PBHS held in check by Polar Bears

PHILIPPI – The Philip Barbour Colts failed to find the end zone Monday in a scrimmage against Fairmont West, but coach Curtis Bodkins isn’t discouraged. He said the practice game was a good indicator for the squad and hopes the team can learn from the


“We have a lot of question marks,” Bodkins said. “We’re still working on finding our 11 starters. We are also working on our backfield rotation. We anticipated it would be rough tonight, but we have a lot of bright spots. We have a lot of kids that haven’t been on the field before, so they had a lot of nerves and jitters. I hope we got those out tonight and we can come out Friday and have a better showing against North Marion.”

Philip Barbour has 42 players on the roster, including 12 seniors. Senior quarterback Tyler Tinchnell returns to lead the Colts, after taking the team to the Class AA playoffs last season. His top targets will be receivers Kordell Knittle and Chris Neville, while the team will rely on senior Jeremy Tacy and junior Mikey McVicker to tote the football.

Although the Colts offense couldn’t find a way to put points on the scoreboard Monday, the defense couldn’t stop the Polar Bear’s offense either. West Side’s offense found pay dirt five times in the contest and the defense returned an interception for a score.

“They have some receivers and skill kids that are very good athletes,” Bodkins said. “With their size and speed and quickness, I think they are going to give a lot of people problems. We knew it was going to be a challenge keeping up with them. Their strong point in their skill guys.”

Defensively, the Colts lined up in their traditional 3-3 stack. Bodkins said the team will depend on senior Travis Pomp at middle linebacker and Tinchnell at free safety, along with McVicker and Zach Morris at cornerbacks.

“We’re just the opposite (of Fairmont West),” Bodkins said. “We are banking on our senior leadership and our upperclassmen line. We got into some tough matchups with their receivers and they hit us with some long passes. Our tackling tonight was also absolutely horrendous. It’s something we have to work on. I’m not discouraged yet. We figured out a lot of things tonight that we need to work on.”

On the bright side, Bodkins said he was pleased with his players’ intensity. He said several younger players stepped up and made an impression.

“The guys were where they were supposed to be, for the most part,” Bodkins said. “I saw some intensity and some of the younger kids moved their way up on the depth chart. I haven’t watched the film yet, I’m sure I’ll pick out some more bright spots.”

Of the area’s that need the most improvement, Bodkins said the players need to focus on knowing their assignments and avoid penalties.

“We need to make sure we know our assignments,” Bodkins said. “We had a few penalties, jumping offsides and lining up offsides. It’s all correctable stuff, just a few fine details that need to be worked out before we go into the season.”

The Colts will host North Marion on Friday at 7 p.m. The game will be the team’s final scrimmage before hosting Grafton in the season opener on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m.