Enthusiastic coaches and players for the OVAC All-Star Game | News, Sports, Jobs
BETHANY – It’s officially match week for the 75th OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star football game. After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer sports show will return on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. at Wheeling Island Stadium.
The Ohio and West Virginia players and coaches traveled to their homes on Sunday at Bethany College to begin preparations.
A total of 73 players have registered and were on the training ground during the evening.
“It’s nice to finally be here” Ohio and Fort Frye head coach Eric Huck said. “I am delighted to meet the players and to start. I know we’re looking forward to the week, and I’m sure the players are too. “
West Virginia is led by BJ Depew from Linsly, who arrived at Bethany College at 11 a.m., an hour before the players’ scheduled arrival. He was actually in the middle of the line among players and other coaches eager to get started.
“It’s great to be here and I’m ready to start” said Depew. “We had a meeting (Sunday afternoon) and really got to meet the guys and it was great. It will be a fun week for everyone.
Getting to this point was a challenge for both coaches.
Between the two teams, more than a dozen players, who initially engaged in the game, had to be replaced after choosing not to participate for one reason or another.
“The (changes) weren’t as bad as it looks because the kids who ended up being invited to play were all excited,” Huck said. “I think we have 37 damn good players.”
Game director Dirk Fitch was working diligently on the phones in an attempt to fill the positions, but once the camp opens, the OVAC no longer allows replacements.
“(The list) is a stressful part”, said Depew. “Off the top of my head I can think of seven or eight changes for sure. There are a lot of changes for a variety of reasons, but at the end of the day the guys who are here are the ones we want because they are as excited to be here as we are.
West Virginia actually has one less player on its roster because Cameron’s Deacon Carmichael emailed Depew to Depew on Sunday morning that he was ill and would not report.
On the other side, Huck and his coaching staff greeted many of his players at the top of the stairs as they entered with their families.
“It’s nice to finally meet the players” Huck said. “You see them on film and you really don’t pay attention to their size and physique or that sort of thing. But, you see them in person and see them with pads and workout, it’s exciting.
Once the players settled into their rooms, they had team meetings, had dinner and were on the training ground for the first time.
Neither coach was about to waste time.
“We are going to work immediately” Huck said. “We have to install (attack and defense). We are going to put our bases on both sides of the ball as well as the games and our defensive plan. “
Depew and his team wanted to get their “Systems installed immediately” hoping to have virtually the entire system in place by Tuesday.
“We don’t have guys stuck in positions, even offensive or defensive in some cases, but the guys will play their part.” said Depew.
Both teams will have a busy day today.
Both Ohio and West Virginia are scheduled to train three times today and they will both also be participating in media day activities.