Beallsville Program Is Continuing Its Ascension
By BUBBA KAPRAL
BEALLSVILLE — Stability.
It is an important ingredient to success that has been missing for a few seasons at Beallsville. Such is no longer the case.
Larry Deem has steadied the once shaky program and has it trending upward. While 17 players may not seem like an overabundance of bodies, it does represent a solid turnout for the Blue Devils.
Moreover, the Beallsville facility boasts a gorgeous and expansive new fieldhouse. It comes on the heels of a state-of-the-art video scoreboard installed a year ago.
Deem’s yeoman reconstruction efforts started to pay solid dividends in 2017 as Beallsville posted a 4-6 mark. Five of those losses came at the hands of playoff-bound teams with a sixth being delivered by 9-2 and OVAC champion Linsly.
Deem, a former U.S. Marine now in his fourth season at the helm, is looking for even more success this fall.
“Winning three of our last four games really did a lot for our kids’ confidence. It helped to fuel the best offseason we have had yet,” Deem said. “The kids are really buying in. We are excited about the coming season.
“With our numbers staying healthy is obviously the biggest key. We only have three seniors but we have a lot of experience with our sophomores and juniors. They have played a lot of football. We only graduated two seniors.
One of those recent graduates was a big-time performer for the Blue Devils. Dakota Milosavljevic was a dynamic jack-of-all trades. He caught 25 passes, good for 11 TDs. Milosavljevic led the team with 96 points.
“I haven’t been around this place all that long but I would be surprised if Milo wasn’t one of the best players to put a Beallsville football uniform on,” Deem said. “He was very exciting to watch. He had a great nose for the football.”
The other graduating senior was no slouch either. Casey Hill was a stud lineman and an anchor at guard.
So with just two players picking up their diplomas, Deem is working with an experienced, albeit still youthful cast.
Despite the loss of Milosavljevic, the Beallsville offense still possess some potent weapons.
Deem has a dandy to trigger his attack.
Rising junior Dakota Phillips (6-foot-1, 165 pounds) returns under center after enjoying a solid sophomore season. Phillips threw for nearly 900 yards and 16 TDs while also rushing for more than 500 yards. He is your ideal dual-threat quarterback.
“Dakota’s football IQ is really impressive. He is taking to coaching much better and he understands his role,” Deem said. “He is not flying under the radar. We are putting a lot on his shoulders.”
Making Phillips’ football life much nicer is the return of four starting offensive linemen.
“It all starts there. I am excited about this bunch,” Deem said. “I expect them to keep our QB clean and help our skilled people get out in space.”
Mathen Decker (5-8, 250) anchors the front at center. He brings great versatility to the middle of the line.
“Decker has snapped the ball for every play but one since I have been here,” Deem said. “I never thought I would be running center traps. He allows us to do that.”
Spencer Jarrett (6-1, 265) is a stud as one returning starter at guard. He enjoyed a superb sophomore season after an injury-riddled freshman campaign.
“Spencer plays very hard and smart. He is making our line calls,” Deem said. “There is a very good football tradition in his family.”
Both starting tackles return in senior Logan Rutter (6-0, 260) and sophomore Garrett Schafer (6-0, 240). They are a talented tandem.
“They are both big boys that give us nice size up front. I expect good seasons from both,” Deem said.
The other starting guard spot is up for grabs between sophomore Toby Otto (6-3, 260) and freshman Dyson Duvall (5-8, 200).
Deem is excited about his starting running backs. Junior James Schnegg (5-9, 160) and sophomore Wyatt Moore (5-10, 150) both saw extensive action last season and are primed for an increased workload.
“We have two nice running backs in Schnegg and Moore. I think we will see something special out of them this year,” Deem said.
Freshman Bradley Moats (5-6, 125) will be the chief understudy at running back.
Steven Yingling (5-10, 150) will get the call at tight end. The hard-nosed junior will also be utilized at wideout when Deem opts to go to a spread attack.
Beallsville boasts six wide receiver candidates. Senior Travis Potts (5-8, 140) heads the group.
Potts is joined by sophomores Aaron Hagan (5-6, 140), Jacob Stephen (5-8, 135) and Joey Davis (5-10, 150), along with freshmen Brandon Louden (6-1, 160) and Fred Moats (5-3, 120).
Deem is especially high on Louden’s potential.
“Brandon is going to be a real nice weapon outside,” he said. “It is just a matter of how quickly he picks things up. There is a big adjustment from junior high to high school football.
Defensively Beallsville will employ both 4-4 and 5-3 looks.
Decker and Duvall will man the tackle slots. Jarrett and Otto will be the ends.
Phillips, Schnegg, Moore and Bradley Moats will be the linebackers.
Stephen and Yingling are in line to start at cornerbacks with Louden manning the deep zones at safety.
Phillips will also handle the kicking.
Beallsville has added Frontier, Valley and Shadyside to the schedule. Gone are Linsly, Clay-Battelle and Hannan.
Athletics Director Delmas Moore “has done an outstanding job with our schedule. There will definitely be less wear and tear on our school bus tires this year,” Deem said. “It is a schedule we can be very competitive with. In my mind we can still be playing in Week 11.
“We have 34 boys in our high school. So we half of of them playing football. That is a very good percentage. With our numbers no one gets lost in the shuffle and everyone gets a lot of reps. It is a great coach-to-player ratio.”
Deem is being assisted by Rick Jarrett, Rob Kubic, Bill Fox and Kenny Darby.
Beallsville staged preseason scrimmages against Strasburg and Newcomerstown.
“We are tired of being cast in survival mode. We are ready to compete,” Deem said. “Beallsville has an outstanding football tradition. It is not going to go away under my watch.”
Beallsville opens its season Friday night, playing host to Bishop Rosecrans in a 7 p.m. start.
Aug. 24: Rosecrans 7 p.m.
Aug. 31: at Frontier 7 p.m.
Sept. 7: at Hundred 7 p.m.
Sept. 15: at Madonna 7 p.m.
Sept. 21: at Valley 7 p.m.
Sept. 28: Bridgeport 7 p.m.
Oct. 5: Shadyside 7 p.m.
Oct. 12: Con. Valley 7 p.m.
Oct. 19: Cameron 7 p.m.
Oct. 26: at Paden City 7 p.m.
Win 5, Lose 5
Mathen Decker, Travis Potts, Logan Rutter.
Spencer Jarrett, Dakota Phillips, James Schnegg, Steven Yingling.
Joe Davis, Aaron Hagan, Wyatt Moore, Toby Otto, Garrett Schafer, Jacob Stephen.
Dyson Duvall, Brandon Louden, Bradley Moats, Fred Moats.