Bethany, W, Va. (WTRF) – The OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star Football Game’s ritual began with a press conference at host site Bethany College. The game is worth the wait to the players because it was not played in 2020. Being named in the category of the OVAC’s best players is always a high honor for the high school athletes. Team Ohio is coached by Fort Frye’s Eric Huck.
“We’ve had a lot of preparation with our coaching staff working on our schedule for the week and personnel has been a big part of it in getting those 37 players but, you know, getting all of that done and out of the way and being here now and getting started is exciting,” Huck said.
West Virginia’s coach is Linsly’s B.J. Depew
“It’s been very enjoyable; selecting the team and being the part of the process. There’s nothing like those first couple of days which we’re into right now where you finally get to put a face with a name and a personality with a talent and it’s really enjoyable for myself and the staff,” Depew said.
This is still an All-Star game where you’re bound to see things like some of the highly skilled players trying out new positions.
“Guys might be asked to play out of position and do things that they’re not used to, but, you know, it’s an All-Star game and we’re going to try to put the pieces in place and put our kids in position to be successful,” Depew said.
“I can tell you that they’re really excited to be here and they’re eager to learn. They’re all ready to compete against each other and shine and see whose going to stand out,” Huck said.
One of the best things about the game is the environment created with many school joining forces as a team.
“It’s a great time. You know, we get to adapt and play with the best of the best and we get to meet other people and actually be part of a team with them,” Shadyside Fullback and Linebacker Jacob Vinisc said.
“I don’t mind. I’m having a great time playing with my friends and learning new things and just growing,” Martins’ Ferry Fullback and Linebacker Evan Carpenter said.
Depew has made the game plan user friendly for West Virginia.
“It’s hard to learn a different scheme but coach has made it an easy transition for us. They’ve haven’t put too many plays in the playbook so its pretty easy,” Wheeling Park Quarterback Bo Heller said.
The game is for fun but Linsly Quarterback Hunter Kelley says winning the contest is not to be taken lightly.
“It would definitely mean a lot especially because West Virginia had struggled the last couple of years versus Ohio so being around all of the friends (that) I grew up with; it would be cool to win with them,” Kelley said.