Parkersburg South community excited for return to Class-AAA title game
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - “Just seeing them come in as freshmen and just seeing them at what they were at that point. And just seeing how they’ve progressed and grown the past four years. It’s been a really special thing. It’s really cool,” says Parkersburg South High School head football coach, Nathan Tanner.
The Parkersburg South Patriots are back in the title for the first time since 2003, looking for their second football title in school history. South will be heading up to Wheeling this Saturday to play the second-ranked Huntington Highlanders.
The offense says that winning the battle in the trenches and scoring consistently will be the way to beat the Huntington defense.
“We just have to control the front. Make sure we can get Robert and Gage do what they’re supposed to do,” says senior center, Dalton Veon.
“Same thing as always. Get out there, score early. Score a lot. And hope our defense shows up,” says quarterback, Robert Shockey.
Coach Tanner says that the defense will need to contain opposing quarterback, Gavin Lochow and slow down the big plays.
“We’re going to have to have a high premium on stopping the quarterback,” says Tanner. “He’s very, very exceptional in the run game, he’s really good at extending plays, getting out of the pocket and making stuff happen. Also, they have some speedy guys they like to get out on the edge. So, we’re going to have to play with great leverage and great pursuit. When they do throw the football down the field, we’re going to have to be very stingy and make plays when the ball is in the air.”
Tanner and players say that winning this title will not only mean a lot for the football program, but for the school as well. He believes the success of the football team is infectious to the rest of the school.
“I think whenever you have this many boys walking the halls with a sense of pride and a sense of self-confidence, I think it bleeds over into the student body,” says Tanner. “And a school like South that’s got 15, 16 hundred kids – whenever you have that – it bleeds over into the community as well. So, it’s a big deal.”
The return for the title game is something that has the Southside Psychos excited as well. From those who are seeing a team who are contending for a title.
“It means a lot. It’s a lot easier to cheer for a good team than cheering for one who’s losing,” says Psycho student section leader, Bentley Kinzer. “It’s hard to keep yelling, but it’s pretty fun cheering for these guys.”
And those who grew up with these players and getting to support them.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for the boys and I’ve watched a lot of them grow up since they were little. So, I think that they deserve it,” says senior, Abbi Francisco.
“Well, being in the band, I’ve been at all the games. And I’ve seen all of their hard work paying off and it’s so much fun being able to support them,” says South student body president and band twirler, Macie Watkins. “And this being my senior year, I’m excited to watch them win.”
These students were not born the last time South won the football championship and they are excited to be a part of history.
“This is like a lifetime thing for us. We weren’t even born yet,” says senior, Kamryn Sallee. “So, it’s crazy It’ll be fun. It’ll be cool.”
Parkersburg South Patriot, Zach Parsons says, “I’m the third Patriot to ever be in a state championship football game in school history. So, it’s nice seeing all of my friends succeed and being able to represent the school.”
For more information on how to get tickets for the state title game, you can click on this link for more information.
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