By Dave Helmick
This year’s Tucker County Football team has some big shoes to fill. Last year the Mt. Lions ran through the regular season with a 10-0 record and ended the season 12-1 with a Semi-final loss to Werton-Maddona in double overtime. Gone from that team are 11 seniors that contributed greatly to the success of that team.
Head Coach AJ Rapp commented on the experience of his players this year, “We were good enough last year to get some younger players some playing time in the second half of games, but it wasn’t playing together as a team and we have inexperience playing together as a team.” The work in the off season has continued and Coach Rapp is pleased, “Physically we are in pretty decent shape.”
Last year the Quarterback position was set, but this year there are two players competing for the position, juniors Chase Alkire and Seth Underwood. Coach Rapp hasn’t picked a starter yet saying, “both players have gotten equal reps in the scrimmages, and Monday I’ll let them know who is starting Friday.” There are some key players returning from last year’s team such as Marshall Whisner(OL/DE), Corey Hanlin(OL/DL), Zach Armstrong(RB/DB), Spencer Pennington(RB/LB), Zac Haddox(RB/LB) and Michael Callaway(WR/S/K). Other players that plan to contribute will be Cory Kelley, Dusty Conrad, Chris Freeman, Issac Cole, Tyler Birchland and Andrew Hauser to name a few.
The Mt. Lions open the season on August 30th at Pocahontas County in Dunmore, WV. The schedule is tough this year for Tucker County as they will face Pocahontas, Moorefield, East Hardy, Southern,MD and Philip-Barbour all on the road. They will also play 5 of their first 7 games away from home and finish the season with 3 straight home games. After traveling to Pocahontas County the Mt. Lions then will host Tygarts Valley on Sept 6th and follow that game with a home game against Northern, MD. Tucker County then goes on the road for 4 straight games against Moorefield, Philip-Barbour, Southern, MD and East Hardy. The week off for the Mt. Lions comes with open week on Oct 18th. Three straight home games will finish the schedule for Tucker County as they host Pendleton County on Oct 25th followed by Petersburg on Nov 1st and finish the season on Nov 8th as they host Notre Dame.
Friday’s game at Pocahontas County will be broadcast live online at TuckerCountySports.com pregame will start around 7pm. For more pictures, audio interviews and printable schedules go to TuckerCountySports.Com.