CHARMCO, W.Va. — With a very young roster and new starters at almost every position on the field, the 2021 season was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Greenbrier West. The Cavaliers matured quickly and found their way into the playoffs with a six-win season.
“It was a good step for us with a young team. We came in with a lot of people that it was new for them playing in high school and starting. It was a good learning example for them,” said Greenbrier West senior running back/linebacker Ty Nickell.
The first head coach at Greenbrier West in the 1968 season, Toby Harris has led the Cavaliers to the Class A playoffs in each of his three seasons since returning to the program.
“It is great playing for him,” said Greenbrier West junior quarterback/linebacker Cole Vandall. “We have side talks on the sideline. It is always good to talk to him and learn what he knows.”
After a breakout junior season last fall, Ty Nickell returns to the Cavalier backfield. He found the end zone 18 times and rushed for 1,522 yards.
“Ty is going to be our tailback. He had a good year last year. He is a little bit bigger and faster this year. We’re looking for good things out of Ty,” Harris said.
“Ty is really enthusiastic,” said Greenbrier West junior lineman Daron Vaughan. “He is cheerful and funny. He is a scary man.”
Nickell will be joined in the backfield by Cole Vandall. He tossed 9 touchdowns and rushed for 6 more scores last year.
“Cole started ten ball games for us last year,” Harris said. “I am sure he will help us out. The second quarterback we are working right now is doing a real nice job. We think he can do some things for us. We should have two quarterbacks ready to go.”
The line that will go to work in front of Vandall will feature a mix of veterans and possibly some freshmen as well.
“We’re going to be small on the line,” Harris said. “We do have a couple ninth-graders at about 210, 215 [pounds]. I think they are going to be able to play for us on the line.”
With a 25-8 record over the last three seasons, Harris believes the Cavaliers have what it takes to advance in the postseason as they did in runs to the quarterfinals in 2019 and 2020.
“I think Greenbrier West over the years has had high expectations,” Harris said. “This year is no different. We started last year and we knew we were inexperienced. We were hoping our goal was the playoffs. We met a real tough team [Williamstown] in the first ball game. I think maybe if we had met a different football team in the first round, we might have won a game or two in the playoffs. This year, our expectations are good. We’re hoping we get back in there again and this year we are hoping we can win some games in there.”