Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP FOOTBALL ; Kinder, Gentler Edwards Leads GW into Playoffs

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP FOOTBALL ; Kinder, Gentler Edwards Leads GW into Playoffs

Article excerpt

As the minutes and seconds ticked down during George Washington's 67-27 loss to Cabell Midland two weeks ago, a generally agreed-upon opinion ran among media members in attendance covering the game. That notion, which sarcastically said, "Stevie should be fun to talk to, in reference to Patriots coach Steve Edwards Jr., reflected a general understanding that while no coach likes to talk about his team being blown out, Edwards has always seemed to take losses harder than many of his coaching peers.

What transpired, then, was nothing short of noteworthy. Edwards gave credit to Midland's efficient dismantling of his club, at one point joking, "They sure used those two weeks well, in reference to the Knights coming off a bye week before the game. In 11 offensive possessions, Midland (9-0) scored 10 touchdowns and kneeled the ball to end the game.

GW (7-2), which faces rival South Charleston (6-3) at home Friday night in a game that will determine whether the Patriots get a home game of the Class AAA playoffs that begin Nov. 13, had just given up more points in one game than at any time in the school's history.

Edwards' demeanor, however, was better explained in a phone conversation just a few days later.

"I don't get as upset as I used to. I used to get pretty bent out of shape, Edwards said before GW rallied to beat Spring Valley (5- 4) on the road in overtime last week.

"You can't just get mad all the time, though, he added. "You want to be a leader, you want to be a good example for the kids.

Edwards has always had a few built-in stressers during his 20 years as the Patriots' coach.

First, he is a GW graduate and coaches who are alumni often bear losses a little tougher than comparative outsiders. Secondly, Edwards has operated under the shadow of his state championship- winning father for almost the entirety of his tenure.

But a year after rival Capital won its first state title since 1995 and did so by beating SC in the Super Six, Edwards and the Patriots entered 2015 as far off the radar as they had been since the early years of Edwards' tenure. …

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