Woodrow's talent concerns Winfield coach
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Second-year Winfield football Coach Craig Snyder likes that his team won both its preseason scrimmages, but acknowledges that the Generals are still far from where they hope to be in their race for the school's first Class AAA playoff spot.
"I took a lot of positives from both scrimmages, but I'm worried about Beckley," Snyder said of the Generals' season opener tonight against Woodrow Wilson, which visits Winfield at 7:30 p.m.
"They've got a lot of skill and a lot of speed, and they played South Charleston pretty close with their ones, and I know Donnie's pretty good," Snyder said, referencing the team led by first-year SC Coach Donnie Mays.
Winfield enters the game led by 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior quarterback Toby Show, senior wide receiver Chris Turner (6-3, 215) and senior running back Colt Richardson (5-10, 200), although sophomore Jacob Lewis (5-6, 160) and junior John Hathaway (6-1, 175) will contribute considerably, giving Winfield more offensive weapons than it has had in some time.
"I think one of the things that you see is that Chris is not the only thing we have offensively," Snyder said. "Chris is very good, but I hope people key on Chris because we have a lot of other guys that we feel can make big plays."
Turner, who injured his left shoulder in the team's final scrimmage against Riverside last week, should play tonight after he caught 48 passes for 656 yards and six touchdowns as a junior.
Coach John H. Lilly's Woodrow team lost two-time All-State utility player and quarterback Andrew Johnson to graduation, but returns several key athletes known more for their skills on the basketball court than to the football starting lineup. Junior Brent Osborne (6-2, 200) is now the team's quarterback after starring as a 3-point shooting forward for the Flying Eagles last season.
Senior wide receivers Chase Hancock (6-3, 190) and Donte Nabors (5-11, 160) also stood out for Coach Ron Kidd's team that finished as the 2013 Class AAA State Tournament runner-up.
In other games around the area:
Poca (2-8) at Nitro (2-8) - Both Backyard Brawl competitors will test out new quarterbacks in this year's edition. Poca will go with junior Justin Stewart, who returns to the sport after taking his sophomore year off and replaces two-year starter Jake Payne, who opted not to play his senior season.
Nitro's Tyler Barton hasn't suited up since his freshman season, but will guide the Wildcats in their quest for their first winning season since 2007.
Poca has won four consecutive games in the series, and is 4-3 in the series since it resumed in 2006.
Sissonville (5-5) at Chapmanville (4-6) - A pair of teams that missed the Class AA playoffs that feel like they're in good shape for runs in 2013 meet in a game that could have series postseason implications as the season evolves.
Senior Nathan Miller moves back to his original as quarterback for the Indians, who also return four of their five starters on the offensive line from 2012. The Tigers are ranked 6th in the Daily Mail preseason Class AA poll, and return their top two receivers - seniors Brady Cox and Zac Casto.
Scott (8-4) at Herbert Hoover (1-9) - Cameron Loftus (785 yards, 11 TDs) returns to lead the Skyhawks on a chase for another playoff bid, while Hoover looks equipped to snap a two-year postseason layoff. Hoover junior Shaun Dotson, however, ran for 716 yards and six scores and has a huge line back to block for him and a pair of QBs - senior Brenden Holbrook and junior Tyler Americo - with starting experience from which to choose.
Lincoln County (0-10) at Point Pleasant (8-3) - Former St. Albans Coach Derek Christian makes his return to prep football with the Panthers, who are still looking for their first winning season since the school's 2006 opening. Point returns several key players from its 2012 playoff team, including quarterback Aden Yates, who was 101 of 144 for 1,473 yards, 20 TDs and four INTs last year as a sophomore.
Buffalo (7-4) at Parkersburg Catholic (5-5) - The Crusaders return much of their lineup from a team that narrowly missed the playoffs last year, while Buffalo is in full rebuilding mode, with 13 of its 30 players listed as freshmen. The game will be played at Jackson Middle School in Vienna.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at email@example.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT.