WHEELING - Wheeling Central coach Mike Young says it is far too early to determine if quarterback Parker Henry has been lost for the season, and is urging anyone who will listen not to count his team out.
Offensive coordinator Jason Rine was downright defiant when learning that a doctor had diagnosed Henry, The Intelligencer's 2011 Sophomore of the Year for football, a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He says the Maroon Knights will persevere.
Though Henry had yet to see his doctor as of Sunday night, it doesn't look good. Young has never given up on a kid and said he's not about to start now, even though the chances of the junior playing a snap this season would seem to be somewhere between slim and none.
But if you count out Henry, a tough customer whose best sport is probably hockey, then you obviously don't know him. This is a kid who suffered a hip pointer on the first drive of last season's West Virginia Class A state title game last season, yet played the remainder of the contest.
And if you count out the Maroon Knights as I am sure countless programs around the state have, you're probably in for a rude awakening. Wheeling Central hasn't won eight titles in 12 years by accident. It has a lot to do with attitude, and this coaching staff will not let the 2012 group feel sorry for itself.
Remember, it was also supposed to be a down year for the Maroon Knights last season. How did that turn out?
Speaking of Football
Holy cow. Where did the summer go?
Truth be told, I'm not all that worried about losing those 99-degree days that are often accompanied by 70-percent humidity. I long for the cool, crisp fall Friday nights when the lights down at the stadium are turned on in small towns throughout the Ohio Valley. It's my favorite part of this job.
It's a bit weird because on one hand it seems as though football shouldn't be here just yet. On the other, it feels like it's been forever.
Anyway, I am looking forward to another special season. It's a season that comes without many certainties and even fewer star players - that we know as of today. It's hard to pin these kinds of things down, but I can't remember a time in recent memory when so many standout players picked up their diplomas, leaving us in search of the next big thing(s).
One school that has plenty of those is St. Clairsville. I fully expect the Red Devils to be the best program in the OVAC this year with the likes of Dan Monteroso, Michael Ferns, Jaylon Brown, Matt Kinnick and Jerrid Marhefka, just to name a handful.
St. Clairsville seems like a good bet to go deep into the postseason. But let's not forget that we're dealing with 14-18-year-old kids here. You never truly know what you're going to get.
Shawn Rine can be reached via e-mail at Rine@theintelligencer.net