McGhee Grows Into Field General

Central quarterback is something special

Photo by Alex Kozlowski Wheeling Central quarterback Curtis McGhee III delivered a stellar performance last Friday night in a victory over visiting East Hardy.

WHEELING — Mike Young admits last season was a case of learning on the fly for Wheeling Central quarterback Curtis McGhee III. The fact he guided the Maroon Knights to a West Virginia Class A state championship while doing so was a remarkable feat, the coach believes.

But much more is expected of the junior quarterback these days. McGhee is being counted on to know the offense inside and out. And another state championship? If it’s not expected, it’s at the very least strongly encouraged.

”He’s grown tremendously to be that field general,” Young said. ”He can sometimes get upset and be his own worst enemy, but he comes right back.

”And he is learning to have a short memory. If he makes a mistake, he forgets about it quickly.”

Like last Friday night at Bishop Schmitt field during the No. 1-ranked Maroon Knights’ runaway against East Hardy. McGhee threw a first-half interception and atoned in a couple different ways. First of all he smeared the defender as he was returning the interception. Then McGhee went on to complete 15 of 19 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns, while also running for a fifth score in a 47-7 victory.

That’s all part of the QB’s makeup, Young says.

”I learned a long time ago that if you panic on the sidelines, the kids will panic. The same thing happens in the huddle,” Young said. ”If you huddle up and you’re a nervous wreck, you’re kids are a nervous wreck and you can’t have that.

”I’ll say to him sometimes ‘I didn’t tell you to become a quarterback.’ Because it’s a challenge and there’s a lot of responsibility in being a quarterback.

”There’s a lot of pressure, especially at Wheeling Central.”

If McGhee feels pressure, he is yet to show it. But one could understand if he did, considering his lineage.

His father, Curtis McGhee, was a star at Central and went on to a stellar career at the University of Pittsburgh. His uncle, Eric McGhee, is still the only Maroon Knight to win the Kennedy Award and played collegiately at Bowling Green.

”He comes from great stock of tremendous athletes and competitors, and he wears the shield well,” Young said. ”Expectations are high at Wheeling Central for positive results and if you don’t win, it generally falls on the quarterback.

”He took a beating last year and grew up midseason. I feel good for him and for the players around him.”

Offensive Player of the Week

Justin Heatherington, St. Clairsville

On a night when the Red Devils ran wild, Heatherington led the way. He carried 20 times for 207 yards and scored three touchdowns as St. Clairsville won a battle of unbeatens against Meadowbrook.

Andrew Ritchea, Cameron

The running back was a man amongst boys in a 48-6 victory against Valley on Friday night at Dragon Stadium. Ritchea carried the ball 11 times for 261 yards and scored five touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Week

Anthony Robbins, Wheeling Central

Robbins was in the East Hardy backfield every bit as much as its quarterback. Robbins had five tackles — three solos — including a trio of sacks and also defended a pass in a 47-7 victory.

Ground Gainers

∫ Donavan Kirby, Weir: Carried 19 times for 175 yards and two scores in a victory against James Monroe.

∫ Brady Kolb, St. Clairsville: Rushed 33 times for 183 yards and three touchdowns.

∫ Matt Saxon, Paden City: Carried 13 times for 92 yards and a touchdown.

∫ Ethan Mick, Oak Glen: Ran the ball 14 times for 123 yards and a touchdown.

∫ Kobe Herrick, Toronto: Rushed for 114 yards and a TD on 17 carries.

∫ Connor Banco, Shadyside: Ran for 80 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries.

∫ Max Camilletti, Brooke: Rushed 18 times for 75 yards and a touchdown.

∫ Kaleb Waggoner, Edison: Carried the football 16 times for 107 yards and a touchdown.

Aerial Attack

∫ Jake Probst, Martins Ferry: Completed 7 of 11 for 176 yards and three touchdowns.

∫ Clayton Criss, Steubenville: In 23 attempts, he connected on 15 for 318 yards and a score.

∫ Cal Kildow, Union Local: Was good on 12 of 28 for 127 yards in a loss to Martins Ferry.

∫ Gage Yost, Brooke: True on 4 of 11 for 114 yards and two scores.

∫ Nick Chaney, Oak Glen: Completed 12 of 20 for 171 yards and a pair of scores in a victory against Buckeye Local.

