Wyoming East and Westside tangle this Friday at Clear Fork, and the annual Battle for the Coal Shovel has added importance in this early spot in the football season.
The Renegades will be looking to avoid an 0-2 start for the first time since 2006, and East will try to end a four-game losing streak in the series.
“I like (having the game earlier),” said WEHS coach Gary Poindexter. “It’s a big game whenever we play, and I think both teams will be ready.”
Westside coach Darren Thomas likes the earlier date as well.
“I think it should bring out a bigger crowd and create a lot more interest,” he remarked.
East scored twice in the final 5:50 of its opener to trim Mingo Central, 19-16, last Friday at New Richmond.
WHS fell behind, 25-8, early and saw its comeback attempt fall one point short, 31-30, against Liberty at Glen Daniel.
Thomas said his team wasn’t ready in the early stages of the Liberty contest.
“We’re going to stress this week that you have to play the whole game and cut down on turnovers,” he stated.
Quarterback Justin Cogar and fullback Matt Harless both ran for over 100 yards in the loss.
East was led by junior Christian Hedinger, who caught a pass for a TD and ran an interception back for another.
Westside leads the series 8-2.