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August 22, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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August 22, 2012
 

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B8 Wednesday, August 22, 2012 BOB MADISON Spirit Staff tain East have been members of the West bers tO an even dozen. Ohio has been competing in five sports Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Confer- Two of the current WVIAC membersin the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Ath- The definitive announcement was ence (WVIAC). from Pennsylvania -- Seton Hill and Pitt letic Conference and in other sports as made on Monday. Three outside schools will join those Johnstown -- are both expected to join an independent. Shepherd and 11 other NCAA Divi-nine from within the geographic bound- the Pennsylvania State Athletic Confer- The new 12-school conference will sign II schools have officially formed aries of the state of West Virginia. ence (PSAC). o compete as an NCAA Division II entity. the Mountain East Conference that will Joining from the state of West Virginia The current WVIAC members left out The West Virginia Intercollegiate Ath- begin playing football (and other sports) are Shepherd, Fairmont, Glenville, West of the new league are Davis & Elkins, letic Conference will remain intact for in 2013. Liberty, Concord, Charleston, West Vir- Alderson-Broaddus, Ohio Valley, and the 2012-13 school year. Eleven of the schools play football, ginia Wesleyan, West Virginia State, and Bluefield. Only Alderson-Broaddus has When first revealed by Amos at West Only Wheeling Jesuit, not one of the Wheeling Jesuit. Wheeling Jesuit is the football and it is fielding its first team in Liberty, the avowed purpose of the new original new-conference members men- only school from those nine that has no 2012. conference was to give member schools tioned in June when news broke of the football program. UVa-Wise has been a member of the more exposure via cable television and intentions to form a new league, will not Urbana University (located in Ur- NAIA before making an application to regional networks that would air foot- sponsor a football program, bana. a town of 10;000 in Champaign be given NCAA Division II status. The ball games to an area that the league's Reid Amos, the spokesman for theCounty) and Notre Dame (South Eu- school was granted Division II member- "footprint" would cover. new conference, revealed the details of clid) are located in Ohio and UVa-Wise ship. Also. the WVIAC has little stature what will be a multi-sports league. (Wise, Va.) are the other three schools Urbana has been in the Great Lakes Nine of the 12 schools in the Moun- that bring the number of league mem- Valley Conference and Notre Dame of See SHEPHERD Page B10 GLENVILLE Shepherd and Glenville will join the Mountain East Conference in 2013-14. Season complete, Moreland homers at gars, Patriots begin seasons 'Th Trop' BOB MADISON Spirit Staff BOB MADISON Spirit Staff Unbeaten. Un- tied. Let's see if the county's two high school foot- ball teams are also unimpres- sive or if they have used the short preparation time and minimal practice sched- tries allowed by the state and two scrimmages to be fully prepared when Washington is one of the first teams in the state to play and Jefferson at- tempts to launch a successful season the next night. Washington is coming off a 5-5 season when it goes to Hedgesville on Thursday at 7 p.m. Both teams will be missing last year's quarter- backs with Tyler Wilt's health keeping him out and Hedgesville's Troy Markley sidelined with a broken leg. Both quarterbacks have been two-year starters. The Eagles dealt Washington a season-opening loss in 2011, winning by four touchdowns. How well will Washington adjust without Wilt? How well will Hedgesville adjust to playing without Markley? Does either team's offensive or defensive line have an advantage? Without experienced quarterbacks on either side, the game could be decided by the line- men. Mistakes often figure heavily in season openers. No matter what transpired in the simulated games where coaching staffs stand 20 yards behind both the offense and defense and special teams work is minimal, the season opener is altogether different. Penalties, lost fumbles, interceptions, and gaffes by special teams can often cloud any team's opener. If the teams have equal linemen, it can be one or two quick- footed skill position play- ers who will be the differ- ence. With the transitory na- ture of Washington's of- fense, the Patriots may be reliant on their overall defense and one or two playmakers to get their season off on a winning note. Drew Hetzel, Colin Gustines, Diego Delga- do, and Tony Vazquez were all defensive con- tributors in 2011. Michael Grant was a starter at wide receiver last year. Washington struggled to find an adequate punter and placekicker through all of the past season. Coach Mark Hash is the only head coach in the Pa- triots' previous