ELLENBORO, W.Va. – The Ritchie County football program came off of an impressive season in Class Single-A finishing 10-2 and advancing to the second round of the post season.
Ritchie County returns several starters including sophomore quarterback Ethan Haught.
Haught said he gained the experience he needed from starting his freshman season.
“I learned a lot last year and I keep learning more and more and it’s great to have that year of experience under your belt. And I really think that we can take control of this offense and do a lot this year,” Haught said.
Haught will need to step out of his comfort zone a little more this time around as the Rebels plan to pass the ball more often.
Ritchie County head coach Rick Haught is confident with the skill players he’s returning to adapt to a more pass-dominant offense.
“We have the ability and the skill people to throw the ball a lot more than we did. We’ll still try and get Gus Morrison out into the routes, Graden McKinney, we’ll get looks at Blaine Bowie at the split is a solid receiver and Dakota Wayne, I think could be an important piece to our offense at tight end,” Rick Haught said.
With key members from last year’s team, like Kayden Procacina, Garrett Owens and Tre Moss, no longer with the rebels, skill positions will have to step up from this year’s squad to replace those roles on both sides of the ball.
One of those players being senior tight end Dakota Wayne.
“Our wide receiving core is I would say one of the strongest from around here. Our passing game is going to be something that’ll help us a lot this year. Last year we weren’t really a passing team at all it was more of a run game. But losing our starting running back it’s going to be different this year. So I mean they’re going to put me in the right position, I’m going to trust them,” Wayne said.
A dominant part of the Rebels offense returns in junior second-team All State wide receiver Gus Morrison.
He’ll have to pick up the slack in the backfield to replace what they’ve lost while doing what he does best…catching the football and he’s confident in his QB going forward.
“Ethan has gained a lot this year from last year and he can throw the ball pretty far this year. Farther than he could last year, I think he’s going to be pretty strong this year. I guess i’m just trying to step up and work hard at practice and try and fill a spot,” Morrison said.
The Rebels have high expectations for this season and they start in week one against Magnolia.