The Times West Virginian

Prep Sports

November 13, 2013

County teams have underclassmen step up in 2013

FAIRMONT — High school football isn’t the NFL.

Coaches don’t get the luxury of having guys for 10 or 15 seasons. At best, they’ll have a great player for four years.

Replacing key seniors is always a difficult task, but Marion County teams may have an easier go at it next season after each had an underclassman step up during the 2013 season.

When the season started for East Fairmont, a new quarterback took hold of the reins.

Jake Delaney, a junior, stepped in for injured Ronnie Mills, who moved to receiver. Delaney admitted that his arm wasn’t very strong to start the season, but he and his coach Bill Haddox agreed that he’s improved greatly.

“He got better as the season progressed,” Haddox said of his quarterback.

That statement couldn’t be any more true.

Delaney started the season with an 8-for-14 203-yard performance to lead the Bees over Liberty in overtime. Delaney threw two touchdowns in the game, the game-tying and game-winning scores. Forty-eight of those yards came from those two touchdown throws.

The 6-foot, 165-pound signal caller would go on to close out the season completing 131-of-224 passes, throwing for 1,890 yards and 19 touchdowns.

At the beginning of the year, the Bees struggled to get points on the board, especially after losing key players to injuries and other things.

“He played young at times,” Haddox said. “He did some good, then some bad, then some good again.”

But Delaney provided some momentum about midway through the season, throwing for five touchdowns on two occasions, one in a loss to Preston and one in a victory over, at the time, No. 14 Philip Barbour.

“When Jake is on, we can put points on the board,” said Haddox.

The Bees proved that by scoring more than 20 points in all but four games this season.

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