By BRIAN WOODSON
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
WELCH — A Hazzard has developed for those teams that think Mount View is still a pushover on the football field.
His name is Teddy Hazzard.
“We walk around and it is just a better feeling, the environment, you can tell that everybody is more into it now,” Hazzard said. “Everybody used to not be ready to go to the game, but now everybody is looking forward to what is going to happen next.”
How about a three-game win streak. Not bad for a school that just recently ended a 31-game losing skid.
“It wasn’t a good feeling,” Hazzard said. “It was the worst.”
“The team is pretty hyped about it, they are really excited, the town is excited, the school is excited,” Mount View first year head coach Todd McCoy said. “It is something that — my gosh — this town and this school needed really bad.”
If the Golden Knights (2-4) can stop Fayetteville in what is homecoming on Friday at Vic Nystrom Stadium, Mount View would have its first three-game win streak since 2006.
“I think we can get it,” Hazzard said. “I think we have got a good chance.”
Hazzard is a big reason why the Golden Knights defeated Wyoming East 18-15 on Sept. 21 to snap that 31-game skid that extended back into Hazzard’s freshman season in Welch.
“You can’t even describe it, you just had to be there to feel how it felt,” Hazzard said. “It was just something great and I am glad we had an opportunity to do that, especially for the 12th graders, I am glad we are finally winning for our last year...
“It felt good to finally win one. The last time I had won was my ninth grade year so it was a feeling you can’t describe.”
That was followed last Friday with a 26-6 win over Van, the Knights’ first two-game win streak since 2007. Hazzard had a big night for Mount View, running for 79 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, and he also competed 12-of-17 passes for 172 yards and two more scores.
“I think I could have did better,” said the 5-foot-11, 160-pound Hazzard. “I made a few mistakes, but I am satisfied with that. We still got the ‘W’ so it is all good.”
Hazzard has become the first Mount View football player to win the Pocahontas Coal Association/Bluefield Daily Telegraph Player of the Week in recent memory.
“It is my first time ever getting it, it is pretty cool, I like it,” Hazzard said. “I look forward to getting it some more hopefully.”
The award is just another sign that the Mount View program is on the rebound. McCoy’s team last season at Tygarts Valley was just 1-9, but one of his players earned a similar award that McCoy hopes will do the same for the Knights.
“...That was such a huge pump-up for the kids, the whole team relished in that and took pride in that, and I am hoping these guys will do the same thing...,” McCoy said. “That is our job is to get them ready for the next level, rather it be working down the street or going to college, the football program’s job is to get them prepared for that.
“That is our sole focus and hopefully we will win some games along the way, that is what we are here for.”
When McCoy replaced Leon Gravely as football coach at Mount View, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the new coach and Hazzard, who started half a season as a freshman and last year for the Knights. He didn’t play football at all as a sophomore.
“Teddy and I butted heads a little bit at the beginning,” McCoy said. “Teddy’s work ethic was not where it needed to be, and he will be the first one to tell you and it is still not where I want it, but it is a lot better than it was...”
Hazzard, who is also a standout basketball player for Mount View, has put in the work to improve and it has shown for the Golden Knights.
“I think I have become a better passer and more confident in the pocket than what I used to be,” said Hazzard, who doesn’t play on the defensive side of the ball. “I used to always be timid and want to roll out of the pocket, but now I hang in a little longer than I used to.
“I guess it is where I have matured. I am not as scared to take a hit as I used to be.”
Hazzard’s ability to run or throw the football is a dimension that McCoy likes having on his side.
“He is that kind of player, he gives you that double-edged sword where he can throw it. If you sit back and let him pick you apart, he can throw the ball, but if you put too much heat on him he is going to pull it down and take off,” McCoy said. “He has shown he can go 25 yards or go the length of the field at anytime. That is what I like about him.”
The work continues to Hazzard, who was replaced as a starter against Wyoming East by freshman Chris Muncy. Hazzard took over in the second half, ran for a touchdown and also connected with Maurice Brown on another score to help the Golden Knights end 31 games of futility.
“I was surprised, it was just another good feeling,” Hazzard said. “We came out playing good and as the game started going on we noticed that we were hanging with them and we just took it.
“I don’t want to say they laid down for us, but we worked hard for it.”
Finally, after 31 games which included many close calls — the Knights lost to Man 20-12 and Tug Valley 34-28 earlier this season — Mount View was able to withstand adversity and taste victory against the Warriors, who were 3-1 at the time.
“That is something we are learning to do now because we have done it over the year, but now it is becoming something we are not too much worried about now,” Hazzard said. “We could just never pull through on certain things (in the past), but now we have got it together and working together and everything is coming together and becoming easier for us.”
After surviving a dramatic finish to beat the Warriors, the Golden Knights answered six points by Van with 26 straight points, including the scoring run by Hazzard and touchdown passes to Brown and LaQuell Martin.
He did admit that his teammates tend to get upset with each other at times during the pressure of the game. Toning that down could lead to even more success, but don’t worry, the Knights are enjoying the recent results.
“I think we can go all the way if we stay on top of our stuff and don’t get down on each other,” Hazzard said. “I think that is our biggest problem is just getting mad at each other. Sometimes they get mad at me, the receivers do, but it all comes together.
“In the end we are still friends and love each other, it is all right.”
Mount View quarterback claims Player of Week honors
By BRIAN WOODSON
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