Graduation hits Redmen, Rebels hard

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

PEDRO — One of the worst things that can happen to a football team is graduation.

The loss of seniors for the Rock Hill Redmen and Tolsia Rebels were substantial as both teams lost most of their starting lineups.

Tolsia, the West Virginia Class AA state runners-up, will be missing 16 players from last year’s 11-3 squad that included two first team all-state players including tailback B.J. Evans who carried 413 times for 2,974 yards and scored 32 touchdowns.

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Travis Stamper (6-0, 180), Jimbo Smith (5-10, 160) and Darin Parsley (5-8, 150) are the leading candidates to replace Evans.

Parsley was the Rebels quarterback last season, so Derrick Robertson (6-3, 155) will take over that spot.

While the Rebels are small, all-state tackle Jordan Moore (6-5, 263) anchors the line at right guard along with tight end Kenny Muncy (6-4, 225) who also doubles as a linebacker.

Coal Grove at

Lawrence County

Lawrence County will put the bulk of its offensive hopes on the shoulders of Boone Goldsmith, son of head coach Billy Goldsmith.

The younger Goldsmith is a 6-foot-4, 175-pound quarterback who sustained a knee injury midway through last season.

Coal Grove rolled past the Bulldogs 30-0 last season in the opener for both teams.

Portsmouth at Chesapeake

Haven’t I seen you before?

That’s what Chesapeake coach Phil Davis is saying to himself as he prepares his Panthers for the Portsmouth Trojans.

Davis noted that the Trojans return almost their entire starting lineup from last season. Portsmouth outscored the Panthers in a wild affair, 71-44.

Among the top returning players is senior quarterback Shane Porter, who started as a freshman, and fullback Wes Jordan.

“They look really familiar,” said Davis. “Porter has been a starter the last three years, they have their fullback back, and their wideouts are pretty good. They’re pretty talented.”

The game is the final in the series. The Panthers will open next with Oak Hill.

Symmes Valley at Southern

Southern enjoyed one of its best seasons ever last year at 6-4, but the Tornadoes lost 13 players from that team and must rebuild under second-year coach Dennis Teaford.

Replacing the skilled positions will be the first order of business for the Tornadoes. The top candidates in the backfield are Greg Jenkins, Michael Manuel, and Anthony Shamblin.

Ryan Chapman is back at quarterback along with his favorite receiver Wes Riffle.

Fairland at Ports. West

The Dragons visit West in what has been a high-scoring series.

Both teams have been able to score a lot of points, win or lose.

The game will mark the debut of Merril Triplett Jr. at the Senators head coach.

“They’ve got a lot of kids back and I know they’re going to run right at us. They’re going to get in that T-formation and just pound the ball at us,” said Dragons coach Brent Wilcoxon.

Green at Buffalo

Could it be a repeat performance?

The Buffalo (W.Va.) Bisons have a similar look, but not completely as the Green Bobcats well know.

“They still throw the ball, but not as much. They like to mix in the run more and that makes them harder to defend,” said Green coach Dan Mercer who makes his coaching debut for the Bobcats Friday night.

Throwing the ball for Buffalo will be senior quarterback Nick Harris (6-2, 210), but the running game will have fullback Cody Craig (5-11, 213) and fellow running backs Jason Warner (6-1, 170) and Richard Adkins (5-11, 152).