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All-Stars Check In

OVAC football camp begins

July 22, 2013
By RICK THORP - Staff Writer (rthorp@theintelligencer.net) , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

BETHANY - Check-in day for Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Football Charity Classic camp can look pretty hectic to a newcomer.

That's why it's important to have a veteran staff, and experienced coaches, on hand.

''It always helps,'' Game Director Bob Koch said Sunday afternoon as more than 60 players reported to Bethany College's Thomas P. Johnson Recreation Center for the first day of camp.

Article Photos

Hundred’s Chris Varner gathers his belongings Sunday afternoon at Bethany College as camp began for OVAC football all-stars.

Photo by Rick Thorp

''It makes a big difference.''

A ''controlled chaos'' permeated the 'Home of the Bison' as players, their parents and game staff made sure all-star week started on the right foot. Cheerleaders and members of the McDonald's All-Star Band will make their way to campus later this week.

''Things are falling into place pretty nicely,'' Koch said, noting this is Bethany's third year playing host to camp.

''Things are looking good. The players are excited about being here and the coaches are excited about getting on the field and preparing for the game.''

The 68th edition of the summer gleam contest kicks off next Sunday night at 7:15 at Wheeling Island Stadium. Wheeling Central's Mike Young will guide the West Virginia squad, while Shadyside's Mark Holenka will coach Ohio.

''The turnout looks great,'' Young said.

''It looks like we'll have a great group of men on both squads. Coach Holenka and his veteran staff will put together a good team and it should be a good game to kick off the 2013 season.''

Following physicals, equipment selection and dinner, both teams ventured onto the Bison Stadium turf Sunday evening to get acquainted and start putting together a game plan.

''We want to put in a few basic things and get to know the kids,'' Holenka said. ''We'll implement a few basic schemes and things like that and let them know what to expect.

''(Today's) practice should be a little more full go.''

Young said he's just happy to actually get on the field and away from paperwork and meetings.

''It's great to be able to get a feel for how our offense, defense and special teams will look,'' he said. ''And we'll be giving (the players) information on what's expected of them ... not just on campus, but on the field.''

Both Young and Holenka are excited to be working with experienced players and expect their respective game plans to fall into place fairly quickly.

''These are the most experienced football players in the Ohio Valley,'' Young said. ''They are veterans of the game and I think they'll learn really quickly what's expected of them.''

Both coaches have organized a practice schedule for the week, which includes both teams using Bison Stadium.

''There you have two guys that are veteran coaches and it's important to get that kind of stuff out of the way because some things like that can balloon into major problems,'' Koch said.

''When you have two guys like that that have been around that can help you avoid potential problems and help things go a lot smoother, that's great.''

Activities continue today with Media Day festivities at Bison Stadium.

 
 

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