FAIRMONT, W.Va. -The defending Double-A state champs look to stay atop the class again.
A couple of big name players graduated last season including all state QB Gage Michael, but an experienced quarterback is ready to take on the role in senior Dom Stingo.
“We’re never going to try and find another Gage Michael. We know that’s going to be hard to come by just like it was to replace Connor Neal so Dom Stingo is going to be the guy under center and he’s going to be the best Dom Stingo that we have,” said offensive coordinator, Mark Sampson.
This isn’t Stingo’s first rodeo, he’s a four year player and took multiple varsity snaps in the past. The only difference is now, he’s the starter.
“He’s a good passer in the pocket, he likes to throw on the run and he’s athletic enough to go get yards when he needs to,” Sampson said.
Just like the past, the Polar Bears skill players are locked and loaded.
“We’ve got a loaded backfield with Dylan Ours, Germaine Lewis, Landen Tasker will be back there. Out wide we return Kayson Nealy, Jayden Cheriza and Evan Dennison and those three will be getting the ball in a variation of ways as well,” said Sampson.
“I think we’re overall just a very quick, skilled team. We can do it all honestly,” added senior wideout, Kayson Nealy.
The experience the o-line does return is huge. D1 football commit Eric Smith returns as well as Darrius Hubbard and Noah Clifton. Younger players will fill the other spots, and that’s been tough competition.
“That’s been our most heated position battles of the summer and they’re doing well,” Sampson said.
“We’re always making sure we’re helping each other out, pushing each other to get better. Like me, Darius, all of us,” added Smith.
The Polar Bears aren’t shying away from a challenge this year. Their strength of schedule is difficult including four consecutive games on the road including Bridgeport and Spring Valley.
But Fairmont is taking it week by week.
“We’re just going to do what we usually do. Play Polar Bear football and that’s it,” said sophomore running back, Dylan Ours.
“We’re going to try and take advantage of what we’re good at and what the defense is giving us and just try and stay ahead of the sticks. We’re going to mix in some tempo Sometimes it will be no huddle sometimes it will be a little slower paced, and just see what’s working for us that week,” Sampson said.
Week One the Polar Bears travel to Lewis County.