PHILIPPI, W.Va. – Football season is well underway at various levels all around the country, but the collegiate Sprint Football season gets started this Friday.
Alderson Broaddus is one of just a handful of schools in the country that’s home to a sprint football team.
The Battlers didn’t get to play last year due to COVID-19, but return to the gridiron this year after their inaugural season of action in 2019.
Former South Harrison head coach, Brad Jett, is in his third year as head coach, and is in charge of a roster with ten Northcentral West Virginia products on it. That includes former Lincoln nose tackle, Austin Bradley, who’s been voted as team captain.
“We have a lot of guys that haven’t played in a very long time, including myself. It’s been like two years. We’re really excited actually just to be on the field and actually play,” said Bradley, who’s listed as a freshmen despite being on the team in 2020. “I remember my senior year of high school playing, and there was a lot of excitement. Now, just playing at a different level, it’s going to bring like a whole different level.”
Alderson Broaddus went 1-6 in its first season of sprint football. The Battlers first win in the sport came almost exactly two years ago, on Sept. 21, 2019 at home against Post University.
The Battlers will play against Division-I programs, such as Army, Navy and University of Pennsylvania. In fact, all three games against those opponents will be played in Philippi this year, after traveling to those schools in ’19.
“That’s the greatest thing about this league,” said Jett. “You’re kids get to go play in Division-I venues. I got to go to Franklin Field two years ago and play Penn. I’ve never been to Annapolis. I got to go into a Division-I locker room.”
The ten local products on this year’s Battlers team includes players from Lincoln, South Harrison, Ritchie County, Trinity Christian, and Doddridge County high schools.
Jett’s roster, however, only includes six players listed as upperclassmen.
One of those upperclassmen is junior wideout, Shamon Gennes, who’s a living example of what coach Brad Jett Wants his team to do.
“Do the right thing. That’s what we live by now. It’s on our shirts. Coach Jett, Coach Perotti. They’ve been here as long as I have, and since they’ve been here, they’ve just been trying to lay that down,” Gennes said on Thursday.
Gennes pointed to his shirt while speaking, pointing to DWR on his sleeve. ‘Do What’s Right.” It’s the team slogan, that he tries to exemplify in everyday life.
More on Gennes, a Fredrick, MD native, can be heard in the video below.
Gennes is one of nearly a dozen players who have been with the program all three years of its existence.
Alderson Broaddus begins its season on the road Friday at Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia. The Battlers will return home for next week’s game against Army.