Players Expect Speed Vs. Power Showdown in All-Star Game
Ohio’s Strength Will Take on West Virginia’s Quickness
By CODY TOMER
BETHANY — The 75th OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star Football Game could shape up to be a battle of speed vs. power on Saturday night inside Wheeling Island Stadium, at-least that is how the players see it.
It could turn out to be the perfect storm as Ohio will provide the thunder and West Virginia brings the lightning.
“They have a lot of speed on their side but we have a lot of size,” Steubenville Catholic and Ohio QB Ryan Gorman said. “I think we’re going to match up really well. We have a lot of talent on this team and we’re going to see all this talent on display Saturday night.”
Linsly and West Virginia coach, B.J. Depew is looking forward to coaching in his third OVAC All-Star Game and likes the talent he has on his sideline.
“This is as good of a group of skill players that I’ve seen assembled on one team, which suits our offense nicely,” Depew said. “I’m excited to see how things play out and what they do Saturday.”
Although they are there to play the game, even the players are excited to see some of the guys they have only played against or heard about throughout the last four years.
For Ohio, St. Clairsville TE/LB Will Balgo (6-foot-4, 250 pounds), QB Tyler Tonkovich (5-10, 180), TE/DE Luke Jozwiak (6-2, 190) and all-state TE/DE Reese Skaggs (6-2, 220) provide strength all over the field, while Martins Ferry all-state RB/LB Evan Carpenter (6-2, 220) adds a powerful running attack.
Balgo knows what his teammates and Carpenter can bring to the table.
“I’m excited to see a lot of people here,” Balgo said. “I’m excited to see Evan Carpenter and my teammates for sure. They will have big roles on this team.”
River WR/DB Jake Rose echoed that statement.
“These St. Clairsville kids and the Martins Ferry kids are pretty big,” Rose said. “They look like they could hit someone pretty hard.”
New Philadelphia TE/DE Mitchell Stokey is the tallest player on Ohio’s squad at 6-5, 235 and could play a role in the passing game, either catching or swatting down a throw.
For West Virginia, Wheeling Central all-state running back Jordan Waterhouse is excited for the challenge.
“This West Virginia team is fast. We’re all athletes,” he said. “They have some big guys on that team but we’re going to do our thing. It’s going to be speed vs. size. The fans are going to get a show.”
Wheeling Park skill players Shaheed Jackson, Carson Namack, Stevie Mitchell and Sincere Sinclair impressed all season and it didn’t go unnoticed.
“The Park boys really have some speed,” John Marshall running back Dalton Flowers said. “We’re definitely a speed team with a lot of athletes.”
As for some players, though, they are just thrilled to be a part of what is expected to be an action packed contest.
“All of them,” Magnolia’s Silas McKeever said of who he is excited to line up next to. “I’m excited to play with all of them. I’ve heard of all of them in my four years. It’s a good opportunity for us and I’m happy to be here.”
West Virginia has a little extra motivation entering the game as the Mountaineers look to snap a two-year drought, while Ohio looks to extend the streak to three straight.
“It’s been a while since we beat Ohio,” Linsly’s Hunter Kelley said. “I think we have a really good chance with the team we have this year to do something that hasn’t been done lately.”
We soon shall see.