Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP FOOTBALL ; 7-on-7 Tournament Gives Tinsley Good Look at St. Albans Prospects

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP FOOTBALL ; 7-on-7 Tournament Gives Tinsley Good Look at St. Albans Prospects

Article excerpt

HUNTINGTON - Scott Tinsley emerged from a group of more than 250 high school football players and coaches Wednesday soon after Marshall coach Doc Holliday addressed teams taking part in the first day of the Thundering Herd's 7-on-7 tournament. Ahead of the new St. Albans coach were members of his first team at his alma mater, all of whom carried jet black helmets that were commonplace for his teams at Nitro - St. Albans' arch rival - from the mid-1990s until his departure in 2007.

"Yeah, yeah, I know, Tinsley said when the helmets were noticed, with a tone of wariness that indicated he'd already had the connection pointed out to him.

It was obvious Tinsley wasn't in Marshall's indoor practice facility to worry about helmets, and rightly so. He's aware that massive changes need to be made to the Red Dragons football program, and Wednesday was his team's first opportunity to test itself against outside competition since his arrival.

"The first thing is seeing who will actually compete, who will get out there against tough teams, compete and think they have a chance to win, Tinsley said. "The culture at St. Albans has not been a winning culture in a long time, so we have to change that first. This gives us a great start on that.

The Red Dragons haven't won more than four games in a season in nearly a decade. The last time it occurred was in 2007, when Tinsley's former teammate Derek Christian coached the team to a 12- 2 finish and reached the Class AAA state championship game before falling to Parkersburg.

The first day of the 7-on-7 saw teams divided into three different pods of six teams each, with SA placed in a group with Class AA teams Winfield, Herbert Hoover, Chapmanville, Class AA- equivalent Meigs (Ohio) and a Cleveland-based travel team called Raw Talent.

Tinsley, long known as a quarterback guru and the designer of the offense that produced two-time Kennedy Award-winning passer J.R. House, said that three juniors are competing for the role as starting quarterback in his first year.

"We've got to see how they make reads and all that, and we've got several young receivers that we have to see if they can catch the ball in a crowd, Tinsley said. …

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