Expectations Soaring At MHS
Ask Morgantown High Head Coach John Bowers about the expectations surrounding his Mohigan football team and he’ll tell you about the four goals his players and coaching staff have going into each and every season:
1. Win the Conference. 2. Qualify for the playoffs. 3. Practice on Thanksgiving Day. 4. Compete for a state championship.
“Those are our four goals,” said Bowers. “That’s what we try to do and as long as they’re playing football at Morgantown High School those will be the goals.”
Morgantown took the first steps to reaching those goals Monday with the start of preseason practice. On a typical hot and humid late summer morning, 75 football players hit the turf at Pony Lewis Field to begin preparations for the 2012 season.
“Kids seemed like they were in pretty good shape ad retained a fair amount of information from our June practices,” said Bowers. “
Morgantown is considered a favorite in Class AAA by many because of the tremendous amount of talent it returns at the skill positions. Quarterback Mark Johnson leads the offense and behind him a trio of running backs will shoulder most of the load on offense. Sophomore Chazzy Thomas brings explosive speed and quickness to the tailback position and Bowers believes Alex Weidman provides a great one-two punch at running back. Jalen Thomas is back as a bruising ball carrier and blocker at fullback. When the Mohigans aren’t running the ball Blaine Stewart is an experienced receiver on the outside that gives Johnson and downfield threat.
The experience of the skill position players was clear during day one workouts and Bowers was impressed with the offense during while running plays against air.
“I thought we were in week 5 mode, but when we lined the defense up against them it messed them up a little bit but that’s to be expected on the first day,” Bowers said.
The question facing the Mohigans heading into the 2012 season is how long will take an inexperienced offensive line to come together? Most of the starting five up front are new and young.
“We’ll get tomorrow than we were today and keep getting better every day,” asserted Bowers.
Since 2006, the Mohigans have lost in the playoffs to the eventual state champion four times. Prior to 2006 Morgantown was the dominant force in Class AAA winning state titles in 2000, ’02, ’04 and ’05.
Could 2012 be the season the state title returns to Morgantown? There are plenty of people around the state that think so, but it is after all is only August.
Goalie to Place Kicker
By: Wes Kinney
The three-week workout period for high school athletes in West Virginia can be full of surprises.
One of those surprises is at Morgantown High School, where head coach John Bowers has Megan DeBastiani, a former MHS girl’s soccer player, trying out for the Mohigans football team at kicker.
Bowers says the rising senior is no fluke.
“Anyone that knows me well enough knows that I’m not into novelty acts,” Bowers said. “This girl can play the game or we wouldn’t even fool around with it.”
According to Bowers, DeBastiani is currently the number one kicker on Morgantown’s depth chart as they continue through the June workout session.
She was also the starting goalie on Morgantown High School's 2011 Class AAA girl’s soccer state championship team.
“She’s a wonderful young lady who is going to get her name in quite a few box scores this fall,” said Bowers. “We have got a junior punter who is going to be a Division I kid. For whatever reason his placement kicks aren’t as good as Megan’s.”
Bowers says he isn’t sure of DeBastiani’s range on field goal attempts, but she was 12-for-12 on PAT attempts during Monday’s practice.
The MHS Athletic Facilities Project
"Honoring the past...Building for the future."
$6 Million Campaign to build a new multi-use building, new and renovated bleachers, new concession buildings, state-of-the-art turf, new lighting, new scoreboard, new fencing, and related facility improvements.
Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust
The Trust offered a matching one-to-one grant for up to $2 million contributed by private donors.
Monongalia County Schools (Board of Education) has committed $2 million.
Morgantown High School Foundation (a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation created in 1996 to foster academic opportunities for MHS students) will act as fiscal agent to facilitate acceptance of private donations.
The facility upgrades will benefit not only the MHS football team, but the boys' and girls' soccer teams as well as the lacrosse teams and the Mohigan Marching Band. Middle schools that feed into Morgantown High will also have access to the upgraded facilities.
MHS & Pony Lewis Field
Pony Lewis Field was inaugurated in 1926. MHS has 21 varsity sports and 27 state championships.
The last major renovation to Pony Lewis Field and he surrounding athletic facilities was more than 20 years ago.
It is a central point of the greater-Monongalia County community and a tradition since 1883 (since 1927 at current campus).
For 80+ years, it has hosted thousands of sporting events (including high school, middle school, midget league, and semi-professtional football, soccer, lacrosse, band, etc.).
Honorary campaign chairman
Member of 2008 MHS Athletic Hall of Fame; 1972 MHS graduate; 1977 WVU graduate
11 seasons as Division I-A (FBS) head coach with an 87-46 record (.654)
Make checks payable to:
MHS Foundation for the MHS Athletic Facilities Project
P.O. Box 1431
Morgantown, WV 26507
OR, you can donate online by visiting
Morgantown High School's Red and Blue Marching Band
Morgantown's acclaimed marching band has been selected to perform in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California on January 1st, 2013.
Find out more information about the band at www.bandmhs.com