Last season, the Man Hillbillies finished with a 7-3 regular season record and garnered a spot in the WVSSAC Class A playoffs. This season, the Hillbillies are looking to take that next step and advance further into the postseason.
“We thought we played well for most of the season,” stated Man head coach Harvey Arms. “We played a tough schedule, and made the playoffs. This year, we’re looking to improve on last season, get back into the playoffs and see if we can get a little further.”
KEY LOSSES: Jordan Adams, Jacob Walls, Jaxon Tipton, Jim Green, Chris Issacs, Colton Miler
KEY RETURNERS: Devon Sanders, Kaleb Mullins, Jayden Brumfield, Trey Ward, Lukas Haney, Josh Spriggs, Corey Morgan, Dusten Baisden
Devon Sanders will come into the season starting at quarterback for the Hillbillies. Jayden Brumfield was the team’s quarterback last season, but he will move into more of a utility role this year.
In the backfield, Corey Morgan, Kaleb Mullins, Dusten Baisden, Brumfield, Josh Spriggs and Braxton Sword will see carries throughout the season.
Lukas Haney and Jacob Endicott should handle duties at tight end.
Trey Ward, Gavin Bartram, Brumfield and Spriggs see time running routes this year.
On the offensive line, Man will have freshman Duke Harless playing center. Houston Ellis and Josh Pierson are back to handle duties at the guard positions. Jairadan Hairston, one of the biggest players in the mountains, will play one of the tackle positions. Levi Rakes, Michael Hopson and Michael Padgett will compete for the other offensive tackle position.
On the defensive front, Ellis, Pierson, Hopson and Endicott are currently projected to hold down spots. But they are being pushed hard by Tate Messer, Brody Stacy, Padgett and Bobby Brown.
At linebacker, Haney and Mullins are being pushed for playing time by Spriggs, Jacob Maynard and Zack Hoosier
In the defensive backfield, Baisden, Sanders, Connor White and Aaron Vanover will play in the defensive back and linebacker combo position. The defensive backs are projected to be Morgan, Brumfield, Bartram, James Maynard and Ward.
Man plays a traditionally tough schedule, and this season will be no different. The Hillbillies will feature difficult schedule that features only three Class A opponents.
“It is a strong schedule,” state Arms. “The good thing about it is that we have six games at home this year, so that should help. We only have to go on the road four times. We’re going to be challenged every week.”
8/25 – Logan
9/01 – @Mount View
9/08 – @Westside
9/15 – Mingo Central
9/22 – Wyoming East
10/06 – Shady Spring
10/13 – @Independence
10/20 – Buffalo
10/27 – @Chapmanville Regional
The optimism is high at Man this season. The Hillbillies will once again look to use their physical style of play to pound teams for four quarters. With a lot of starters returning, look for Man to compete for a playoff spot, and don’t be surprised if they make a deep run if they make the playoff field.