CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The Winfield Generals are getting ready for their season opener, at Hurricane, in just two days.
“We’re excited about kicking off Thursday because it’s our first game,” said head coach Eddie Smolder. “It is a rivalry game, but more importantly it’s our first game. So it’s our most important game.”
Smolder took over the program last summer.
Winfield finished 10-2 in his first year as head coach.
“Last year was exciting, the community has been great,” said Smolder.
The Generals made it to the state quarterfinals, where they lost to Herbert Hoover in the last few seconds by one point.
“Just look past it,” said senior quarterback Chase Massey. “It’s a new year, new team. Let’s see what we can do this year.”
Massey is starting under center for Winfield this fall. Coach Smolder says he’s a strong leader for this team.
“He’s a hard worker and a good kid,” said Smolder. “He prepares and he’s really talented. He’s a dual threat kid, so I’m really proud of his progress but he’s gotta keep working and continue to improve.”
“I’m feelin’ good,” said Massey. “Our team is prepared. We have a great coaching staff that’s getting us ready, and see what can happen.”
Just up route 34, the Hurricane Redskins are getting ready to host their rivals.
“You only get 10 times guaranteed a year you can play someone else,” said head coach Donnie Mays. “When you go that entire offseason from January to August, you’re ready to hit someone else.”
Mays took over the Hurricane program around the same time Smolder took over Winfield, so last summer.
Hurricane finished their season 10-3 in Mays’ first year as head coach, making it to the state semifinals, where they lost to Parkersburg South.
“We’re proud of what we accomplished last year, taking it further than it’s ever been in school history,” said Mays. “So I think we can play off that and get better and our kids have worked really hard this offseason to reach a different and better goal.”
Senior quarterback Jacqai Long will help accomplish those goals.
“Just help everyone around me,” said Long. “Do what I can to help the team make it to the championship.”
The Marshall commit says Thursday’s game can’t come soon enough.
“Especially these past couple days,” said Long. “It can’t come any faster. It feels like these days are going super slow. It came quickly,, but now it’s going slow.”
Two coaches in their second year with their programs, two senior quarterbacks, two state contenders.
Should be a ‘War on 34’ unlike any other.
Kickoff between these two powerhouse programs is at 7:30 Thursday night.