The Morgantown Mohigans started their football season with
drills and conditioning. Soon they will be padded up and practicing live
contact. Coach John Bower says the goals are pretty clear:
“Our four goals will never change as long as this coaching
staff is here,” Bowers says.
“Our first goal is to win our conference. That’s an
attainable goal. Last year we won two conference titles: the track conference
and the OVAC. We won both of those so that’s our first goal.
"Our second goal is to qualify for the playoff.
"Our third goal is to practice on Thanksgiving day because if
you’re practicing on Turkey Day you’re at least in the state semi-finals.
"Our forth goal is to compete for a state championship. To do
that you have to get to Wheeling on
the first Saturday in December and those are our four goals.”
Bowers says they had a typical turnout for the team this
year with about 75 players all working to get time on the field. One of those
players, senior Megan DeBastiani, came over from the girls’ soccer team.
She’s been playing soccer and softball since she was five. Her
long red hair and smaller frame set her apart from her teammates, but her
ambitions to play are just as real.
“I decided about halfway through the year last year that I
was going to do football and I wasn’t going to do soccer,” DeBastiani says. “I
talked to Bowers because I go to church with him. I asked him if I should do it
and he said, ‘Yeah, come play.’ My parents, well, at first my mom was kind of
scared about it, but she’s fine with it now.”
DeBastiani says it’s not just her parents who are happy to
see her play.
“My brother’s always played football so I’ve always loved
watching football and everything so now I get to play, and it’s fun. He
graduated my freshman year so. I was afraid if he would be excited or not, but
he’s pretty excited for me. And he said he’s going to come watch.
“Megan does a great
job,” Bowers says. “She’s a wonderful person and she’s proven to be a good
little kicker for us.”
Coach Bowers says it didn’t take long for DeBastiani to
“If the season started right now we have a very gifted
kicker in Ruan Venture; he’ll handle our kick-off duties and our punts and our
long field goals but if the season started today Megan would kick our PATs. She’s
very consistent. She puts the ball through the pipes.
"Megan gives us a viable
option to score points. There’s only a couple ways in football that you can
score points and two of them are off of a kicker’s foot, so she gives us a good
chance to do that.”
DeBastiani says so far, her teammates are all really nice;
she’s having fun learning how to be a better kicker, and she’s looking forward
to helping her team through the season.