The fall-like temperatures of Tuesday here in Adams County makes sports fans think football and gridiron workouts have begun in earnest in Manchester and West Union. The Greyhounds are coming off a 6-4 season and as of press time were still without a head coach to replace the departed Jason Mantell. The first week of workouts on the river were supervised by holdovers from Mantell’s staff, Dustin Cook, Jeremy Peters, Nick Neria, Michael Fegley, and Greg Penny. A new coach is expected to be named at tonight’s school board meeting.
A muggy July 23 workout left both Peters and Cook impressed with what their Hounds had shown up to that point.
”I’m happy with what I have seen from junior high to high school,” said Peters. “The kids are showing enthusiasm and working real hard so far.”
“It’s a very exciting time here in Manchester, especially for football,” said Cook. “Coming off the success we had last year and with a lot of people coming back, we’re just looking forward to working hard and getting the season started.”
In West Union on that same muggy July 23 night, 57 players in grades 9-12 showed up for the high school workout held at the Recreation Park. The Dragons are not yet an officially sanctioned high school team by the Ohio High School Athletic Association but not withstanding, they will play a full schedule in 2014 against some tough competition, with their varsity group battling JV squads from larger schools such as Division I Milford.
“I like the numbers,” said West Union high school head coach Steve Darby. “We’re actually going to be able to run both reserve and varsity practices when we need to break up into teams. We keep telling the kids that we really don’t know at this point who will be reserve and who will be varsity. They’ll all play, they’ll all dress, and we’ll go from there.”
“The attitude has been really good this year which I really like,” continued Darby. “We have to work on a lot of fundamentals and basics because we still have a lot of kids who have never played football before. We’ve got a nice schedule and we are looking forward to getting started.”
Local football fans will want to circle Aug. 22 on their calendars as that night will see the Dragons varsity squad in Manchester to battle the Greyhounds in a pre-season Foundation Game. Though just an exhibition, both teams will be looking to establish bragging rights for the county. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.