By Dave Helmick
After a one week delay the Mt. Lions Football season will get started this Friday September August 4th at Tygarts Valley with a 7pm kickoff. The COVID-19 uncertainty has cleared up to allow the West Virginia High School Football season to get underway this Friday across the state. This year the Tucker County team has 21 kids out competing for positions. The team will be looking to improve on last year’s 0-10 disappointing season. The Mt. Lions will be looking to replace 9 seniors from last year’s team and they will have some inexperienced players stepping into those roles this season.
Head Coach AJ Rapp will have a young team this season as the majority of the team’s 21 players is made up of sophomores and freshman. Tucker County has just 3 seniors on the roster this season. The rest of the players are made up of juniors, sophomores and freshmen. When asked about the strength of this year’s team coach Rapp said, “We are athletic, on the offensive line we are starting one junior and the rest are sophomores and freshman and they all are athletic guys who can get out and run.” Rapp added, “This will allow us to do some different stuff with our running game.” Sophomore Trenton Wilfong will get the start at Quarterback for the Mt. Lions as Liam Hood was lost to graduation. Coach Rapp had this to say about Wilfong, “He is an athletic kid who can run the ball well and I am comfortable with him passing the ball as well.” Senior Jeremy Liller will be in the backfield as well as junior Logan Husk who will also take some reps at Quarterback as the season goes on. The receivers in the spread offense will be young also as they will be made up of Junior Wesley Strawderman and Freshmen Ashton Lycliter and Maddox Anderson.
The Mt. Lions defense had some bright spots in the scrimmage last Friday at Philip-Barbour. When ask about the defense Rapp said, “We did ok, the scrimmage was only our second day of full contact, because we are limited with the low numbers we have.” Tucker County held their own on defense and looks to improve on that showing when they travel to Tygarts Valley for the first game of the season this Friday.
Tucker County’s schedule has a few changes this season. Northern, MD was replaced by Berkeley Springs. Coach Rapp said, “We just wanted to get a team that matched up a little better with our athletic ability, that is the reason we replaced Northern, MD with Berkeley Springs.” The other change to the schedule is Southern, MD was replaced with Hundred. This was due to Maryland Schools postponement of Fall Sports until Spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This forced Tucker County to pick up another school to fill the empty spot on the schedule.
The remaining teams on the schedule are the same as last year with the exception of the Pocahontas County game was moved to September 11th instead of the first week of the season due to the first week of the season being pushed back because of COVID-19. The Mt. Lions will open the season with a road game at Tygarts Valley this Friday September 4th and then they will host Pocahontas County on September 11th in week 2. On week 3 Tucker County will host Moorefield on September 18th. The Mt. Lions will then travel to Berkeley Springs in week 4 on September 25th. Tucker County will travel to Pendleton County on October 2nd and then they will host East Hardy on October 9th for a week 6 contest. Hundred will be the opponent for a home game on October 16th. Tucker County will then host Gilmer County on October 23rd and then they will travel to Petersburg on October 30th. The Mt. Lions then will end the regular season with a road game at South Harrison on November 6th. The kickoff times for all the games this season home and away will be 7pm.
Friday’s game at Tygarts Valley will kick off at 7pm. The game will be broadcast on radio at 94.7FM or online at 947welk.com. For more info and printable schedules go to TuckerCountySports.Com.