Local Sports, Sports

University High football aims to continue its winning ways from last season

MORGANTOWN – After finishing the 2021-22 regular season 10-0 and winning a first round game in the class AAA playoffs, the UHS football team and head coach John Kelley are hopeful to continue to build on the success from a year ago.

That perfect 10-0 season mentioned just now was done in very dominant fashion. Opening with a 55-0 shutout of John Marshall set the tone for the rest of the games UHS played. Throughout 12 games last year, the Hawks averaged 48.2 points a game on offense while allowing only 16 points to their opponents. In seven of those 12 games, UHS scored more than 50 points. On the defensive side, the most points allowed in a single game came in a thrashing of Parkersburg South, 62-33.

The Hawks only loss came in a win-or-go-home scenario in the second round of the playoffs against Cabell Midland. Coach Kelley says his team’s goals still remain the same though.

“We’re not doing anything to ‘get over second round’. Goal is always the same, win as many games as possible, get into the playoffs and see how far you can go,” he said. “Each team every year has to establish their own identity and develop.”

It is worth mentioning that some key players from last year’s team will be missing. Colin McBee, Elijah Jackson and Corbin Turney, who have all signed to play at the collegiate level, are just a few to name.

Starting quarterback Chase Edwards will also be sidelined for UHS, as he has decided to forego playing this year due to concussion concern. Coach Kelley has been keeping Edwards close however, allowing the younger QB’s to use Chase as a mentor and student-coach.

“Losing Chase Edwards to ‘concussion syndrome’ is devastating,” coach Kelley said. “My heart breaks for the young man. He would have broke every passing record in existence at UHS and had multiple interests from college programs. He has come in as a student coach and helped develop Luke Hudson and our young QBs.”

Another noteworthy piece of information regarding UHS is the schedule it will play. Two road trips will open the season. First to John Marshall, then to Parkersburg South. The Hawks then play their home-opener on September 9th against Brooke. Another home contest will see UHS hosting Wheeling Park on the 16th, before making a short trip to Fairmont Senior the following week.

Three more home games follow the Fairmont trip, (9/30, 10/07, 10/21), before UHS travels across town for the 2022 edition of the Mohawk Bowl.

Coach Kelley knows how talented his team can be but says keeping the season going one week at a time gives the best chance for success.

“Getting to Wheeling and hoisting the trophy is an unrealistic thought at this point,” he said. “Like I said, we’re focused on week one vs. John Marshall, then whoever after that. Take short term goals before dreaming about ultimate dreams. Again, win as many as we can, develop our young kids, grow as a team, establish our identity and move forward.”

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