The Times West Virginian

Prep Sports

June 28, 2014

Ford gives Delaney a new weapon on the outside

PLEASANT VALLEY — You’ve heard it many times before: Speed kills.

When the East Fairmont football team hits the field, the Bees hope to add that element in the form of an outside receiver opposite of 6-foot-6, Myles Johnson.

And that important piece of the puzzle is Barron Ford.

Ford, who transferred from Musselman last season but wasn’t able to get his paperwork lined up soon enough to get on the field for the Bees, looks to give signal caller Jake Delaney an extra target come August.

With Johnson on one side and Ford on the other, Delaney is in a quarterback’s paradise.

“(I feel) great. They’re both fast,” Delaney said. “Barron is about 6-foot-1 and of course Myles is 6-foot-6. We’ll work on jump balls. We’ll work on everything, and they’re about the same speed.”

Ford was a standout on the track this past spring for the Bees, placing in the top five 18 times in his individual events for East Fairmont, also notching a third-place finish on a relay team, along with Johnson, at the state track meet.

A season ago, Ford took the track for the Applemen and has increased most of his sprint times significantly in the past year.

In 2013, Ford’s fastest 100-meter dash time was 12.54 seconds, whereas his quickest time this past season was 11.84 seconds, good enough for a fourth-place finish at the Big 10 Championships. Even further, he knocked more than two whole seconds off of his 200-meter time this season, going from 25.97 to 23.73.

His speed on the track at Musselman was enough to get the attention of head football coach Brian Thomas.

“You know, I saw him on the track and wanted to get him to come out for football,” Thomas said. “When you see a kid with that type of speed, you want him. The possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out for us. I wish I had gotten to know him better and had him on the team.”       

Ford’s experience with track will help him on the football field in more ways than just using his speed to run past defenders, the senior said.

“I still run a lot on my own time, as I did in track, so I’ll be conditioned, no problem. Also, in track when you run you have to stay low. In football you also have to stay low,” Ford noted. “There’s some things I can carry over.”

Through the few workouts that Ford participated in at Musselman, he was able to be around athletes such as Trevon Wesco, who is committed to play football for Lackawanna Junior College.

Upon coming to East Fairmont, Ford can see similarities between the playing styles of Wesco and his new field general, Delaney.

“Jake is kind of like Trevon,” Ford mentioned. “ I mean Trevon is like 6-foot-5 but they share some of the same qualities like Jake can move.”

Ford was in the process of going out for Musselman’s football team when he transferred to East Fairmont.

While Ford has yet to play a game for the Bees, Delaney and the speedster have already began to mesh well, working together in practice as well as at 7-on-7 games.

“Jake, he teaches me the ropes,” Ford said. “(At 7-on-7 at) Brooke we really got a feel for each other and found out what he can do and what I can do.”

Come August, the Bees will have to replace the production of running back Scotty Shroyer, who led the Big 10 in receptions a season ago, serving as a security blanket for Delaney when things broke down.

A season ago, East Fairmont primarily had one receiver on the outside in Johnson, while Shroyer and Ronnie Mills generally lined up at running back and caught passes out of the backfield.

This season, though, Delaney expects the team to be more geared toward throwing to wide receivers, primarily Johnson and Ford.

As for the results that Ford expect Delaney and him to produce? The sprinter needed just one word to sum it all up.

“Touchdowns.”

Email Matt Welch at mwelch@timeswv.com or follow on Twitter@MattWelch_TWV.

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