Pioneer Football PreviewBy Jacob Clevenger | August 29th, 2013 | Category: Lead Story, Sports | No Comments »
Students are back on campus, and the month of August is slowly coming to a close. This means that football season at Glenville State College is right around the corner. Fans of the Pioneers have plenty to be excited about during the 2013 season. Not only will the team be showcasing their skills on a brand new playing surface, but the team is also returning key components from last year’s squad. In fact, the Pioneers have enough talent to earn themselves a fourth place ranking in the inaugural Mountain East Conference preseason poll. The Pioneers were picked to finish behind only Shepard, Charleston, and Concord. However, the Pioneers may have something to say about this fourth place prediction.
One major part of the Pioneers attack will be sophomore standout Rahman Lee. Coming off a breakout season where he rushed for over 1300 yards and found the end zone 13 times, Lee will be a major part of the Pioneers attacks this fall. After being named Division II National Player of the Year, Lee will have large expectations to meet heading into his second season.
Luckily the sophomore running back will have a solid center in Jon Rasnick to anchor the offensive line in front of him. A first team all-conference selection, Rasnick will be expected to hold together an offensive line which lost a major component from last year’s team. The loss of a player such as Mark Jackson is a loss that no team wants to suffer. However, no player can stay at the collegiate level forever. The departure of Jackson has left the Pioneer coaching staff with the task of reorganizing the offensive front. One player looking to step up and claim a spot is sophomore Jonathan Dupree. According to junior defensive linemen Hunter McWhorter, “he has done a great job on the offensive line throughout camp.”
Defensively the Pioneers appear to have a solid unit. Last year’s unit returns several players, and this experience should play a major role in the success of the defense. Returning players such as James Johnson and Kyle Warner anchor a defense that is eager to stop opponents during competition this season. McWhorter, who was the 2011 WVIAC Defensive Freshman of the Year, will also be a part of this year’s defense. As far as defensive leadership is concerned, McWhorter stated “Kyle Warner is an excellent player on the field, and he also excels in the classroom.” This leadership will be something the Pioneers rely on as they make their way through the upcoming season.
Outside of the team itself, the new playing surface will be showcased during the home opener on September 19th against Fairmont State. The Battle for the Bit is always an excellent game, and this year should provide fans with another excellent contest. Tension between these two teams will be at an all-time high as both try to prove themselves as a major force within the new conference. The Pioneers will not only be playing for school pride against their rivals from the north, but they will also be playing on behalf of the new stadium. According to McWhorter, “They (the new facilities) help with the moral, and they give us something to play for.” As for now, fans must patiently wait for the Pioneers first home game. The team will travel to play games at VMI and West Liberty before coming home on September 19. For a full listing of the schedule visit http://www.glenville.edu/athletics/mfb_schedule.php.