Clay-Battelle eyeing first postseason appearance since 2014 after 4-1 start

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BLACKSVILLE, W.Va. – The Clay-Battelle football team is off to its best start since 2017.

The Cee Bees are 4-1 on the year, with their only loss coming against top-ranked East Hardy in Week 2.

Clay-Battelle has also risen to Number 9 in the latest WVSSAC playoff rankings, after being unranked through the first three weeks of the season.

What’s worked well for the Cee Bees so far this season? Almost everything, frankly. But it starts with the two quarterbacks.

“Drew (Boczek) throws the ball very very well. I mean, he puts it right in the bucket all the time. Carson (Shriver) is a heck of a receiver out there. Carson throws the ball very well, also. You know, I just look at it as a good complimentary for each other,” said Cee Bees head coach, Ryan Wilson.

Wilson and company are searching for their first playoff appearance since 2014.

With the two QBs playing well, seemingly everyone else has risen to the occasion, as well. Wilson, specifically, is pleased with his offensive and defensive lines.

“That’s Jacob Kassay, Allen Nestor, Braden Coen, Tate Elliott, Seth Sheets, Drew Mercer,” Wilson said. “Those guys are getting the job done. They got the job done on Friday night.”

Clay-Battelle has already played as many games this season as it did all of last year. The Cee Bees missed closed to a month of action last season due to the pandemic, and only played a total of five games.

Luckily, that hasn’t been the case this season.

“We were on the road to our first game last year and then we got called back home,” said Wilson. “I don’t think we take anything for granted. Each week we’re trying to be as safe as we can. I don’t think we’re taking playing for granted. I think we’re appreciating each day we get to come in and practice, and each day we get to play.”

Practice time and experience are two of the biggest things that Clay-Battelle lost out on last year.

This season, meanwhile, Clay-Battelle is in a good spot to end its postseason drought.

Four of the Cee Bees’ remaining five opponents own a record below .500.

“We can only control what we can control. And that’s continuing to prepare each week; trying to take care of our business,” Wilson said.

Wilson’s club is coming off what is likely its most hard-fought victory of the season this past Friday, when they overcame a 15-point deficit on the road at Tygarts Valley.

That was a good test for a Cee Bees program that’s looking to play past the regular season for the first time since some of its current players were in middle or elementary school.

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