Wayne opens season at Spring Valley
SPRING VALLEY — If anything is worse than a three-headed monster, it’s two three-headed monsters.
Spring Valley’s backfield is composed of just that, with a trio of quarterbacks and troika of running backs set to play in Friday’s 7:30 p.m. home high school football game with Wayne in the opener for both programs.
Leading the runners is Owen Chafin, a 5-foot-10, 198-pound senior, who ran for more than 800 yards last season before suffering a season-ending leg injury. Chafin leads a running game that also features senior fullback Isaac Howard (6-foot, 222) and senior halfback Graeson Malashevich (5-10, 165), both of whom ran for more than 600 yards in 2017 to help the Timberwolves to the Class AAA state championship game for the second consecutive season.
“That guy doesn’t get a lot of attention, but he’s really good,” Spring Valley coach Brad Dingess said of Malashevish, the son of former Marshall University kicker Billy Malashevich.
Chafin is garnering considerable attention, having last week been invited to play in the prestigious Blue-Grey All-American Bowl Jan. 7 in Tampa,
Florida. The game showcases some of the premier high school seniors in the country. Chafin also is attracting college attention, with scholarship offers from Navy and Old Dominion. Several other college programs are recruiting the hard-running, speedy halfback.
Spring Valley’s quarterback trinity also is impressive. Will Adkins, a strong-armed 6-5, 233-pound senior, is joined by Nate Ellis, a 6-1, 175-pound junior, and at times Malashevich under center. Adkins has a scholarship offer from Jacksonville.
“It just depends on what path we take,” Dingess said. “If we’re a big power-running team and need our quarterback to run, it might be Nate. If we turn into a play-action team that can throw the ball some, it’ll be Will. We’ve been working some as an option team and have put Graeson at quarterback some, too. Don’t be surprised if all three of them play there on Fridays.”
That the Timberwolves possess multiple options is not a surprise. The team rosters 107 players. The most vaunted of standouts is tackle Doug Nester, a 6-7, 312-pound senior committed to Ohio State. As though fielding one of the more-coveted players in the nation isn’t enough, the Timberwolves also have Louisville commit Zach Williamson, a 6-6, 303-pound senior on the offensive line.
“Doug has started since he was a freshman and played in almost 40 ballgames already, going into his senior year,” Dingess said. “You can’t put a tag on that.”
On defense, Spring Valley must replace linebackers Owen Porter and Jacob Cassidy, both of whom now play at Marshall. Still, the Timberwolves figure to be strong keeping opponents out of the end zone.