By Dave Helmick
HAMBLETON – The Mt. Lions Football team will open their season this Friday at home against Pocahontas County at 7pm in Parsons. Tucker County returns a host of experience from last year’s team that ended the season with a 3-7 record. Coach Rapp is excited about the amount of kids out for football this year with a total of 35 players to start the season. The breakdown of this year’s team by class is 10 freshmen, 7 sophomores, 10 juniors and 8 seniors. Rapp is also happy with the young talent on this team and he is also looking forward to the season as he returns some players with varsity experience. Rapp said, “Preseason scrimmages have been good we have made some mistakes, but I really like where we are right now as a team.”
The offense should be improved this season as junior quarterback Ethan Rosenau returns to lead this team. Joining Rosenau in the backfield will be fellow junior Blaike Adams and sophomore Jared Reall. The talent at the receiver positions is also a true benefit for this team according to Coach Rapp, “This may be the most athletic receivers we have had in several years.” The receivers sure to make an impact on this year’s team are as follows. Senior Trenton Wilfong, junior Maddox Anderson, senior Will McCalister, junior Ashton Lycliter, junior Racer Channell and senior Jakob Barrett will provide plenty of targets for Rosenau on offense. The offensive line will also return experience as senior Dom Mullenax returns to lead the line at the center position. Tucker County will also have junior Gavin Mullenax, junior Owen Knotts, senior Hayden Smith and sophomore Markey Phillips at the line positions. Other players that will look to help out on the line will be sophomores Gavin Nestor and Blake Helmick to name a few.
The schedule for the Mt. Lions will be the same as last season as the PVC Conference provides some tough matchups for Tucker County year in and year out. The first game of the season will be a home contest with rival Pocahontas County on Friday August 26th. The Mt. Lions will then travel to Tygarts Valley on September 2nd and Tucker County will then host PVC foe East Hardy on September 9th. The open week will be week 3 this season as September 16th will be an off night. The Mt. Lions will then host Berkeley Springs on September 23rd. Tucker County will then travel to PVC opponent Pendleton County on September 30th and then they are scheduled to host another PVC rival Moorefield on October 7th. A road contest at Southern, MD awaits Tucker County on October 14th and then the Mt. Lions will host Gilmer County for Senior Night on October 21st. The last 2 weeks of the season will be road games for Tucker County as they will travel to Petersburg on October 28th and South Harrison on November 4th. All games are scheduled for kickoff at 7pm.
Tucker County Head Coach AJ Rapp was asked about this year’s team compared to last year, Rapp said, “Last year we lacked numbers and no subs to give players breaks and we just got wore down throughout the game, that did not allow us to finish the games, we just ran out of gas in the second half.” Rapp added, “Hopefully this year with what we have we can rotate some kids out this year we can give players a breather here and there and not get wore down as much.” When Rapp was asked, What was the key to having a successful season. Rapp said, “The key to this season is going to be developing our offensive line and keeping them healthy throughout the season.”
All Tucker County Football home games will be Broadcasted on YouTube Live with play by play audio provided by TuckerCountySports.Com. For more info and links to the broadcasts go to TuckerCountySports.Com.
IMG_2283 – Tucker County’s Maddox Anderson catches a pass in the scrimmage game against Trinity on Aug. 12th. Photo by Brittany Channell.