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Football 2012: Blue Devils Beginning Anew With Kanzigg

August 22, 2012
By BUBBA KAPRAL , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

BEALLSVILLE - From driving the bus to running the program, Paul Kanzigg is just that man.

Kanzigg has the task of replacing a coaching legend as Dave Caldwell has retired as Beallsville's grid boss. Caldwell, a former star running back with the Blue Devils, authored a coaching resume at his alma mater like few OVAC coaches have.

Caldwell's 29 years as head coach (33 overall) featured multiple OVAC championships and playoff berths. Last year's swan song saw Caldwell guide his scrappy Blue Devils to a sparkling 10-3 mark and a berth in the regional finals.

Enter Kanzigg.

The personable mentor is by no means a stranger to Beallsville High football.

Yes, he did previously drive the team bus - a task he hopes to shed this season - but he has also been a longtime Blue Devils aide.

Kanzigg, a farmer and township trustee, has played a part in the Blue Devils' success, having been a Caldwell assistant for 12 years.

''Dave is an institution here in Beallsville. I have learned a lot from him,'' Kanzigg said. ''I am excited to take over and I believe I am up to the challenge.

''We lost a very good bunch of players from last year's team, but I expect the winning to continue. Our numbers are good with 30 kids out and the kids have been doing everything asked of them.

''We have a quality staff here, so we plan on keeping things going in the right direction.''

Graduation stripped Beallsville of some exceptional players. Included in that group are Grahamm Dauch, Matt Burke, Brandyn Heath, Ryan Lude, Derek Burkhart, Bryant Arnold and Aaron Thompson.

The departure of such fine talent is cushioned by the return of one of the Ohio Valley's premier quarterbacks in Teryn Jarrett. He is one of six starters back in the fold.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder is a prolific four-year regular. He has amassed some staggering stats, including last year's stellar season in which he completed 115 of 221 passes for 16 TDs and 1,544 yards. In the process, he collected a host of postseason accolades.

Caldwell liked to run a wide-open attack. With Jarrett again under center, don't look for the Blue Devils to be conservative by any means.

''We know we have someone special at quarterback. So it's safe to say we are going to throw the football,'' Kanzigg said. ''But we have some nice size up front which should enable us to run the ball effectively as well.''

Jarrett's sub at quarterback will be versatile Mikey Palmer. He is a 145-pound sophomore letterman. He will also see regular duty at wideout unless needed to call signals.

Another quarterback being groomed for future duty is Chase Mercer. He is a promising 135-pound frosh.

The running back picture is not as bright as the regulars have since moved on. Kanzigg, however, will be able to call upon some quality runners to fill the void.

Bruce Sefert is a horse at fullback. He is a 155-pound junior letterman who should provide the Blue Devils with strong inside running.

Holding down the tailback spot will be senior ace Gage Steele. The shifty 165-pounder garnered more than 500 yards last fall and provides a breakaway threat.

Backfield depth comes in the form of sophomores Zack Raines (115) and Kris Palmer (145) along with freshman Levi Phillips (153).

Jarrett is savvy enough to make use of all his receiving weapons.

Drew Tubaugh, however, is his favorite target and is a special, big-play pass catcher. Tubaugh is a 190-pounder working on his fourth letter while coming off a spectacular junior campaign, one in which he landed 51 passes, 11 going for scores. Jarrett and Tubaugh, barring injury, have a chance to put up some spectacular numbers in their final go-around.

Palmer will start at split end.

Kanzigg is also high on Indian Valley transfer Devin Lippencott. He is a 155-senior who will see extensive duty when the Blue Devils spread the field.

Depth at wideout comes from junior Jeremy Brown (120 pounds), sophomore Zac Daugherty (128) and freshman Jared Headley (100).

Tight end will be a positive scenario as letterman D.J. Lucas is a fine blocker with good hands. He is a 150-pound junior.

Lucas will be backed up by sophomore Robert Valentine (135) and freshman Mason Campbell (195).

The offensive line is an area in which Kanzigg harbors guarded optimism.

''We have a couple of quality blockers back, but as a unit we must improve our ability to protect the passer,'' he said. ''We do have some nice size as we have three or four kids over 200 pounds which is good for us.''

Kyle Groves and Dalton Sechrest are a pair of returning stalwarts. Groves, a 200-pound senior, is back at tackle, while Sechrest, a 265-pound junior, will again man a guard post.

Beallsville boasts a third quality hole-opener in Tanner Kurtz, a 160-pound senior multi-letterwinner.

The other two starting spots are open for competition. A pair of seniors will get the first chance to lock up regular posts in Cody Mellott (144) and Dustin Norris (235).

Junior line aspirants are Val Wallace (250), Aaron West (147) and Cole Beckett (185).

A pair of nice-sized sophomores are in the battle for regular duty in the form of Mark Shaffer (196) and Tristan Palmer (215). They are joined by classmate Kenny Sleeth (150).

The freshman class features a trio of line candidates, including Cole Susac (165), Dawson Weekley (148) and Dusty Wilcox (155).

Defensively, Beallsville will again utilize a 5-3 alignment as its base defense. With some maturation, the defenders have a chance to be a suffocating unit.

The starting ends are quality, if not exceptional, in Rose and Lucas.

The down tackles will be Sechrest and Tristan Palmer while plugging in at nose tackle will be Norris. The inside trio should be quite formidable against the run.

The linebacking trio is feisty and active. The quality trio is comprised of Tubaugh, Sefert and Lippencott.

Steele and Mikey Palmer are two athletic ballhawkers in the secondary while also providing solid run support.

Youth may be served at safety where the frosh Mercer is making a push to be a starter.

Steele will also handle the punting and kicking chores.

The Blue Devils took part in preseason scrimmages against Fort Frye, St. Marys and Barnesville in a Jamboree game.

Beallsville will play the same 10 foes as a year ago.

Kanzigg's first regular-season game will come Saturday afternoon at Conotton Valley. His home opener will be in Week 2 as Strasburg treks to the Monroe County hamlet.

''With all schools, especially smaller ones like us, health is always a key factor. We cannot afford to lose any of our key personnel,'' Kanzigg said. ''Both the kids and coaches are chomping at the bit to get the campaign under way. We expect to have a good season.''

Kanzigg's staff is a good one.

His lieutenants include Casey Tolzda, Dave Wiles, Rusty Lucas, Tom Mellott, Ryan Kinzey, Josh Pittman and Franklin Holly.

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