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Football Lookahead: Old Mason-Dixon Foes Renew Rivalry in Pine Grove

September 5, 2013
By JIM ELLIOTT , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Tom West doesn't know how long Valley and Cameron have been playing football, but he's got an idea.

''I guess forever,'' the longtime Lumberjacks coach said. ''Ever since we had football.''

The two schools were charter members of the long standing Mason-Dixon Conference, and they've had some great games and made some great friendships through the years.

Article Photos

Hunter Yoders and the Cameron Dragons hope to get on the winning side Friday night at Valley

''We look forward to it every year,'' Cameron coach Jim Rogers said.

Just last week, after Valley had dispatched of Hannan, West and Rogers sat and chatted for an hour after the game as they waited for Valley to cut a tape for Rogers to take with him.

That's the type of thing that goes beyond a midfield handshake.

When Rogers got back and watched that tape, it confirmed what he already knew.

''It's a typical Tom West team,'' he said. ''Big up front, big fullback, fast halfback, belly option, halfback pitch.''

With a twist ...

''They're throwing it a little more,'' Rogers said. ''In the past, Valley may have thrown two or three passes against you. He's added that to his arsenal.''

At the same time, West and his gang were taking a look Cameron's 48-12 loss to Bishop Donahue, trying to figure out if what the Bishops did to the Dragons had more to do with Jimmys and Joes or Xs and Os?

''I learned what we can do,'' West said. ''What we have to stop as far as they're concerned. We have some pretty good sized kids on both sides of the ball, and we're pretty experienced too with the people we have defensively up front and offensively up front.''

That's just what Rogers wanted to hear after his guys had to deal with the Mountains Bishop Donahue threw in the trenches last week.

''That's the best line Bishop's ever had,'' Rogers said.

Valley's fellows aren't that big, but they're big enough that Rogers knows his guys will have to make some measured improvements if they're planning to grab their first victory.

''Our kids' mental attitude is good,'' Rogers said. ''They came out, had a positive attitude (this week). They understand what we need to do. We've got a game plan. we're going to stand by it. And we're going to go down there and try to execute it.

''You can bury your head and say ... we're not very good. I don't feel that way. We've got a decent ball team. That was just Game 1 and some coaches will tell you - and I agree with this - Bishop Donahue is one of the top four single-A teams in the state.

"Somebody else is going to get that this week.''

They're feeling better vibes at Valley.

''It's nice to win one and win the opener,'' West said. ''We have a ways to go. We have to focus on the next one now. It was good for us to play with someone we can compete with. I was real pleased with the way we played defensively. We made some mistakes but we're working to correct that.''

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