Going into the high school football season teams often feel blessed when they have an experienced quarterback to be the field general.
Having question marks at QB are usually not the best situation for any team as late August and the new football season are near.
That won’t be a problem at Chapmanville and Man this fall as the Tigers and Hillbillies have seasoned quarterbacks to lead their high school football teams.
Chapmanville Regional has Alex Berry, a senior and three-year starter.
Man High School has senior and four-year starter John Thomas Keffer, who has led the Billies to back-to-back Class A state playoff berths.
Berry was the leading passer in the Cardinal Conference last year as he completed 105-of-191 passes (55 percent) for 1,352 yards with 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
“I believe Alex Berry has been the conference’s leading passer two straight years,” Chapmanville coach George Barker said. “We have a kid who is a coach’s son and has been in our program forever. He’s a great kid. He understands the game and makes good decisions. He’s bigger and stronger and wiser. He’s got a good arm. He has the opportunity to play some defense for us but we don’t know how much that’s going to happen yet. Defensively, he’s in the top 11 but we don’t know if we are going to put him out there.”
Man is solid at quarterback as well with Keffer, a starter at the varsity level since he was a freshman.
Keffer was injured in last year’s regular season game against Tug Valley but battled back to start in the playoff contest against the Panthers. Keffer was 65-for-128 passing (50.8 percent) last year for 1,191 yards with 13 touchdowns and three picks.
Keffer, a 6-foot, 229-pounder, gives Man the complete package with his leadership, a strong throwing arm, good decision-making and a QB who is capable of tucking it and running for big yards.
“He understands the game,” Man coach Harvey Arms said of Keffer. “He can come to you on the sideline and tell you what is going on and what the situation is on the field. He’s a kid that has really matured in his football knowledge. What he sees out there he understands. Everyone who plays the game don’t all really do that but he does. He knows what is going on in front of him.”
Keffer has really stepped up Man’s passing game in his tenure.
Often times in the past, the Billies were usually only a third-and-long passing team out of necessity. With Keffer, he can spread out the defenses with his pinpoint passing and first or second down.
“He can do anything on the field really. He can play any position but for us we really need him at quarterback,” Arms said. “He’s thrown the ball really well. At times, he’s pulled it down and has really run well with the ball. He’s just been a good all-round player for us.”
Man is scheduled to open the 2015 regular season on Aug. 28 at home against arch rival Logan. Chapmanville opens the same night at home against Sissonville in a Cardinal Conference game.
Both schools will debut their new Field Turf football fields.