It won’t be long until the lights go up on Friday night and the fans begin gathering on Saturday mornings and afternoons as football action is less than a month away here in Adams County. Workouts began last week in Manchester and West Union as the 2014 football season is creeping up slowly.
In Manchester, the Greyhounds were still without a head coach as of press time, with a new head man expected to be named at tonight’s school board meeting. Until that time, the Greyhound workouts have been led by holdovers from the staff of the departed Coach Jason Mantell, including Dustin Cook, Nick Neria, Jeremy Peters, Michael Fegley, and Greg Penny.
After the July 23 workout, Peters and Cook both seemed pleased with the team’s progress.
“I’m happy with what I have seen junior high to high school,” said Peters. “The kids have showed enthusiasm so far and they are working hard.”
“It’s a very exciting time here at Manchester with football starting again,” said Cook. “Coming off last year’s success and with a lot of people coming back, we’re just looking forward to working hard and getting the season started.”
In West Union, 57 boys in grades 9-12 were present at the July 23 workout with the addition of a few athletes from North Adams High School. On a mugghy night, the team went through station drills, working on running pass routes, taking hand offs, tackling, and releasing from the line of scrimmage. Every player went through each station as all of the position jobs are open to anyone at this point.
The Dragons are still not an officially recognized Ohio High School Athletic Association squad but will still be facing a challenging schedule, playing against some varsity squads and some JV squads from Division I schools such as Milford.
“I really like the numbers that I have seen thus far,” said West Union’s high school head man Steve Darby. “We will be able to actually run a JV practice at the same time as varsity when we break up into teams, even though at this point we don’t even know who will be JV or varsity. All the kids will play, all the kids will dress, and we will go from there.”
“We have some really good kids and the attitude has been really good so far,” continued Darby. “We have to work on a lot of fundamentals and basics because we still have a lot of kids that have never played football before. We’ve got a nice schedule ahead of us to work it all out.”
Local football fans will want to circle Aug. 22 on their calendars as the West Union and Manchester high school programs will meet at 7:30 p.m. in Manchester in a pre-season Foundation Game. Though just an exhibition, expect bragging rights to still be on the line for both sides. Game time is 7:30 p.m.