WESTON -- Coach Eddie Williams and the Lewis County Minutemen are finding that their first trip to the state high school football playoffs isn't without some adjustment.
And when Lewis County kicks off that first-ever playoff game against No. 1 Morgantown at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Pony Lewis Field, Williams wants to make sure his team is ready -- right down to the artificial turf.
The team practiced Tuesday evening at Glenville State College's Morris Stadium. The stadium is in its first season with artificial turf.
"It's a different kind of turf," Williams said. "But when you've got kids that have never been on turf, it's kind of a novelty. I wanted to take care of that right away."
Lewis County has also had to deal with an increase in fan support because of the playoff berth. The Minutemen's win over Robert C. Byrd to finish the season with a school-tying record of 7-3 was followed by a parade, and the playoff berth has been followed by even more support.
"We've been asked to do all sorts of things," Williams said. "They even talked for a while about having another parade. After a while, though, it starts to almost become distracting to football."
Williams and the Minutemen coaching staff have also been pouring over game film of a Morgantown team that they haven't seen since last year when the two teams were both members of the North Central Athletic Conference. Williams says there are differences between the Class AAA state champions of a year ago and this year's Mohigans.
"First of all, they don't have that power fullback that they had in (Alex) Lake," Williams said. "They still have a quality running back in (Geremy) Rodamer, but they also throw the ball a lot more often than they have in years past. Of course, (quarterback Shane) Fogarty has been starting up there a couple of years now."
While the Lewis County's last game against Morgantown resulted in a 61-14 loss at the hands of the eventual Class AAA state champs, Williams says his team isn't about to back down.
"The team is excited," Williams said. "And we're certainly not in awe of Morgantown after playing them so much. They're going to be ready."
Sports writer Chris Vannoy can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org