It may be six months away, but Buckeye Trail coach Randy Thompson is hot on the trail of picking the highest caliber of athletes to play for the Ohio squad in summer's Rudy Mumley Ohio Valley Athletic Conference All-Star Football Charity Classic.
“We only got the packet of available players a few minutes ago and we are anxious to see who is available,” Thompson said Wednesday evening after being named Ohio coach by Game Director Bob Koch.
“It’s the event of the year in Ohio Valley athletics,”Koch said at Wednesday night’s organizational meeting. “Every year we always have a lot of dedicated workers that continue to give back to Ohio Valley sports and it will continue to be no different this year.”
Thompson has been head coach of Buckeye Trail in Old Washington for the past seven years and has 20 overall years experience coaching at Union Local prior to inheriting the Warriors' program.
“When I took over (Buckeye) Trail seven years ago we were predominantly a run team, but we decided to throw the ball a little more and it has given us great success,” said Thompson whose team went 10-0 during the regular season.
Thompson now has the task of picking his 32-man roster plus one kicker.
“The challenge comes having to look through all these players and see which kids will fit our style of play best,” Thompson said. “When you are going to have an all-star caliber group like we are going to have it makes it very exciting to move the ball around the field and we want to make sure we select the right kids to get the ball to.”
Joining Thompson on the Ohio staff will be Steve Mercer as defensive coordinator, Bill Starr, Brian Kittle, Jason Davis, Joe Marchianl, Bruce Stiles, Rich Mercer, Vaughn Butler and Justin Schafer.
“I think we have a pretty good staff,” Thompson said. “We have a few guys on the coaching staff that have played in the game as well. Most of them have Buckeye Trail ties.”
Being announced as West Virginia coach by Koch was B.J. Dephew of The Linsly School in Wheeling (W.Va.).
Depew, who finished his second season as the Cadet's head coach, will be bringing his entire coaching staff to the highly competitive all-star game.
“There is some great talent all through the valley,” Depew said. “Both Ohio and West Virginia had some great football programs this year and we’re really looking forward to working with the caliber of athletes in all the West Virginia schools.”
Joining Depew on the West Virginia staff will be defensive line coach Brian Valentine, offensive line coach Gerald Lofstead, wide receiver coach Ray Smith, defensive backs and special teams coach James Coward and defensive coordinator Steve Ochap.
The Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Football Charity Classic is slated for Sunday, July 27 at Wheeling Island Stadium. Kick off is set for 7:15 p.m.