were down we had guys step up and that part was encouraging. They were able to get it done so it was a credit to them.”

St. Marys featured a balanced offense a year ago, passing for 1,641 yards while rushing for 1,866. For the third year in a row, their offense will be engineered by Brennan Boron. He tossed eleven touchdown passes last year while rushing for eight more scores.

“My sophomore year we went 3-7 and it was a rough year,” said Boron. “I was nervous, young and wasn’t expecting to start. That helped me get ready for my junior year. And I wasn’t as nervous until playoff time.”

The Blue Devils will also welcome back last year’s leading rusher in Ben Long. He was one of five St. Marys players to rush for at least four touchdowns last year. Long will be joined there by fellow seniors Darrien Bortey and Kyle West. Seniors Logan Rice and Jason Clayton return at receiver spots.

“The skill positions I feel are a strength for us,” said Mote. “On the offensive line we have some returning there but we still have to find some replacements in that area.”

St. Marys returns five of their top six tacklers to a team that allowed seventeen points a game last fall. The Blue Devils have won fifteen postseason games in the last eight years and that included a state championship in 2016. A program with high annual expectations has been built on a team concept and player development.

“There’s challenges every year, with developing that mindset,” Mote said. “You’ve got to understand with your staff and your kids that you try to bring everybody together.”

“Everyone is wanting to make it farther than last year,” Boron said. “We want to get to that semifinal and make it to the island. It is a big goal this year and we want to have a big senior year.”

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