Sports for August 17, 1999

Bridgeport duo primed to replace all-state tailback

by Mike Nutter
Sports Writer
BRIDGEPORT -- Chris Cunanan and Jeremy Hinzman sound a lot alike these days.
After splitting time at fullback last season for Bridgeport, the two are stepping into full-time positions.
Along with that, however, come bigger expectations and bigger responsibilities.
Last year, both were relied upon mostly to complement first team all-state tailback Rodie Heater.
Now, much of the burden of carrying the Indians to their third consecutive trip to the state playoffs under head coach Bruce Carey rests with them.
"I think we're definitely going to have to step our game up a little," Cunanan said. "Last year when I came in (to practice), I really didn't have any experience and didn't know what to expect. This is my senior year now. It's time to step up and lead the team."
The two are familiar faces from last year's backfield, although junior Lonnie Hill (6-1, 201) saw some time as an upback where he is likely to again start.
With a new quarterback, Cunanan (sr., 5-7, 166) and Hinzman (jr., 6-1, 188) are going to be vital to the team's success.
This year, Cunanan will take over duties at tailback where Heater thrived in the Indians' traditional power I formation.
However, Hinzman will also carry much of the load as the starting fullback.
"There's some pressure when you know you have to fill someone like Rodie's shoes," Hinzman said. "I got to start half of the season last year, so I know what to expect in actual game time.
"All I'm looking to do is whatever I need to help this team. If it's getting a few yards a carry then that's what I'll do."
Both Hinzman and Cunanan have similar styles. Combining power with speed, the two will be the Indians' feature backs this year.
Unlike last year when Heater handled the bulk of the carries and offensive burden, Carey said he will likely split the load between the two.
"They've been working pretty good in the backfield," Carey said. "They're getting a lot of reps because there's not a whole lot of depth back there."
Carey said both have been working extremely hard in practice and have fought through some minor injuries.
However, both realize there is still much work to be done.
"The coaches have really been pushing us a lot harder this year," Cunanan said. "They've sort of reminded me that it's my last year and they are looking for more out of me.
"My top priority is to do whatever I can to get this team back into the playoffs. Those are the type of things that come first. The personal things come after that. They take care of themselves."
What that means is making Preston their number one goal.
The Indians open with the Knights on Aug. 27 and Hinzman says making a statement early could be key for the remainder of the season.
"We have to go out and lead by example," he said. "I think (Chris and I) have to be leaders. We have to step up early in the season and show we can be leaders."
"I know right now there's still a lot of room for improvement, but I think if we keep working hard, we can do it."

Pioneers' new staff impressed with WVIAC

by Greg Talkington
GLENVILLE -- When coach Rick Trickett accepted the head football position at Glenville State a few months ago, he knew he was encountering a tough job.
Without the benefit of spring drills, the former Auburn assistant head coach knew nothing about his players. But at least he has fall camp to learn about them.
It's the opposition that has him concerned.
"How good is good enough to win in this league?" Trickett pondered. "That's something for me that can only be answered with time."
Although Trickett is a 1972 graduate of Glenville State, he freely admits he knows little about the conference.
"I've got a feeling that this league is much better than anyone suspects," Trickett said.
"So that makes my job that much tougher."
After spending the last six years coaching in the Southeastern Conference, considered by many the best Division I league in the country, Trickett knows all about big-time talent. But....
"When I judge a player's ability here, I really don't know what to compare it to," Trickett says. "This is a learning process for me just as much as it is for the players."
 Not only is familiarity a problem for Trickett, it's also one for his defensive coordinator, Rob Keys.
The former West Virginia University defensive back has spent the past three seasons as a graduate assistant at WVU.
"How good is good?" Keys asked. "When I'm looking at a rush linebacker, I'm thinking of Gary Stills.
"Now I know that we don't need someone as good as Gary Stills. But, just how good does he need to be?"
Keys says he knows very little about the league.
"We watched one film from last year," Keys said. "The thing that struck me from our standpoint was the lack of depth.
"That's something we're working on."
But he was impressed with the talent level.
"There are some excellent players at this level," Keys said. "But it will take some time to evaluate the overall talent and know exactly what we need."
One might think that Trickett could take solace that former Glenville All-American quarterback Jed Drenning is his offensive coordinator.
Drenning last played in 1993, and helped coach for two seasons afterwards, but says the league's changed a great deal since then.
"I've been away for a few years and from what I've heard, the league is much tougher from top to bottom than when I was here," Drenning said. "There were always two or three teams you could count on as an easy win.
"I don't think that's true any longer."
But Drenning, the WVIAC's all-time leading passer, does understand the level of talent.
"That's an insight I have that coach Trickett and Rob don't at this point," Drenning said. "I can tell them what I think, but they'll only really understand once they've been around here for a whole season."

