10:06am: Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval

St. Marys returns senior-heavy roster after narrowly missing the postseason in 2021

ST. MARYS, W.Va. — A year after a 10-1 run to the 2020 Class A state championship, St. Marys narrowly missed out on a playoff spot last fall. The Blue Devils went 6-4 and their four losses came to both teams that advanced to the Class A final and a pair of quarterfinal teams.

“I thought the guys fought,” said St. Marys head coach Jodi Mote. “I just thought that we didn’t play well at times. Obviously every game, turnovers, penalties, those are things you have to try to eliminate to have an opportunity, especially in a game where both teams are pretty much even.”

As Jodi Mote enters his 21st season leading the Blue Devils, he welcomes back a much more experienced roster with returning starters across the board.

“Last year I believe there were two or three on offense and two or three on defense that were returning. The rest of them were all new to the positions. This year there are more individuals coming back. From a coaching standpoint, it is kind of a review but continuing to get better everyday.”

A pair of senior starting linemen, including all-stater Riley Boley, were lost to graduation. Several returning starters are back to lead the way this fall.

“We have some guys who are stepping in there and are trying to create the depth. Our coaches, Coach [J.D.] Smith, Coach [Zach] Davis and Coach [Jay] Powell are working very well with them. We’ve just got to keep improving.”

The St. Marys offense will be led by second-year starter Luke Powell. The 6-foot-7 senior tossed five touchdown passes a year ago.

“During the offseason he has really gotten stronger. He plays basketball and he is a good basketball player, especially with his height.”

Fellow senior Josh Roush joins Powell in the backfield. Roush toted the ball for 1,692 yards and 16 scores in his junior season.

“He runs track. He has gotten stronger and worked on his speed. That’s been a positive. For the most part, he stayed healthy last year. Obviously, that is an important part for this season.”

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