CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – George Washington is getting ready for their 2023 season opener, kicking off in less than 24 hours.

The Patriots are traveling to Cabell Midland.

These two competed in the season opener last year, GW walking away with the one score win.

But that doesn’t really matter now.

“They’re gonna be completely different than they have been, they’re running a completely different offense,” said George Washington head coach Steve Edwards Jr. “They have completely different players and so do we. So it’s a fresh start for both of us.”

The Patriots do have some new faces on the roster, but one is pretty familiar. 

Senior quarterback Abe Fenwick.

“I’m looking forward to him having a great senior year,” said Edwards. “If he does…we go as he goes.”

“It’s a little surreal but I’m happy to be here and spend my last year with a good team,” said Fenwick.

A final year, with a challenging beginning.

Fenwick knows it’ll be a tough environment in Ona Thursday night.

“They have the most students, they’re gonna have a good crowd,” said Fenwick. “I think it’s gonna be fun for everyone. I think it’ll be a good way to open the season and get acclimated to what GW faces every time because the student sections always come out for us.”

Up the interstate, the home team prepares for their revenge game.

“A little nervous,” said head coach Luke Salmons. “Because it’s the first game. You don’t know. You don’t know who you are. And I don’t think anybody does.”

Last year, Cabell Midland lost to GW in that opener, then dropped games to Hurricane and Huntington late in the season.

“We lost three games last year which was really different,” said Salmons. “But I think it humbled our kids. 10 years ago coming here… losing three games would’ve been exciting… but the standard has changed from us and the kids. So they expect to win. Huntington had a good team, Hurricane had a good team. All the teams were good in our conference, and it’ll be the same way this year.” 

The Knights have a weapon at quarterback in Robert Shockey, and will have a strong ground game with running back and WVU commit Curtis Jones Jr.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Jones Jr. “This senior offseason has felt long. Longer than any of my other offseasons, at least that’s what it feels like. So to get a chance to go hit another team is a blessing.”

And that will happen very soon…

Cabell Midland and George Washington kick off Thursday night at 8 o’clock.