Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

August 14, 2012

Defense could help Knights break losing streak

WELCH — The last few seasons have been difficult one for the Mount View Golden Knights. Entering this season the Knights are mired in a 27-game losing skid, the longest in school history, and new head coach Todd McCoy said a new atmosphere must be generated where the players actually know how to win.

“It’s in the back of their mind, but these kids are pretty resilient,” McCoy said. “We had a successful baseball season last year, we had a successful basketball team that wins games. In other sports we’re winning and it’s frustrating these kids because a lot of them are the same athletes, same kids playing three sports and they’re thinking, ‘Why can’t we win in football?’”

“It’s one of those things when you go on a losing streak like that, you have to go back and find how to win again and that’s where these kids are. They were in some games last year that they could have won. I think when you come right down to it they didn’t know how to put the nail in the coffin, so to speak, and they let a couple slip away that shouldn’t have.”

One part of the game that could lead to Mount View ending its futility streak is defense. McCoy said from watching game video, the defense had some good players, but did not play as a unit.

“Last year our defense had problems stopping people because we had 11 individuals. We didn’t play as a team,” McCoy said. “We’re going to play a swarming-type defense where we’ve got seven, or eight guys around the football. That’s what we want.”

Look for the Knights to run a five man front with two linebackers, better known as a 52 defense, with a monster back.

“We’re going to bring people all the time. It’s going to be an attack defense,” McCoy pointed out. “We’re not just going to sit back and wait, we’re going to attack. That 52 Monster allows us to do that from all different directions and that will be our base defense.”

McCoy, in his first season at the helm of the McDowell County school, said the speed on Mount View’s team this year is the most he’s had in his more than 25 years as a coach and he expects good things.

“We have speed at just about every position,” McCoy beamed. “Defensively I think we’re going to be able to play a lot of man because I think our corners will be able to cover anybody. I don’t see anyone on our schedule having anybody  that can run away from us. I can stick somebody out there that can match them speed-wise and that’s going to be a big plus.”

Speaking of the schedule, Mount View, a double-A school, has five AA and five A schools on its tab this season and McCoy wants to change some things in the future and bring back one of the school’s biggest rivals.

“I want to pick Bluefield back up and I’d like to pick Princeton up,” McCoy said. “These guys are used to playing Bluefield and bigger teams like that. It wasn’t the kids that wanted to drop it, I think the progam was down and when they projected going single-A, I think they made the choice to drop Bluefield and the whole town has been talking about it ever since because it is such a rivalry. I’d love to pick them back up. Are we ready this year? I don’t know, but I think in a couple of years down the road we’re going to be ready to compee with them again.”

Mount View and Bluefield have played 33 times since Mount View opened in the fall of 1978. Bluefield holds a 22-11 series lead, including two wins in the playoffs. Both schools have had winning streaks in the series. Bluefield won six straight from 1978 to 1983, while Mount View won five in a row from 1989 to 1993.  The schools did not play in the 1994 or ’95 season, nor did they play each other last year, nor will they meet this season.

The Golden Knights open the season Aug. 24 at McDowell County rival River View. It will be the first ever game at River View’s football field.

— Contact Bob Redd at bredd@bdtonline.com

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