By Dave Morrison
The area has no shortage of breakout stars this fall.
Independence first-year sophomore Atticus Goodson has rushed for over 1,000 yards and leads the area in rushing and scoring.
Wyoming East’s Caden Lookabill has come into his own in his second season with the team, leading the squad in receptions, yards receiving and touchdown receptions, along with averaging 5.6 tackles (two interceptions) and 42.6 yards per punt.
Oak Hill’s Te-amu Shelton certainly has been one of the breakout players, even if his arrival was three weeks late.
Shelton awakened the rush game putting up over 100 yards rushing in three straight games.
Shelton, whose moniker is Hurricane, started the binge when he gashed Wyoming East for 172 yards and three touchdowns. He added a career-best 227 against Lincoln and 123 (on five carries) against PikeView.
None of this is a shock to his coach, Jason Blankenship.
“He placed in the top 10 on the 100-meter at the state meet and then this off-season he decided to commit to the weight room and added the strength he needed to be successful,” Blankenship said.
Still, coming into that Wyoming East game, Shelton had 51 yards on 17 carries.
And Oak Hill had only 40 yards total after those first three games, meaning everyone else combined for minus-11 yards.
Since, Shelton has rushed for 522 yards on 63 carries, an average of 8.3 yards per carry and eight touchdowns.
Blankenship said Shelton’s slow start was due to a medical issue.
“He had some wisdom teeth issues in the preseason that put him a little behind but he is now in a good rhythm,” Blankenship said. “The offensive line is also working as a full unit and so we are seeing the benefits all come together now.”
Shelton’s emergence has also turned around the Red Devils fortunes. Oak Hill has won two straight and were a last second touchdown pass from knocking off Wyoming East.
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Blake Goode had career highs passing and rushing in a 48-36 loss to Midland Trail.
The Westside quarterback completed 10 of 27 for 218 yards with three touchdowns (one each to Jace Colucci, Ethan Blackburn and Daniel Reed).
He also rushed for 134 yards on 31 carries and two touchdowns.
Goode had a hand in all five Westside touchdowns.
Colucci, who joined the team late, had his best game since returning to the squad with five receptions for 109 yards.
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One senior. One freshman. One started the season and wide out and moved to quarterback. One started the season at quarterback and is now is a receiver. Both have the some stats worthy of a true athlete.
On Friday night, Nicholas County’s Luke LeRose, a senior better known for his basketball ability (he is already a 2,000-point career scorer), passed for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
By a matter of about 30 minutes he became the area’s first player to have a game where he rushed for 100 yards (152 vs. Lincoln), caught passes for 100 (114 vs. Shady Spring) and passed for 100.
There was some discussion about LeRose playing quarterback before the summer practice period. But Nicholas County coach likes him more at receiver, where his speed and big-play ability helped him make all-state last year in his first season out.
When Timmy Baker went down against Wyoming East it necessitated the move behind center.
About 30 minutes later Cam Ellis of PikeView joined the triple 100 club.
Ellis started the season at quarterback where he made three starts. In his first start he rushed for 163 and threw for 146 against Summer County. He also threw for 175 against Liberty in Week 3. He joined LeRose in the triple 100s club when he returned to the lineup against Oak Hill at receiver and caught seven passes for 109 yards.
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The new West Virginia Secondary School ActivitiesCommission ratings are out and if the playoffs started this weekend Shady Spring would visit Wyoming East in a 12-5 matchup.
No need to wait for the playoffs.
The two will battle Friday night at the War Zone.
That will prove to be a big win for someone as the season progresses.
Thanks to Steve Keenan of the Fayette Tribune for use of photo of Oak Hill’s Te-amu Shelton