BETHANY - Doug Taylor and Eric Schumacher are newcomers to leading squads into the Rudy Mumley All-Star Football Charity Classic.
But both coaches looked right at home late Sunday morning as more than 60 players reported to the Bethany College campus for the 67th annual summer gleam game.
''This is probably one of the best opening days we've had in many a year,'' Game Director and retired Cameron High School athletics director Bob Koch said
Tyler Consolidated’s Evan Cline checks in Sunday at Bethany College in preparations for this weekend’s OVAC All-Star Football Charity Classic.
''Part of that is a credit to the staff at Bethany. They're nice to work with and they go out of their way to make us feel welcome.''
The Thomas P. Johnson Recreation Center was filled with players, their parents and game staff making sure the week started on the right foot. Cheerleaders and members of the McDonald's All-Star band will also be making their way to campus.
''We have a formula of success that works and our aim is to try to get as many kids as we can to experience this and enjoy it,'' Koch said. ''Every year we try to make a small change or an adjustment here and there. But, basically, it's a good system.''
Koch is looking forward to seeing how the new head coaches put their stamps on the game.
''I always believe that if you have the right people they'll do good things and everything will run smooth,'' he said.
Taylor, entering his second season at the helm at Weirton Madonna, served as an assistant for Eric Meek in 2006.
''It's great,'' said Taylor, who will guide the West Virginia team. ''Everyone wants the opportunity to coach an all-star group. It's a great opportunity and it's an honor and my coaching staff is really excited about it.
''(Coaching in this before) gives me a little bit of an advantage. There's a lot of hype to this game. You're trying to get the kids accustomed to each other.
''The kids have played against each other and have been competitors against each other so I think what we need to do is get that friendship going between them and get that team unity going.''
Schumacher is the first Conotton Valley coach to lead the Ohio squad. He's also the first to serve as a head coach in the all-star game before even coaching his own team.
''We're a small school and we just recently became a full-fledged member of the OVAC,'' he said. ''To represent Conotton Valley in this way is something I'll remember the rest of my life.''
Mike Bigler was originally supposed to coach the Buckeyes. But when he resigned earlier this year, Schumacher took over, not only the Rockets program, but OVAC responsibilities, as well.
Schumacher acknowledges it's a unique situation, but one he's eager to tackle.
''It's an honor and a privilege to be a part of this,'' Schumacher said, adding he had no qualms about coaching in the game.
''I'm ready to go. The hardest part is over ... setting the roster. We have a lot of talented kids in the valley and to narrow it down to 33 was a tough task.
''We're excited and anxious to get out there.''
Following physicals and dinner, both teams hit the Bison Stadium turf Sunday evening to get acquainted and start putting together a game plan for Sunday's game, which kicks off at 7:15 p.m. at Wheeling Island Stadium.
''It's going to be a fun week of practice,'' Schumacher said, ''and I'm looking forward to next Sunday night under the lights.''