In less than 6 hours another High School football season will begin. The Hurricane Redskins will be one of the few teams across West Virginia to continue a decade plus tradition of kicking off the season as the clock strikes midnight.
Has it really been over 7 months ago since last season ended in disappointment in Morgantown in the 2nd round of the AAA Playoffs?
Coach Jeremy Taylor welcomes 15 Seniors to this year's Redskins squad. Payton Lunsford, Cole Runion, Steven Shine, Cam Paterson, Dakota Williams, Mason Giacomo, Michael Watson, Noah Craddock, Tommy Butler, Matthew Hartleben, Seth Mitchell, all return. The Redskins also welcome several newcomers to their list of seniors, as Curon Cordon, Jessee Lester join the team as transfers, and Bo Adkins and Anthony Halkias find themselves on the football field for the first time this season.
Cordon, who joins Hurricane from South Charleston, was the only Redskin to be honored with a pre-seson All State nod.
Defensive Coordinator Jason Pratt welcomes 10 of his 16 leading tacklers from 2016 back. J.T. Cooper (96), Lunsford (73), Charlie Womack (65), Giacomo (58), Shine (58), Watson (28), Hartleben (28), Cameron Kimble (27), John Porter (17), and Paterson (15), return with a wealth of experience.
One choir for Pratt will be finding a replacement at STAR for Lucas Cooper who led Hurricane in tackles the last 2 seasons, topping out last year with 104 stops. Kimble and Paterson are among the possible answers there.
On Offense Coach Taylor has perhaps higher hurdles to overcome. For the 5th straight season the Redskins will have a new quarterback under center. The starting QB list from 2012-2016 includes Austin Hensley, Dylan Tinsley, Blake Stover, and Dylan Plumley. Whether it's (So.) Austin Womack or (JR.) Nathan Roy, unlike Tinsley and Plumley, they will not have to make the transition to QB from the defensive side of the ball.
Hurricane's New QB will have plenty of weapons at his disposal as the Redskins have speed, speed and more speed at Wide-Out with Cordon, Williams (25-460-3), and Abel Cunningham. Lunsford and Christian Hill are likely to get a large number of the carries out of the backfield.
Outside of anointing a new QB, Taylor will also need to develop a capable Offensive line. (Sr.) Cole Runion returns but 4 graduated Seniors need to be replaced. (JR.) Dalton Geter who started several games down the stretch last year will certainly be part of the unit. The remaining spots will be won over the next several weeks.
We will have some photos to post tomorrow of the Midnight Madness....madness.