By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The Mount View Golden Knights experienced the sweet taste of victory in 2013 and the are hungry for more as the 2014 gridiron campaign sits on the horizon.
The Golden Knights snapped a 31-game losing streak against rival Wyoming East and then ran their winning streak to three with wins against Fayetteville and Van, finishing the season with a 3-7 record.
“It was like winning the Super Bowl,” said head coach Todd McCoy. “They talk about in the NFL they win a big game, people don’t want to leave, that’s how it was. People were down there two hours after the game. They didn’t want to go home. They were celebrating and glad-handing everybody and it was just a good thing for the town and the school and the kids and it was a big monkey to get off our back. It carried us for two more weeks.”
McCoy’s optimism is as high as the big water tower atop Tom’s Mountain on the MVHS campus. He believed last year’s team was close to having a break-through season and that this year’s team is going to be good.
“I think if the cards would have fell our way, we could have won six ball games,” McCoy said. “We didn’t win one until game five, but had we won one of those early on, I think we’d have been pushing right there to back into the playoffs.”
One reason for the optimism is depth. The Golden Knights graduated only three seniors from last year’s team and return nearly all its starters on both sides of the ball.
“Our whole defense is basically back. Our whole offense minus one kid is back, so we’re looking forward to it,” the second-year coach said. “The excitement is at the highest level I’ve seen since I’ve been here and of course now I know a little bit better what most of these kids can do.
“We had 90 percent of our kids here all summer, for three weeks, so we got all the basic stuff out of the way. We put our offense and defense in, in the summer, so we just picked right up on the 5th (of Aug.) and started running teams.”
Mount View has 37 players on the roster, a number McCoy said is the largest the team has had in nearly a decade.
Sophomore Chris Muncy will be the starting quarterbacks while the split pro-style backfield will have speedsters LaQuell Martin, who rushed for 986 yards last season and the duo of Jamari Perry and Monte Bailey. Channing Vineyard is the split receiver and the other receiving spots are to be determined.
The deepest part of the Mount View team is the offensive line, where C.J. Lester begins his fourth year as the starting center. Veterans Marquis Bonds, Marlon Marrs are tight ends while Jacob Ferrell, Howard Bailey, Chris Burkes, Bryan Groves, Jhamel Scott, Joe Hunnell and Austin Shumate will all see action in the trenches.
“We are pretty deep on the offensive line, something we haven’t had here,” McCoy noted. “I think we’ve got about 13 linemen. We’re pretty happy.
Defensively the strength of the team is its linebackers who include Paco Bonds in the middle along with Vineyard, Austin Dash, Andrew Hazzard and Marquis Bonds. In some schemes Vineyard and Marquis Bonds will move down on the line flanking tackles who will include Burkes, Bailey, Marrs and Ferrell. Terry Horne, the team’s leader in tackles in 2013, will be the nose guard.
Chase Burks will play one corner with two freshmen, Treyvon Richardson and Joe Hayes fighting for the other island. Perry is the safety.
Known for always having a speedy team, this edition of the Golden Knights will be no different.
“Last night I told everybody that we had more speed, probably than I’ve ever had as a head coach,” McCoy said. “This year I think we’re faster than we were last year. That (speed) is something we’re not lacking.”
McCoy believes this year’s Mount View team can return the Knights to the playoffs.
“I want to be optimistic and I’m trying not to get overly excited. I think we’ve got an opportunity — I truly believe there is no reason why we shouldn’t be in the playoffs. I think it’s realistic to think we can go 8-2, 9-1, I really do,” McCoy said. “If things don’t go our way, I think a bad season out of this bunch would be a 5-5, 6-4.”
Mount View will take part in the Chick-fil-A Grid-a-Rama at Mitchell Stadium on Saturday, scrimmaging against Radford and PikeView.
— Contact Bob Redd at