ONA — Anyone who evaluates Ryan Wolfe statistically might miss the value of the Cabell Midland High School quarterback.
Wolfe isn’t among the top eight in the Mountain State Athletic Conference in passing nor rushing. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior is adept at both, however, as he rarely has lost yardage on the ground and unleashed a 65-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the game against Riverside.
“He’s good,” Knights coach Luke Salmons said. “Ryan has a strong arm and he’s smart. He can run it or throw it. He’s gotten better and better.”
Wolfe manages the offense well and displays his athleticism and intelligence in Cabell Midland’s option attack, featuring running backs Jackson Fetty, Chandler Schmidt and Mason Moran. Fetty has rushed for 900 yards and Moran 600 for a team averaging 41 points per game.
“It’s unique,” Wolfe said of Cabell Midland’s run-heavy offense. “Some say it’s old school, but really it’s unique. It’s different. Our line is awesome. You just have to get used to it. I’m not the fastest runner. I’m not (former Knights quarterbacks) J.J. Roberts or Jovaun Light.”
Wolfe doesn’t have to be those nimble and speedy former Knights stars. Salmons said Wolfe simply has to be himself. Wolfe said he is hard on himself. Salmons said sometimes the first-year starter is too hard. Salmons reminded him in preseason practice that he doesn’t have to throw a perfect ball, but merely a catchable pass. Wolfe said he’s catching on to that.
“We’re not going to be perfect,” Wolfe said. “We learn from our mistakes and get better and better. We give it our all and have good mental toughness. Me, I always think I can do better. I don’t think I’ve been playing very well. I want to be the best to ever do it.”
Cabell Midland is 5-1 and rated seventh in Class AAA. The Knights’ lone loss was 21-17 at top-rated Huntington High.
“That loss didn’t put us down,” Wolfe said. “They’re a really good team. We’ve learned from it. It’s been good for us and I hope we see them again in the playoffs. In the state championship game would be great.”
Wolfe, who wants to major in a sports-related field such as broadcast journalism, physical therapy or education/coaching, visited West Virginia University on Saturday and watched the Mountaineers’ 23-20 loss to Texas Tech.
“I’ve always been a WVU fan,” Wolfe said. “It’s a childhood dream to play there.”
For now, Wolfe’s attention is on Capital (1-4), which the Knights take on at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Laidley Field in Charleston.