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Colwell takes bigger role in Indians' plans

September 05, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Matt Colwell's job as quarterback for Berkeley Springs last season became pretty simple: Hand the football off to Cody Reed or Cody Hess.

Sure, he would have liked to have thrown the football more, but it was hard to deviate from using a combo that netted more than 2,800 rushing yards and scored 43 touchdowns in the regular season.

"All I had to do was hand off," said Colwell. "I'd like to have thrown more often, but they were crazy good."

Colwell and his teammates are ready for life after Hess and Reed, a 9-3 record and a first-ever playoff victory last year.

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"Our goal is to win as much as we can and get into the playoffs and do some damage," said Colwell a 5-foot-10, 140-pound senior. "I'm taking that role as a leader. I've got to be the one who knows where everyone is going."

While the Indians produced a school record for wins last season, head coach Angelo Luvara is looking to piece together another formidable unit.

"You just don't replace (Hess and Reed) like that," said Luvara. "As a high school coach it might be one out of 20 years you get two great kids like that in the same year."

"Now we just go on and our kids have worked very hard. We lost our offensive line and that's going to be a big challenge."

The new kids on the block in the backfield will be junior Ben Griffith (5-11, 172) and senior Kyle Baxter (5-10, 182) at fullback. Tailback chores will be handled by senior Dean Vosburgh (5-7, 160) and junior Max Langenstein (5-10, 150).

"They are some quick kids," Luvara said of the tailbacks.

One of the Indians' top threats in the passing attack should be junior Lucas Redick (6-2, 156). He'll also serve as a backup to Colwell and was seeing plenty of work in the preseason under center while Colwell nursed a shoulder injury.

While Berkeley Springs may be lacking experience on the offensive line, the Indians return some experience on the line defensively in its 4-3 stack alignment.

They'll be anchored by junior Michael Hensley (5-10, 265) and rush end Joe Hansroth (6-0, 170), a junior. Sophomore nose guard Hobert Delph (6-0, 260) is expected to contribute. Heading the linebackers are senior Dillon Lechliter (5-9, 165) junior Logan Lyda (5-11, 200).

"Obviously we ran more last year but we'll get back to a 50-50 mix on offense," said Luvara. "You didn't have to worry about passing when you had a lot of two-play drives."

While West Virginia prep football opens Friday, the Indians will have their idle week in the schedule right away, not opening the season until Sept. 5 at Hampshire.

Finding teams to play a big Class AA school was tough as Allegany, Grafton and Hancock dropped off the schedule, replaced by Virginia schools Kettle Run and Manassas Park and Hampshire, W.Va.

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