Warriors battle Mountain Lions Friday night
Dunmore, W.Va. – Pocahontas High School football season opens Friday night in the lair of the Mountain Lions in Tucker County. The Mountain Lions shellacked the Warriors 28-6 in last season’s opener at Dunmore, and finished 5-5 overall, narrowly missing the playoffs. The Warriors finished 7-4 and made the playoffs, but were knocked out in the first round at Wahama.
The Mountain Lions have 10 returning seniors. Pocahontas has six seniors who played last year. Warrior head coach Chris Sutton says Tucker’s size and experience will be tough to overcome.
“They have a big offensive and defensive line and, according to their coach, they spent a lot of time in the weight room in the off-season,” he said. “And, I think he was saying in an interview I heard, 29-30 players were in the weight room every evening. So, they’re going to be, not only bigger, but they’re going to be stronger and they have a lot of returning seniors. With that comes a lot of experience. Guys that have seen us in the past – seen the players that we’re playing against them with.”
The coach says two-year starting QB Derek Nestor presents a special challenge.
“We have a tough time trying to contain him, keep him from running,” he said. “He can drop back. We can definitely get some pressure but I’m always concerned, whenever we get pressure, if he can get out of that pocket and make some yards with his feet before we have time to get up there to get to him.”
Sutton says the Warriors should respect Tucker senior linebacker Michael Adkins, an All-State special mention last season.
“Michael Adkins – real big kid,” he said. “He was big, hurting people whenever he was a sophomore and now he’s a senior. So, that’s two years of weight lifting under his belt. So, I imagine he’s going to be twice as tough this year. I mean, we’re not going to keep away from anybody. We’re going to treat him as a football player, but, just giving him respect. I mean, you have to give those guys respect. But we’re not going to run and hide.”
The Warriors return a first team All-Stater this season – senior RB Kyler Doss, who scored 22 touchdowns last season.
The Warriors play four out of their first five games on the road. Sutton says he likes it that way.
“I think we like that,” he said. “That makes it – whenever we have that homecoming, we are coming back home to play football. I think it’s good to get all those games out whenever you’re fresh. It’s tough to be on the road a lot at the end of the season because you’re already kind of tired. Getting toward the end of the season, you need a little bit of a break and then you’re on the road. Being able to come back home and not spend as much time on the bus toward the end of the season, I think is a good thing.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Tucker County football field in Parsons.