INSTITUTE, W.Va. — David Moneypenny of the South and A.J. Harman of the North take a similar approach to Saturday’s North-South Football Classic at South Charleston High School.
“The key is to don’t overcoach them,” said Moneypenny, coach at Fayetteville High School. “One good thing about them is that they’re all good players. We don’t need to change a lot about them.”
The all-star teams will meet at noon at South Charleston High School.
Harman, in his sixth season as head coach at Liberty-Harrison, said Moneypenny knows of which he speaks.
“Like coach said, we don’t want to overcoach them,” Harman said. “When we selected the rosters, we knew what their strengths were. They’re all talented.”
Both coaches plan to turn that talent loose on the opposition. The South features a roster with NCAA Division I preferred walk-ons in Wayne linebacker Mike Bartram (Marshall University) and Spring Valley running back Owen Chafin (West Virginia University). The North counters with Kennedy Award-winning quarterback Connor Neal of Fairmont Senior (Fairmont State University).
Both rosters are filled with players headed to Division II, Division III and NAIA schools.
“All of them are good, so I don’t want to single anybody out,” Moneypenny said. “It’s good to get to know them. It’s a lot of fun. They’re great kids.”
Harman said every player in the game is talented enough to play offense, defense and special teams. Some will play two ways Saturday, while others will specialize on one side of the ball.
“We want to win the game and have a great time doing it,” Harman said. “We knew when we selected the rosters we had a lot of talent to choose from. The caliber of player and student we have is impressive. None of them is in shape, but we hope to work out the soreness by game time.”
Spring Valley head coach Brad Dingess is an assistant with the South. He said he is impressed with the players he’s seen.
“Each kid brings something special,” Dingess said. “Each is the best on his team. We have to piece together a puzzle and make it work and we can do that because they have a good football IQ. It’s about learning the terminology.”
Moneypenny said he is thankful for Dingess, Spring Valley assistant Brent Terry, Independence head coach John Lilly and Midland Trail head coach Jeremy Moore for making up his staff.
“We have extremely good coaches,” Moneypenny said. “We have four very capable coaches. We have great kids. Everything is working out real well and we’re having a lot of fun.”