High school football practice got under way across West Virginia on Monday. But it was a day of frustration for Westside coach Darren Thomas.
With no certified trainer available, the Renegades could not practice on Monday. “All we could do is let them lift weights and hand out equipment,” Thomas commented. “And without a trainer, I can’t be out on the field with them.
“It’s not just us,” he added. “I know a lot of schools have had problems finding trainers.”
An estimated 45-50 players turned out for the first day at Clear Fork. Despite the hold up, WHS is expected to field a solid team this year.
“We’re a pretty young team, we have a lot of sophomores and juniors,” Thomas said. “But I think we’re going to be faster than we were last year.”
The Renegades were 9-1 last season and hosted a first round playoff game. Four of the five starting offensive linemen from that club are back.
“They’re all stronger,” stated Thomas. Some returning players will be moved around.
Justin Cogar will take over full time at quarterback. Dylan Newsome, last year’s starter at QB, will play tailback or the slot. Matt Harless is going to take over at fullback.
The schedule is largely the same, but rival Wyoming East has been moved from its traditional October spot to the second week of the season (Aug. 31).
Perennial power Bluefield has been added and will occupy the Ocotober slot once occupies by East. Westside will scrimmage Graham, Va., and PikeView in a grid-o-rama at Concord University on Aug. 11. The Renegades take on Greenbrier West on Aug. 17 in a scimmage at Wyoming East.
Thomas hopes to have the trainer situation resolved soon. “We may have to practice Friday to make up for the one we missed on Monday,” he stated.