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Football 2012: West Has One of His Most Talented Valley Teams

August 22, 2012
By TRACY WATSON , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

PINE GROVE - Valley coach Tom West has been pacing the sidelines for many years, and has entered seasons looking to replace a bevy of starters on more than one occasion.

While the 2012 campaign will be similar to those, optimism and excitement are two words the veteran mentor is throwing around.

Gone from a disappointing 5-5 squad are six players, including one of the Ohio Valley's top running backs, and state champion sprinter, Casey Pingley, who rushed for nearly 1,500 yards as a senior.

Also departed are Clay Ueltschey, Jon Smallwood, Austin Bassett, quarterback Hunter Rine and do-it-all Drew Wade.

It will be a little bit of a younger team that West will field this season, but also a talented one.

A lot is expected of junior Triston Kocher (6-0, 165), who becomes the starting quarterback, while Collin Bates (5-7, 160) will have plenty of eyes on him as he takes over at tailback for Pingley.

Freshman Trey Streets (5-8, 150) will get the call at wingback, while also doubling as the backup quarterback. He will be joined by classmate Liam Madcap (5-7, 140).

The fullback, long an important cog in West's run-first offense, is slated to be junior T.C. Long (5-9, 195) but don't be surprised to see senior strongman Spencer Mason (6-0, 305) in the backfield and also on the offensive line. Mason is the team's only three-year letterwinner.

There are four options at tight end in senior Troy Hubbard (5-11, 155), junior Chase West (5-10, 145), Tom's grandson and assistant coach Jim West's son, sophomore Pete Shaw (6-3, 220) and freshman Kinsey Utt (5-10, 180).

Sophomore center Peyton Palmer (5-11, 205) is a returning starter on the line along with Wesley Delaney and Luke Martin, both 6-3, 220-pound juniors. Sophomores Travis Slater (5-10, 230) and Tyler Williams (6-3, 280) will also start while senior Brock Stackpole (5-10, 215) is also available.

A total of five starters return on defense in junior outside linebacker Ryder Scyoc (5-8, 145), Long at defensive end and Chase West, Kocher and sophomore Hayden Lancaster (5-10, 155) all at safety.

The tackles will be Dulaney and Slater with Martin and sophomore Cole Sell (6-0, 155) also seeing playing time while Shaw and Lowe join Long at defensive end.

Midcap and Collin Bates will be the inside linebackers with Hubbard on the outside and Streets and freshman Kane Lloyd (5-8, 190) available.

Other players available in the defensive backfield will be sophomores Taylor Bates (5-4, 130) and Trey Smith (6-0, 155) and freshmen Colton Ring (5-8, 140), Joey Preat (5-11, 150) and Tucker Cain (5-8, 125).

In all, there are 13 lettermen returning, with Mason the only player to have more than one.

''I am very excited about this upcoming season,'' Tom West said. ''This is honestly one of the most talented teams I will be fielding in all of my coaching years.

''We have some experience on the line, a little bit of speed and one of the best freshmen classes I have had in a very long time. But for us to do well these freshmen are going to have to come along real quick.

''If they do it will be one of the deepest teams we have had in a while with a lot of good backups. Having inexperienced backups last year hurt us a lot, but I am looking for very good things this season."

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