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Tyler Consolidated High School

Led by 18 Returners, Tyler is Gunning for the Playoffs

SISTERSVILLE – Veteran Tyler Consolidated Head Coach Ryan Walton has an experienced team returning in 2022 but as with all West Virginia Class A schools knows that his Silver Knights must avoid the injury bug to be successful.

“Experience is definitely the strength of this team with a lot of seniors who have either been four-year starters or at least started games during that time,” Walton said. “We are going to rely on a strong offensive line and I believe our playmakers have the ability to come up big for us. On defense we have all of our linebackers back and a strong rotation on the front wall.”

Tyler Consolidated finished last season with a 6-4 record, with three of those losses coming to teams that advanced to the Class A final four, including small school state champion Ritchie County.

The Knights will have a new signalcaller in sophomore Brady Strode (6-0, 155) who Walton calls “a competitor with great arm strength.”

Junior feature back Sean Winfrey (5-11, 180) rushed for over 1,000 yards as the workhorse a season ago and will be complimented nicely by senior Jayden Helmick (5-11, 180), who started as a freshman and junior after sitting out his sophomore campaign. Helmick, who is very athletic and is described as “a leader, smart football player and a real slasher,” by Walton.

Senior Ty Walton (5-11, 215) and junior Kendall Huffman (5-10, 190), who was a lineman last year, will also see carries.

Junior Tristen Tuttle (6-4, 220) will get the nod at tight end with sophomore Branson Winfrey (5-5, 150) and junior Kaden Huffman (5-4, 120) the top receiving threats. Other receivers will include juniors Marques Jackson (5-8, 140), Sage Landis (5-10, 170) and freshmen Reese Davis (5-11, 170) and Bo Tallman (5-8, 130). Davis is also the back-up quarterback.

Senior, four-year starter, Raustyn Wade (5-10, 260) leads the offensive line at one guard spot with two-year starter junior Shane Bates (5-10, 250) at the other. Junior Tyler Ferrell (5-11, 226), another two-year starter, will be at one tackle with Paden City transfer senior Hunter Fulks (5-9, 200) at the other. The fifth spot is a battle between sophomores Briar Utt (6-1, 265), Gabe Glover (5-9, 220) and Wesley Glover (5-11, 275) and freshman Trysten Magruder (5-11, 225).

All of the offensive line candidates will see playing time on the defensive front with Tuttle the main guy at defensive end. The linebacking corp is led by Sean Winfrey, Walton and Kendall Huffman, with Walton and Huffman both available to move to end. Jackson, Branson Winfrey and Kaden Huffman will be the corners with Helmick either at safety or linebacker and Strode at safety.

Senior Brody Seckman (5-10, 150) will handle the punting and kicking duties.

Gone from last year’s squad are OL/DE Case Landis, three-year OL starter Ryan Fletcher, TE/DE Caleb Strode, OL David Grimes and DB Weston Henderson.

Walton’s coaching staff will consist of Rob Jones, Chris Metz, Zach Heasley, Slade Buchannon and Gary Hagerty.

“Again, the main goal is to stay healthy,” Walton said. “Injuries could be huge in a negative way for us.”

We have to be ready and if need be we have to know where to juggle kids.

“I am really looking forward to this team, they are good teammates to each other and get along great.

“There are no gimmies on our schedule and in my opinion the LKC is pretty stout and always well represented in the Class A playoffs. Our conference is loaded with playoff teams. Getting off to a good start could be key to our season, but that isn’t going to be easy with Ritchie County and Doddridge right out of the gate. I know it is a tall task, but a couple of wins early could really define our season.”