2021-22 Concord University football team

ATHENS — With 15 days before the season opener to go, Concord University head football coach Dave Walker discussed the state of the Mountain Lions Wednesday.

“We’re excited to be back on the field and trying to get back to some sense of normalcy. We have 130-some players in the program so we have some decisions to make,” Walker said.

With only one game played since 2019, he said, the team has to build on what was done in that game.

“The guys have bought in to what we’re doing,” he added.

The team will feature a number of upperclassmen in key positions. Junior Jack Mangel, who threw for five touchdowns and 310 yards in the spring game against West Virginia Wesleyan, is the projected starter at quarterback.

“(Fifth-year senior)Tywan Pearce, who is in line to get every Concord passing record and (2019 West Virginia High School Player of the Year) give us a pair of good receivers. We have several young running backs we like, plus (sixth-year senior) Nathan Turner and (junior) Davis Robertson on the line,” he said.

As for the defense, several upperclassmen, including fifth-year seniors Dwain Porterfield and Nathan Lease, will provide the leadership required.

As for the Sept. 9 season opener at Glenville State, Walker said, “Our team is awaiting the chance to play against someone wearing different helmets,” he added, “Our goal is to get better every day.”

As for the COVID-19 situation, he said the team was 70 percent compliant.

“I feel confident in our medical staff, our (athletic training) staff and our administration to make the best decisions in any situation,” he said.

Concord’s first home game will be Sept. 18 against West Virginia Wesleyan.

Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at delimartman@yahoo.com.

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