Lebanon (0-4) hosts Marion (1-3) on Friday night in what will be the Southwest District opener for both teams. Marion comes to town looking to break a two-game losing streak while the young Pioneers are searching for their first win of the season. Kick off is 7:00 p.m. in beautiful downtown Lebanon.
The key players to watch for the Pioneers are RB Seth Stanley, WR Cole Stoots and QB Casey “Chief” White. Stanley is rapidly approaching the 600 yard rushing mark while WR Cole Stoots closes in on the 250 receiving yards. White, the Pioneers’ young signal caller, gains valuable experience with every snap and continues to improve. On the defensive side of the ball, head coach Michael Webb is pleased with the way Kent Musick has been stepping up his game. The Pioneers’ leading tacklers are LB Seth Stanley, LB Alden Ward and DE/LB Dustin Baumgardner.
Senior punter & kicker Gabriel Figueroa continues to be accurate on his field goal and extra point attempts at a perfect 6 of 6. Figueroa’s Kick Hunger Challenge continues to raise money for local food banks. Participants will donate $1.00 for every successful field goal, extra point or any punt of 50 yards or more.
As for the visiting Scarlet Hurricanes, their key players are QB/OLB Tanner Tate and WR Devin Hamm. Tate has thrown for over 506 yds over a three game stretch while tossing four touchdown passes during that same span. Hamm, his favorite receiver, hauled in 12 catches for 207 yards during those three games. The Pioneers secondary definitely have to keep a close eye on him.
While coach Joey Carroll’s Scarlet Hurricanes look to establish their passing game, the Pioneers will of course focus on establishing the run & their short passing game in their spread offense. While speaking about the keys to the game, Coach Webb said,”We have to be able to run the football and do a better job inside the 20. Whether it be our own 20 or inside the redzone 20. Defensively, we have to create some turnovers, play their deep passes and screen games well.”
A 1992 graduate of Castlewood High School, I left the mountains of Southwest Va to spend over a decade in the Army. During that time I was blessed to play & coach football at various levels in South Carolina, Georgia, Massachusetts, and then over in Germany. I ended up with over 15 years of coaching and playing experience. These days I enjoy watching my son play. The athletes in Southwest Virginia are just as talented and gifted as those from other regions, but often they don’t get the coverage and exposure that others do. It’s my pleasure to help cover their games and hopefully assist them in getting the exposure they need to continue playing.