Pigskin Preview 2022 – Numbers are up as Carter takes helm at Gallia

Published 9:32 am Friday, September 2, 2022

GALLIPOLIS — Novelist Thomas Wolfe wrote a book entitled, “You Can’t Go Home Again.”

Don’t tell that to Kole Carter.

The former Gallipolis football standout is going from assistant coach to his first job as a head coach at his alma mater this season.

Email newsletter signup

“It’s my first time to be a head coach at my alma mater I’m looking forward to it. It’s exciting,” said the 25-year-old Carter.                                                                                                                                          The Blue Devils had 18 players at the end of last season as they finished 4-4. But thanks to Carter’s efforts, Gallipolis opens this year with a 40-man roster.

“We had a lot of athletes in the building not doing a thing. When I got this job in January, we encouraged them to come out, give it a try and they stayed with it for the most part,” said Carter.


This is a position that is blessed with speed and more speed.

Junior twin brothers Hunter Shamblin (5-11, 175) and Hudson Shamblin (5-11, 175) bring speed to the backfield.

“They’re fast as lightening,” Carter said of the Shamblin twins.

The H-back will be senior co-captain Cole Hines (5-7, 170) with junior Stephen Davis in the mix.


Junior Matt Liberati and sophomore Travis Chapman are locked in a battle for the center job.

Senior Antwon Van Meter (6-4, 305) is a new face this season and should be the right guard. His backup will be younger brother Quentin Van Meter who is a sophomore.

“Those are two good-looking kids,” said Carter. “Antwon is a a kid who hasn’t played yet. He’s a real athletic kid.”

The left guard will be junior Dakota Siders (6-0, 270) with senior Gabe Raynor his backup. Raynor is expected to play some at right tackle, too.

“Raynor is a little undersized but he plays hard,” said Carter.

The right tackle is senior Mason Smith while massive senior Isaac Clary (6-8, 310) will be the left tackle. Clary currently has offers from Illinois State and Marshall.

Mathew Gorby will be the backup to Clary who is a team co-captain.

“Siders moves well and Smith has good feet, he’s physical and a two-year starter,” said Carter. “Clary is a great kid. He’s going to be something special.”


Back at the helm for the second straight season is senior Brody Fellure (6-1, 175) who is a dual threat.

“He’s a good RPO guy. We’ll be able to do a lot of things with him,” said Carter.

The backup figures to be sophomore Braylan Rathburn (6-2, 150).


Junior All-Ohio wideout Kenyon Franklin (6-1, 180) is a weapon much like Deebo Samuel of the San Francisco 49ers.

“He’s our number one receiver. He’ll do a lot for our team. He’s a great offensive weapon,” said Carter.

Senior Mason Skidmore (5-9, 165) will be the slotback, but Carter said there are three other players who will see action at wide receiver or slotback including junior Paolo Jones who started last season. He will be joined by juniors Joey Darnbrough (6-0, 145) and Conner Roe (5-10, 148).


The Blue Devils will utilize a 3-5-3 defensive alignment and adjust to the opposition.

The nose guard job will be shared by Chapman and Siders while the ends figure to be Antwon Van Meter and Nathan Smith. Joining the mix will be Liberati and Raynor.

“We’re solid up there. We have a lot of weight so we need to get faster,” said Carter.


Hines is a two-time All-Ohio player and will be at the middle linebacker spot. He will be flanked by the Shamblin twins to give the Blue Devils a fast corps of linebackers.

Also expected to see some playing time either inside or outside is Davis.


The cornerbacks look to be Skidmore and Fellure along with Jones and Darnbrough.

Franklin is set to play safety with Rowe his backup.

“We play fast and they’re great at understanding what we want to do,” said Carter.


Junior Caleb Stout (5-9 172) looks to be the placekicker while Fellure will handle the punting duties.

“We feel we have a good kicking game,” said Carter.


Carter is happy to be playing in the conference and sees a balanced league.

“Ironton is loaded up. Our goal is to win the league and we want to see ourselves as league contends,” said Carter.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the league. It’s going to be very competitive.”