Updated Fri, Aug 30, 2013 12:11 pm
The Mike Eddy era at Parkersburg South kicks off Friday night when the Patriots travel to take on the Ripley Vikings. Like most new head coaches, Eddy inherits a challenge at Parkersburg South. Not only did the Patriots graduate 14 starters from last year’s squad, but Eddy said they have recently been hit hard with the injury bug.
“Just [Tuesday] in practice, we repped our third string center, second team guard and second team tackle,” Eddy said. He also admitted that his Patriot squad just isn’t where it needs to be yet, and the injuries are the main reason they’re being held back.
“When you have new guys in there almost every rep, it gets hard to really make progress and get a rhythm going,” Eddy said.
One of the 14 seniors lost to graduation was three-year starting quarterback Tyler Bohlen. The Patriots will turn the reigns of the offense over to sophomore Garrett Gilkeson. Eddy also added that he expects junior fullback Brendon Schwendeman and senior running back Cody Smith to see a lot of touches Friday night. He believes the three-plus other senior leaders must step up if the Patriots want to help overcome all the injuries and leave Ripley with a win.
However, the Patriots aren’t the only team with a new man in charge. Ripley welcomes Dave Tennant, who spent the past two years as the headman at Eastern High School. Tennant hopes to change the whole philosophy of the Viking program and plans to do that by installing a spread, up-tempo offensive scheme to the Vikings, who finished last year at 5-5.
To start the Eddy era off the right way, he said the Patriots must play disciplined football. Eddy also added the Vikings have very good athletes and are a well-coached team.
“They’re going to run a lot of counters and reverses, so we have to make sure our guys are handling their responsibilities and staying at home,” Eddy said.
Whichever team can have playmakers emerge and play turnover-free, disciplined football will give their new head coach his first win and start their season off on the right foot.