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Streak is over

September 23, 2013
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor ( , The Herald-Star

I've heard it.

And, really, those of you who have uttered the words bashing the Weir High football coaching staff should just go sit in a corner somewhere.

You are wrong.

Pathetically wrong.

This is a really good coaching staff.

They know their stuff.

And, they proved it Friday night as the Red Riders won a football game for the first time since Nov. 4, 2011, an 18-13 triumph over Tyler Consolidated in the last game of that season.

Grafton had scored for a 21-6 lead with about five minutes left in the third quarter.

To a man, every member of the Weir coaching staff was nothing but positive as they talked to the kids about the task at hand.

Nothing negative, as I am sure there was in the stands.

Positive stuff.

"Keep your heads up, we can win this thing," was said more than a few times by more than a few coaches.

And, then it happened.

Quarterback William Larch connected with running back Matt Hartman on a beautiful wheel route to trail 21-12.

Larch then bulled in for the two-point conversion at a time when he was stopped.

But, strong legs and help from the big boys up front allowed him to find the end zone and it was 21-14.

"He was going to get in, wasn't he?" Weir head coach Tony Filberto said Friday night. "William Larch is a great football player surrounded by a lot of great football players. He runs hard."

That score was set up by a great 35-yard punt return by Clarence Bennett.

Now, it was time for the defense to do something positive - and it did.

Matt Thompson recovered a fumble and the Red Riders had the ball near midfield. Facing a third-and-9 from the 41, Larch found Bennett for 38 yards and Weir was in business.

Hartman found paydirt on the next play to trail 21-20.

Timeout Weir.

Larch pitched it right to Hartman, who stopped and threw it back to Larch.



The timeout allowed everyone to relax, think clearly and that breath gave birth to that play.

That's why timeouts mean a lot to clear minds.

Two-point plays are like gold to coaches.

They don't have a large stable of two-pointers to call - usually around six.

And, considering the Red Riders had already used two of them, the pickings were a bit slim, so to speak.

Now, back to the defense with 7:42 left in the game.

Grafton drove and it was first-and-10 at the 22.

Second-and-13 from the 25.


Second-and-26 from the 38.

Third-and-33 from the 45.

Timeout Weir.

A 10-yard completion made it fourth-and-23 from the 35 with 30 seconds left.


Victory formation.

But, before that, JoJo Rice was on the field hurt.

While the players were mildly celebrating, Filberto and McKenzie, along with every other coach, were yelling, "it's not over. It's not over."

One snap later it was and THE celebration ensued.

That is another step in teaching these kids how to win and that is not easy to do.

Teaching kids how to win is like taking a kid out of Math 101 and throwing him into a trigonometry class.

Good luck.

Hard work does not ensure being successful, but it sure is a lot easier to be successful when you put in the hard work.

Now, it's time to go on the road and see what that brings.

The Red Riders visit 0-3 Liberty-Harrison Friday night.

Remember that feeling, but do not rest on it.

It's amazing that adults have zero problems treating coaches in a manner which they would be offended if they were treated.

If you cannot handle a person at their worst, you are not allowed to be around at their best.

I?am a really big fan of Demetrius de Moors.

It is going to be a really good one at Harding Stadium Friday night.

If Ross Comis isn't a finalist for the Kennedy Award, something is really wrong.

Four of Brooke's first five football opponents are ranked in the top 10 in the state.

Never defend your child(ren) when they are wrong, but always support them.

Always remember: "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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