RAVENSWOOD - Coach Mick Price’s Ravenswood Red Devils will open their 2013 football campaign Friday at home by hosting the Webster County Highlanders of Upper Glade in a 7:30 p.m. game at Flinn Field.

“Our kids had last weekend (open date) to sit and watch other games and they’re amped  up to get things started,” said Price. “As coaches, we’ve got to temper that enthusiasm and make sure they’re ready to play Friday night. But they should be ready to play, play with excitement and be ready to go 900%. They know they don’t want to have another season like last year (2-8) and they know what it takes--to play hard all 48 minutes like we didn’t last year.”

Price said the team now has junior linebacker Matt Peery (5-9, 192) available after his release following off-season shoulder surgery. That will allow Devon Crews to work at both linebacker and cornerback, and allow Devils to build depth at several positions.

“We’ve got our starters pretty much set for the first series of Friday night’s game,” said Price, “but just for the first series. We’ll play plenty of people. That’s what we need to be able to do.”

Senior Devon Crews (top rusher) and junior Rhys Jelich (top all-purpose yardage leader) , the top  rushers from 2012 are back to lead the Devils, along with senior quarterback Heath Burgess. Second-leading tackler (2012) junior Connor Jelich leads the defense and moves to middle linebacker for 2013.

The Highlanders of new head coach Wes Eddy are sporting a new offense and defense to go along with their new mentor.
Webster County lost its home opener last week in a wild 32-28 shoot-out with the Richwood Lumberjacks. In that game, senior quarterback Jake Thayer (6-0, 155) went air raid completing 13 of 21 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Dalton Davis (6-4, 190) caught six passes for 152 yards and two TDs. Logan Taylor (6-2, 178, Sr.) snagged the other TD pass reception. Walker Rose (5-7, 145, So.) ran for 73 yards (including a 53-yard TD gallop) and Thayer added 64 rushing yards and Walker Lawson (5-10, 172, Sr.) 54 yards.

But the game turned on a defensive play when Richwood’s Colin Frame returned a fumble 99 yards for a score. The Lumberjacks also returned a punt 80 yards for a TD.

Webster County finished 4-6 in 2012, and has just 27 players on its 2013 roster (11 seniors and 10 freshmen), dubbing themselves “The Fighting 27.” “We’re probably the toughest 27,” said senior fullback Ryder Collins (5-9, 170).
A former assistant at both AAA Brooke and Hedgesville, Eddy says the one thing he has installed in this year’s team is caring for each other. “They’re not selfish and just worried about number one,” he said. “They’re worried about Webster County in general and how well we can do as a team and not individual stats.”

Eddy wants a team built on attitude, hard work and discipline; a team that is fundamentally sound, aligned right, knows the scouting report and shows up every Friday night to play as hard as they can and let the chips fall where they may.
Other key Highlanders include: center Roger Cogar (5-10, 250, Sr.), tackle Ethan Bender (6-0, 287, Sr.), Tyler Helmich (6-0, 215, Sr.), and Sean Cogar (6-1, 229, Sr.).

PRE-GAME NOTES: The Red Devils and Highlanders have met just once previously in football—the first round of the 2008 AA state playoffs. Ravenswood won the game at Flinn Field 46-22…Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.