Updated Thu, Aug 8, 2013 5:20 pm
Editor’s Note: Three-Point Stance is Gridiron Glory’s written preview series leading up to its 15th season on WOUB. Gridiron is visiting training camps for all 32 teams in the coverage area as they prepare for the 2013 football season. We begin in West Virginia, where crosstown rivals endure change and a senior-laden team looks to return to the postseason.
Going into the 2012 season, the Parkersburg South Patriots looked to repeat the success of the 2011 season that saw them go 7-5 with a playoff win. However, South finished 6-4 and narrowly missed the postseason. This year there will be a new look to the Patriots, as familiar faces from both sides of the ball as well as the sidelines left Parkersburg South after the 2012 season. The team still has its eyes set on the postseason though.
Here are three things to know about the 2013 Parkersburg South Patriots:
1. New Coach, High Hopes
For the first time in six years there will be a new man leading the Parkersburg South Patriots, as Mike Eddy takes over for former coach John Bolen. Eddy comes to Parkersburg South after spending the past four years at Galia Academy.
When Eddy arrived at Galia Academy, he inherited a Blue Devils program that had experienced some major struggles. Under Eddy, though, the Blue Devils went 23-17 including an 8-2 finish last season. This time, however, Coach Eddy takes over a team that has enjoyed some success recently with 33 wins and three playoff appearances in the past six seasons. Even though he has a young team, Coach Eddy is confident in his team and hopes to make the playoffs this season.
2. Overcoming Losses on Both Sides of the Ball
The Patriots’ offense will have a new look to it this season, as they will look to replace some familiar faces from the past few seasons. Playmakers Braxton Johnson and Jordan Quiocho graduated last year. South will also have a new face under center in 2013 as Tyler Bolen, who started the last three seasons for the Patriots, also graduated last year. Coach Eddy has not yet named starters, as he is waiting for his players to practice in full pads to do so.
The defense will also have some fresh faces, as multiple starters moved, on including Class AAA First-Team All-State defensive back Logan Cox. Even with some inexperienced players, the defense should be the strength of this team as Coach Eddy, a defensive specialist, will run it. Like on offense, the defensive starters have yet to be named.
3. Making Steady Progress
Though very little is set in stone in terms of personnel on the field, the Patriots remain optimistic about the upcoming season. Players and coaches have changed, but the goal for Parkerburg South remains the same: make the playoffs. Eddy points out that initially there were some growing pains for the players as they adjusted to the new coaching staff, but those pains have since passed, and the team is improving.
“Every day from the standpoint of even being in the weight room during the summer to being at practices here, we’re making steady progress,” Eddy says. “I feel pretty positive about the direction we’re going in.”
Coach Eddy and his team will take the first steps to reaching their goal when they begin their season at Ripley (W.Va.) on Aug. 30.
Follow @gridironglory on Twitter and Instagram and Like the Gridiron Glory Facebook page for continued coverage throughout the preseason. Gridiron Glory returns Friday, Aug. 23 at 11:30 p.m. on WOUB.