∫ Wyatt Hirt, Linsly: Hit on 14 of 19 for 136 yards and a touchdown.

∫ Stone Thompson: Was true on 7 of 16 for 139 yards in a victory against Monroe Central.

∫ Davis Black, Meadowbrook: Completed 9 of 16 for 239 yards and three scores.

∫ Aidan Lucey, Cameron: Was good on 9 of 21 for 171 yards and two scores.

∫ Logan Holgorsen, University: Completed 15 of 24 for 276 yards and three touchdowns in a victory against Brooke.

∫ Pat Mirandy, Magnolia: Connected on 16 of 32 for 133 yards and a touchdown.

∫ Anthony Coggins, Shadyside: Connected on 18 of 25 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns.

Good Hands Team

∫ Kelly Hendershot, Shadyside: Made a season-high 12 catches for 226 yards and two touchdowns.

∫ Ethan Parow, Amir Richardson, Hunter Cottrell, University: Parow caught four passes for 112 yards and two scores. Richardson made three grabs for 70 yards and a TD. Cottrell hauled in a team-high seven passes for 73 yards.

∫ Mason Goddard, Martins Ferry: Hauled in four passes, good for 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

∫ Hunter McCort, Union Local: Made four grabs for 73 yards.

∫ Brady Blattner, Meadowbrook: Came down with five passes — three touchdowns — good for 190 yards.

∫ Matthew Ritchea, Cameron: Made four catches good for 95 yards and a TD.

∫ Jalen Creighton, Wheeling Central: Hooked on to three passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

∫ Erik Lulla, Steubenville: Had a pair of catches for 89 yards and a touchdown.

∫ Zach Taylor, Oak Glen: Got his hands on seven receptions for 96 yards, including a pair of scores.

∫ Preston Fox, Morgantown: Made four catches for 96 yards and a touchdown in a tough loss to Fort Hill, Md.

Mr. Everything

∫ Shane Zrinyi, Indian Creek: Was 5 of 9 passing for 69 yards, hauled in five passes for 69 more yards, returned an interception 25 yards, added a fumble recovery, two punt returns and three tackles.

∫ Zach Grafton, Buckeye Trail: Completed 10 of 27 for 80 yards and a touchdown and also carried 23 times for 86 yards and another score in a close loss to Barnesville.

∫ Trace Sechrest, Bellaire: Made 5.5 tackles — five solos — to go along with 182 yards and a touchdown on the ground and one catch for nine yards in a victory against Harrison Central.

∫ Jules Giovengo, Linsly: Had an interception and eight tackles defensively, returned a punt for a score, caught three passes and ran once.

∫ Charles Smith, Buckeye Local: Carried 15 times for 56 yards and a score, made seven solo tackles and a fumble recovery.

∫ Sebastian Stickler, Magnolia: Caught five passes for 92 yards and a touchdown and made eight tackles.

∫ Curtis McGhee III, Bray Price, Jordan Waterhouse, Wheeling Central: McGhee passed for 322 yards and four touchdowns while running for 37 yards and another score. Price hauled in six passes for 93 yards and a touchdown and also rushed four times for 19 yards and a score. Waterhouse carried five times for 60 yards and caught one pass for 74 yards and a TD.

∫ Michael Johnson, River: Ran for 131 yards and two scores on 11 carries while also hauling in three passes for 97 yards.

Wrecking Crew

∫ Jack Parry, Buckeye Trail: Registered 10 total tackles — seven solos — to go with two behind the line of scrimmage and half a sack.

∫ Noah Trubiano, St. Clairsville: Had eight tackles, forced a fumble and recovered one.

∫ Stuart White, Union Local: Was in in 10.5 tackles including 10 solos, to go with two for a loss and one sack.

∫ Tyler Smarrella, Logan Wilson, Trevor Fante, Indian Creek: Smarrella had 11 tackles, two for loss, a forced fumble and a snack. Wilson and Fante evenly divided 14 tackles and two for losses.

∫ Adam Murray, Wheeling Central: Had a team-leading 12 tackles including seven that went for losses.

∫ Sebastian Gehrer, Hunter Kelley, Linsly: Gehrer made a team-best 12 tackles — one for loss — and Kelley recorded 10 stops, of which seven were solos.

∫ Jason Beisel, James Stillwagoner, Magnolia: Beisel had nine tackles while Stillwagoner had eight stops.

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