Bears, Wildcats are very close

NEW MANCHESTER, W.Va. – The Edison Local Wildcats and the Oak Glen Golden Bears will open their 2014 football season Saturday at Weirton’s Jimmy Carey Stadium. Kick off will be 4 p.m. as the Bears and Wildcats start the day of football at the Weirton Stadium. The Red Riders will host Steubenville Central Catholic at 7:30 p.m. in the night cap.

“We’re excited to get some exposure for our school, our student body and our football team. We have some good things happening at Edison,” said head coach Derrick Stickles. “This gives us the chance to show the community”.

Golden Bear head coach Ian Whittington is looking forward to Saturday’s match up as well.

“It’s a football game,” the third year coach said. “We’ll need to keep the focus on Edison and be ready to play football. It’s the first game of the season, it’s on television, it’s a big deal to both schools, we’ll need to focus on the task at hand.”

The Wildcats and the Bears met last year in their mutual openers. The Bears started their season long battle with injuries in the third quarter of that game and the Wildcats running game wore the Bears down 33-14. Edison finished the year 4-6 while the Bears would end their season 0-10.

Returning at quarterback for Oak Glen will be senior Chase Hartley. Hartley was injured in the game against Edison last year and missed the remainder of the season. “Having Chase back means a lot, he means a lot to our team on both sides of the ball,” Whittington said. “Last years leading rusher, junior Alec Swiger returns at tailback. Swiger will share duties with sophomore Dakota Price.

“We want to run the football,” coach Whittington said. “To be successful we’ll need to run the ball.”

Last year Edison’s Ethan Shannon punishing running style was to much for the Bear defense and the Wildcats are hoping he can do it again this year. The senior running back accounted 987 all-purpose yards and led his team with 11 rushing touchdowns.

“Ethan is a good downhill runner and we’re gonna use him. But we’ve got some players around him so we can spread it around a little. We are deep on the offensive line which will allow us to keep the tempo up and keep fresh legs in there,” said Stickles.

“The Edison game has become a good rivalry,” Whittington said. “The kids on both sides know Coach Stickles and my history. They know we were classmates and teammates. They know we’re best friends except for this week. This makes it special for them to. We’re all excited to get the season started.”