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Eagles not hedging bets on trip to title game

August 26, 1998|By MARK KELLER

The Herald-Mail previews the upcoming high school football season

  • Today: West Virginia
  • Tuesday: Pennsylvania
  • Sept. 2: Hancock, St. James, Frederick, Thomas Johnson
  • Sept. 3: Frederick County MVAL teams
  • Sept. 4: Washington County MVAL teams


HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - There's no doubt the Hedgesville Eagles are shooting for No. 1 this year.

It's been a steady progression to that point for many of the seniors on this team - from 6-4 and missing the playoffs two years ago to 10-3 and the state semifinals last season.

The problem is each of those seasons - though successful - ended in a loss. Shane Moats remembers both losses well, and he wants this season to end with a win and a title.

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"It probably stung more to lose two years ago and miss the playoffs," Moats said. "Last year, we just got destroyed by Parkersburg in the playoffs. We want to come back this year and get to Wheeling and win (the state championship)."

"We may have overachieved two years ago by going 6-4," said coach Ron Renner. "We just missed by that last game (a loss to Musselman) and they were down. I told them then they did a heck of a job. It was good that they were disappointed."

If that loss to Musselman did nothing else, Renner says, it motivated his team to work hard to get into the playoffs last year. And D.D. Barrett says the loss to Parkersburg has only given the Eagles another push to go further this year.

"It was real tough losing that game and then the seniors that we lost," Barrett said. "Parkersburg was a good team. They were a lot to handle. I hope we get to see them again this year."

If the Eagles are to get to Wheeling, much of the responsibility in getting them there will lie with Moats and Barrett. Both are third-year varsity players, and both will be looked upon as the leaders of this team.

Renner has nearly unlimited options on offense with Moats at quarterback. He has strong running backs to hand off to in Barrett and Craig Harrison. Moats is quick and strong enough to run the ball himself if the situation calls for it. And he has sure-handed receivers in Hickory Dean, Derek Brown and Monte Spurgeon.

"We're not going to turn into BYU, because I think you've gotta run the ball to control the game," Renner said. "But we'd be crazy not to put the ball up. Shane's a playmaker, and we'll use that to our advantage."

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