Schumacher Likes Options In Backfield

Ohio head coach Eric Schumacher has a level of comfort when it comes to his backfield for the 67th annual Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic.

The Conotton Valley coach has announced who he believes will be running the offense and carrying the ball in the annual battle with West Virginia, which unfolds on Sunday, July 29 at Wheeling Island Stadium.

“We’ve got some really good-looking kids at the skill positions,” Schumacher said. “We’ve got backs who can run well and athletic quarterbacks, who, we believe, we can plug in and run the offense very well.”

With so many options, Schumacher and his staff have already been trying to come up with ideas on just how to get all of them involved.

“We’re going to try to use their athletic talents in a lot of different ways,” Schumacher said. “It should be fun.”

The quarterback battle will be between Indian Creek’s David Kemp and Bridgeport’s Cole Smelley. The tailback duties are expected to fall to Buckeye Local’s Josten Dear, Cambridge’s DaShaun Lewis and Martins Ferry’s C.J. Williams.

Here’s a capsule look at the players, who returned their biographical information sheets:

JOSTEN DEAR, Buckeye Local – This Panthers’ mainstay was a four-year regular for Coach Anthony Barsch’s squad.

The 6-foot, 205 pounder produced a fine senior campaign in which he rushed for 1,212 yards and 16 touchdowns.

He was named second-team all-Ohio, first-team all-OVAC and first-team All-Valley for his efforts.

Josten, who is the son of Kelli Terrance Flanerty of Dillonvale, will attend West Liberty University.

DAVID KEMP, Indian Creek – This Redskins’ standout was a three-year letterman for Coach Andrew Connor’s squad.

The 5-11, 190 pound quarterback passed for a school-record 1,519 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also holds school records with four touchdowns passing in one game, which he accomplished twice and a single-game yardage record at 305.

Kemp’s fine season didn’t go unnoticed. He was recognized as Joe Fortunato Co-Player of the Year; first-team all-OVAC 5A, First-team Quad County, First-Team Buckeye 8, Second-team Eastern District.

Along with football prowess, Kemp was a two-year letterman in baseball.

Kemp, who is the son of Mark Kemp and Renee Kemp of Steubenville, will attend Capital University in the fall.

DASHAUN LEWIS, Cambridge – This former Bobcat was a four-year contributor for Coach Rick Goodrich’s squad.

The 6-1, 220 pounder had a brilliant senior season, rushing for 1,656 yards and 27 touchdowns, which was good enough for first-team

all-Ohio, all-Eastern District, all-OVAC and all-ECOL, where he was named Offensive Player of the Year.

Lewis also eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark as a sophomore.

Dashaun, who is the son of Malinda Newman and Roland Hairston, is planning on attending Muskingum University.

COLE SMELLEY, Bridgeport – This former Bulldog had a brilliant career both as a quarterback and defensive back for Coach Rudy Vavrock’s squad.

The 5-11, 190 pounder accounted for better than 1,000 yards rushing and 886 yards passing from his quarterback spot. In the secondary, Smelley had two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and recorded 63 tackles.

He was a first-team all-Ohio defensive back after being named Division VI Eastern District Defensive Player of the Year. He was

first-team all-OVAC, all-Valley and all-Times Leader as well as a finalist for the WTOV-9 Big 22 Award.

Along with football, Smelley was a standout for the Bulldogs in basketball.

Cole, who plans on attending West Virginia University, is the son of Dawn Booker of Bridgeport.

C.J. WILLIAMS, Martins Ferry – This former Purple Rider made up for his lack of size with an unlimited amount of determination and heart for Coach Dave Bruney’s squad.

The 5-6, 140 pounder was a two-way standout last season for the Purple Riders. He finished just 12 yards short of 1,000 and scored 14 touchdowns. Defensively, Williams was a standout at linebacker.

Williams’ season was recognized by his berths on the all-district, all-OVAC and all-Times Leader teams.

Along with his football talents, Williams was a standout wrestler, qualifying for the state tournament last March.

Williams is the son of Dawn and Jesse Outward of St. Clairsville.