PARKERSBURG - Approximately 30 players, or three-quarters of the roster, showed up for the first practice session for the West Virginia team Friday evening in preparation for the next week's 21st annual BACF (Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis) Ohio vs. W.Va. Football Classic at Stadium Field.
"We'll have a few more kids here Saturday, then I figure Monday, we'll be in the mid-30s and probably close to 37 when it's all said and done," said W.Va. BACF head coach Jeff Campbell following the 90-minute plus practice on the Parkersburg High School artificial turf the game will be played on next Friday night at 7 p.m.
West Virginia has won seven of the last nine games, including a 33-13 victory last year, to surge out to a 13-7 lead in the series.
Campbell has assembled a trio of LKC head coaches who have all been BACF head coaches in the last 10 years to assist him with the coaching for the game. Wirt County's Jason Hickman is serving as Campbell's offensive coordinator, St. Marys' Jodi Mote is the defensive coordinator and Doddridge County's Bobby Burnside is not only working with the kickers, but also helping with other aspects of the game as well.
"I've been in the game a while, but you can always learn something and these guys are great to be around, not just as coaches, but as people too."
Campbell said he's "excited about being a head coach in this game, and the kids have been very refreshing. They were all excited to come and play. They wanted to play one more game - that's kind of what a lot of their attitude was - and I was watching today to see how well they'd get along, and they were actually getting along pretty good."
Plus, Campbell too isn't a neophyte when it comes to coaching in the BACF game. "I got a chance to coach with (former Catholic head coach) Danny (Tennant) as an assistant in the very first one (in 1994)," said Campbell.
"Then, the others coaches sort of all got together as well, so I got to do the first three (BACF games) as a young assistant, and that was pretty neat. "So when Danny called me about being the BACF head coach, there was no hesitation, because it's for such a good cause - finding a cure for cystic fibrosis."