A-B signs third recruit; inks guard

From Staff Reports
Clay Colquhoun, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound swingman from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, has signed a letter-of-intent to play basketball at Alderson-Broaddus College.
The versatile Colquhoun led Cathedral Prep High School to a 25-3 record and a No. 1 ranking. He averaged 21 points and six rebounds a game in garnering all-conference honors.
"Clay will be one of the older freshmen," Alderson-Broaddus coach Brett Vincent said. "He can play a couple of different positions."
Colquhoun, the Battlers' third recruit for the upcoming season, plans to major in business.

SSAC's Carter to step down in December

CHARLESTON -- The executive secretary of the state agency that governs high school sports has resigned.
Warren Carter said Monday he will leave his leadership post with the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission Dec. 31 after seven years on the job.
"It was a tough decision," Carter said. "I dearly love being involved in high school athletics. I love being around kids, but there comes a time when you have to ... move on."
Carter, who informed the state Board of Education of his decision two weeks ago, said he has no immediate plans for his retirement.
"I'm finishing up 33 years in December and I thought that would be the logical place to stop," he said.
Jerry Trembuch, Carter's assistant, will apply for the job, Carter said. Other possible candidates include: C.W. "Butch" Powell and Betsy Best, both of whom now work at the SSAC, and Mike Hayden, the athletic director at Parkersburg High School.
The commission has come under attack in recent years. In 1998, the state Legislature considered a bill that would have eliminated the SSAC.
Some lawmakers complained that the commission enforces rules when it suits them and ignores them when it wants.
"Everyone thinks the rules are great until they are applied to them, then they want to change them," Carter said.
Some high-profile commission decisions challenged in recent years include a ruling that a deaf player could not play basketball because he was too old and one that a girl could not play high school softball because she also played for her church.
The commission is a private entity founded in 1920 when there was a problem with the recruitment of school athletes into professional sports. It began overseeing secondary sports in the late 1970s after a state law was passed giving county school systems permission to delegate oversight of sports.

Zereoue adapts to Steelers camp

by Dan Shrensky
PITTSBURGH -- During his career at West Virginia University, Amos Zereoue was the subject of Heisman talk, featured on magazine covers and the focus of opposing defenses.
Now a rookie with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Zereoue is no longer "Famous Amos," but he says he doesn't mind being just one of the guys.
"Basically, it just starts all over again," said Zereoue, the Steelers' third-round pick after forgoing his senior season at WVU. "In high school, you're the man and then you have to start all over in college. Same thing when you come to the pros -- you're starting over again.
"I have no problem with it. I just have to produce when I get the opportunity."
Zereoue, WVU's career rushing leader, played the third quarter Friday night during the Steelers' 30-23 win over the Chicago Bears at Three Rivers Stadium, finishing with 17 yards on six carries.
Wearing No. 21, Zereoue is listed fourth on the depth chart at tailback, behind Jerome Bettis, Richard Huntley and Chris Fuamatu Ma'afala. Huntley started the game in place of Bettis, who was sidelined with a knee injury.
The Steelers substituted freely in the second half. Zereoue shared the backfield with rookie free agent quarterback Anthony Wright. The reserves looked shaky, committing several penalties in the first few series of the second half.
"I made a lot of mistakes on pass protection so I felt I had to redeem myself by running the ball a little harder," Zereoue said. "In practice, you know what you're doing and you're comfortable. In a game situation, it's much different. Once we get to play a couple more preseason games I think everything will be fine."
Zereoue said his biggest challenges are learning the plays and becoming familiar with special teams kick coverage. A kick returner in high school and college, Zereoue is not used to covering kicks and tackling.
"I made a big mistake. I stuck my hand out to tackle a guy and he just went right through me and almost ran for a touchdown. That's a big aspect of the game that I have to work on.
"I think I can go out there and knock some heads off. I just have to get more work and get comfortable with it," Zereoue said.
Although he was bothered with painful bouts of turf toe at WVU, Zereoue said it has not been a problem lately. His biggest concern is enduring a year that is twice as long as the college season. The NFL schedule includes five preseason games, in addition to the 16-game regular season schedule and possible playoff games.
"You really don't get the picture until you go through it," Zereoue said. "A lot of the guys tell the rookies how long the season is but I think we'll have to see it and feel it for ourselves to get the idea."
Zereoue will likely seek advice from the veterans about another matter -- housing. He said he spent the summer in Morgantown and New York and has not yet found a place in Pittsburgh.
"I don't know the streets yet," he said. "I'll start looking for a place after training camp."

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