CLARKSBURG, W.Va – High school football may not kickoff for a couple more weeks but toe met leather plenty on Saturday at Robert C. Byrd High School.

In a state where many football recruits are already overlooked, West Virginia specialists find themselves going above and beyond to get recruited.

A Parkersburg native and kicker at WVU and Fairmont state himself, Matt McCullough established Coach Mac Special Teams to help develop the next generation of kickers, punters and long snappers in the state and put on the second annual West Virginia Specialist Combine on Saturday.

“A lot of times at various camps, they have to travel out of state, out of the way,” he said, “A lot of times they don’t focus on just kicking whereas here its just the specialists combine that focuses on the special teams phase of the game so really its just to give kids a chance in West Virginia to compete against each other but also exposure.”

Growing up in Parkersburg, McCullough held the same dream as many West Virginia kids have of playing at the state’s flagship university and he’s determined to help every kid that he can achieve that goal.

I was no different when I was going through, when I was a young kid playing high school football and wanted to play for my home state university at West Virginia. I was able to do that,” he said, “We’ve got around 25 kids here and I’d be willing to bet all 25 of them want to hopefully achieve that dream.”

With the Mountain State native kickers like Casey Legg and Evan Staley earning starting jobs and national recognition in the gold and blue recently, McCullough has been able to watch the quality of specialists in the state grow and he has full belief in the high school players that competed on Saturday.

“The kicking in West Virginia has grown tremendously over the last ten years and we’ve got some good talent here today so it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see one of these kids, you know,” he said, “whether it be West Virginia or at various other schools, many of these kids will have an opportunity one day to play college football.”

25 kickers, punters and long snappers turned out to Robert C. Byrd to compete and Oak Hill’s Ethan Vargo-Thomas was named Top Overall Specialist in the competition which consisted of two events each in field goals, kickoffs and punting.

Fairmont Seniors Nate Flower finished second, tied with Parkersburg’s Casey Stanley.