four years of football. He is back again, this time looking to get off on the right foot against the Eagles, now coached by Rich Thomaselli. Hedgesville just cancelled its jayvee football season, so the Eagles will have to concentrate all their energies at the varsity level. There were a number of underclassmen starting in Hedgesville's 2011 offensive and defensive lines. But Thomaselli lost Connor Shipley and Casey Horn to graduation and his string of first-year starters at quarter- back, running back, and wide receiver is a long one. On Friday, Jefferson is also on the road, going to west- ern Loudoun County, for its opener. After scrimmages against Hampshire and Clarke County, the Cougars still have unanswered questions at many positions. Haying up-and-coming Woodgrove, a school with en- thusiasm for its teams (and state championships in sev- See UNBEATENS Page B10 / After playing at least part of two summer seasons in the Valley Base- ball League with the Winchester Royals, Brett Moreland stayed close to his college in Florida and joined the Leesburg Lightning of the Florida Summer Collegiate League for this past summer's baseball. Moreland, a 2009 graduate of Jef- ferson High, played for two seasons at Frederick (Md.) Community Col- lege where he hit well and learned about playing the outfield after being an all-state catcher at Jefferson. Upon completing his associate's degree at Frederick, Moreland went to Flager College ill St. Augustine, Florida. Flager is an NCAA Division lI school that plays in the nationally competitive Peach Belt Conference. Before Moreland went to Flager, the Saints were not enjoying win- ning seasons and were mostly chas- ing their tails in the conference. Moreland didn't have to experi- ence that same losing theme. The Saints finished well over .500 this past spring and were able to actually be near first place in their division for the first 15 games of the Peach Belt schedule. When his first season at Flagler was complete, Moreland still had an- other summe.r of collegiate, wood bat baseball if he wanted it. There was the six-team Florida Summer Collegiate League in the central part of the state if he wanted to play near his adopted home. Moreland took his college coach's advice and joined the Leesburg entry in the league. A 40-game schedule began in ear- ly June with games played about four times a week. In a season-long pen- nant race with Deland and Winter Park, Leesburg finally edged head of the Suns and Diamond Dawgs in the last week's final games. The Lightning won the regular sea- son title. Moreland started every game in left field, and he led the team in hits, triples, and RBIs while finishing sec- ond on the team in runs scored, total bases, and walks. He completed the summer goi0g. 52-for-171 at the plate for a nifty .304 batting average. See MORELAND Page B10 t season "ns' Neild BOB MADISON Spirit Staff The full beard of Washington Red- skins lineman Chris Neild won't be seen on any playing field this season. Through the training camp of practic- es, Neild hadn't been cut nor released by the Redskins. After playing a small role for Wash- ington in 2011 by playing in all 16 games, Neild has suffered a tom anted- or cruciate ligament (ACL), a too-com- mon leg injury that requires surgery and then a lengthy rehabilitation. In time, Neild will probably recover Most professional athletes -- whether it be basketball, baseball, or football play- ers -- are able to When his senior year began at West do thenecessary Virginia University, it was probable work to recover that Neild hadn't made enough of an from the injury impression to be thought of as a draft to re~ume their choice by any of the league teams. careers. But as the Mountaineer season crept But in Neild's along and the team won more often case, nobody is than it lost, Neild's value as a defensive holding a guar- lineman increased. He was a disruptive anteed roster force. Opponents had to double-team spot for him Chris Neild AP him. His durability meant he was al- next year. In ways there in the lineup. And durability fact, Washington informed the league is a valuable chip to have on the table he was being "waived-injured". when it comes to being included in the Washington made Neild a seventh round draft plans Of NFL teams. draft choice in the spring of 2011. There By the last few games of the 2010 are only seven rounds in an), NFL draft. West Virginia schedule, Neild was quickly becoming something of a folk hero, drawing favorable comparison with one-time Mountaineer fullback Owen Schmidt. While Schmidt made blocks and drove through tacklers with such force that he often left his face mask twisted and bent, Neild wore a full Grizzly Ad- ams-type beard below his completely shaved head. Neild made fewer and fewer mis- takes as the West Virginia season wore on toward a bowl game. He had games where his quality of play was the best the Mountaineer defense offered. See LIGAMENT Page B10 Brett Moreland was named the Leesburg Lightning's Most Valuable Player. I