Weir High’s Valenti lining up one more time
WHEELING — Mike Eddy admitted during his tenure at Parkersburg South his teams never boasted a tremendous amount of size.
As he prepares to coach his final game in the state of West Virginia before he begins his tenure at Logan High School in Ohio, Eddy is anxiously awaiting the chance to get to camp at Bethany College and work with the group of linemen he’s assembled for the OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star Game, which is slated for July 27 at Wheeling Island Stadium.
“It’ll be nice to be able to coach people who look like offensive linemen,” Eddy said jokingly “We were undersized at South, but we have a nice sized group of kids now. I really like this group.”
Eddy is familiar with many of the players he and his coaching staff chose after having played against many of them during the course of the season.
“The kids are mobile and athletic for their size,” Eddy said. “It doesn’t matter the level of football or whether it’s an all-star game or not. Games are won and lost up front. We feel like we have some kids who can lock up on guys and move them around the field.”
While the offensive line is a bigger group, Eddy doesn’t mind having smaller defensive linemen.
“We like those kids to be aggressive and want those guys to move a little bit better,” Eddy said. “Most our (defensive) linemen run anywhere between 215 and 260. So, we’re not quite as big, but I do like the depth we have.”
Vying for time in the trenches when camp opens a week from Sunday will be Ryan Cross (Paden City), Nick DeFelice (Morgantown), Luke Duplaga (Wheeling Central), Shane Hercules (John Marshall), Hayden Hoge (Cameron), Vinny Mangino (Wheeling Central), Ryan McCave (Wheeling Park), Robert Valenti (Weir) and Brady Williams (John Marshall).
Here’s a capsule look at the players:
RYAN CROSS, Paden City — This former Wildcat shined along the defensive line and at fullback for coach Brent Croasman’s squad.
The 5-8, 218-pounder was twice named All-OVAC and honorable mention all-state.
Ryan is the son of Mark and Anglia Cross.
NICK DEFELICE, Morgantown — This former Mohigan caused all sorts of problems for opposing teams from his defensive end spot.
The 6-0, 190-pounder posted 20 tackles, 13 assists, 3.5 sacks and five tackles for loss, en route to earning All-OVAC and honorable mention all-state for coach Matt Lacy’s team.
DeFelice also is a member of Athlete’s Edge Club, Ski Club and Geography Awareness Club.
Nick, who plans to attend West Virginia University, is the son of Anthony and Kim DeFelice.
LUKE DUPLAGA, Wheeling Central — This former Maroon Knight was a two-way mainstay for coach Mike Young’s team.
The 5-8, 245-pounder was a key cog in the last two state title teams and earned all-state accolades.
Luke is the son of Mike and Alyssa Duplaga.
SHANE HERCULES, John Marshall — This former Monarch held down the fort at left tackle for coach Jason Willis’ team.
The 6-5, 315-pounder was named special mention All-OVAC and was a ‘Block of Granite’ nominee.
Shane, who plans to attend West Liberty, is the son of Teresa Mahaney.
HAYDEN HOGE, Cameron — This former Dragon was a key to the offensive success by coach Scott Holt’s team from the guard spot.
The 6-1, 240-pounder earned All-OVAC and special mention all-state.
Along with football, Hoge was a standout wrestler and also a member of the Drug Free Club.
Hayden is the son of Marcie Hoge.
VINNY MANGINO, Wheeling Central — This former Maroon Knight was tough to block at defensive end for Young’s squad.
Mangino earned all-state accolades for the third consecutive season and was once again named All-OVAC, as he helped lead the Knights to the Class A state title.
Vinny, who is the son of Susan Mangino and Anthony Mangino, plans to attend West Liberty.
RYAN MCCAVE, Wheeling Park — This former Patriot standout was an anchor for coach Chris Daugherty’s line.
The 6-5, 300- pounder was named first-team All-TRAC for his fine campaign.
Along with football, McCave is a member of the Drug Free Club.
Ryan, who is the son of John and Tammy McCave, plans to attend West Liberty.
ROBERT VALENTI, Weir — This former Red Rider was a two-way tackle for coach Tony Filberto’s squad.
The 6-4, 290-pounder earned a myriad of accolades, including All-OVAC, special mention all-state and he took part in the North-South All-Star Game last month.
Robert, who is the son of Robert and Karen Valenti, plans to attend West Virginia.
BRADY WILLIAMS, John Marshall — This former Monarch lined up at center and along the defensive line for Willis’ team.
Williams earned his third letter and was named second-team All-TRAC after a fine season.
Brady is the son of Crystal and John Kielbasa.