It’s not as if Dick Sturm ever strays very far away from the game of football. But soon, the veteran coach will be knee-deep in preparation for a new high school season.


It’s not as if Dick Sturm ever strays very far away from the game of football. But soon, the veteran coach will be knee-deep in preparation for a new high school season.

And 2009 offers hope, especially with many talented players back from a Class AA playoff team of 2008. It was a team that moved on to the second round before being sidelined by eventual state champion Grafton.

Red Devils candidates are to report to the locker room at 9 a.m. Monday in shorts, tees and cleats. Prospective players should have their completed physical form with them. A 2.0 grade point average is required to participate.

Sturm feels the last several weeks have been productive for his program.

Last month, the Devils took part in the allotted three-week practice period for high school teams in West Virginia.

“We didn’t do 7-on-7 (team scrimmages), but instead chose to work on our offense,” said Sturm.

The veteran coach noted Ravenswood will move to a spread attack this season with returning starter Cole Starcher, a junior, at the controls for a second straight year.

Fundamentals, terminology and reading defenses were a big part of the three-week period. “We feel like we made some head way,” said Sturm.

The football program worked closely with other sports programs at the school to make sure everyone got plenty of work done. He said it’s important at a small school like Ravenswood that features multi-sport athletes.

Besides his team conducting its own workouts, coaches and players put on a football camp for youngsters from various areas. “We feel it was a success,” said Sturm.

A former football standout himself, Sturm also enjoyed a weekend of reminiscing about his playing days. This summer marked another get-together for the Salem College Football & Cheerleaders Alumni Association at Wheeling’s Oglebay Park. The event is held bi-annually.

Salem College (now Salem International University) last fielded a football team in 1988 with Rich Rodriguez as its head coach. The program was dropped prior to the start of the 1989 season.
Countless players, coaches, cheerleaders, supporters and fans have kept the memory of Salem football alive with the bi-annual three-day weekend.