POCA, W.Va. – This season has not been an ideal start for the Poca Dots. Poca struggled the first four weeks of the season, starting 0-4.
However, the Dots’ first four opponents are currently in the top 21 in the latest WVSSAC Playoff Ratings, including the No. 3 Independence Patriots.
The Dots did record their first win of the season last week against Mingo Central, 41-7, at O.O. White Stadium.
“We haven’t played as well as we would have liked,” said Seth Ramsey, Poca head football coach. “We have been dealing with a few injuries. We haven’t been able to put everything together, and we have not played as well as we hoped. We played good teams that did things well to put us in that situation. We had a great win last week and are trying to build off that momentum.”
The Dots have seen successful teams come through under Ramsey, including last season’s 9-3 unit. The Dots had been one of the top teams in Class AA the previous few seasons going 35-6 since 2018.
Ramsey has been able to follow up wins with better performances, and he knows tonight’s game will not be any different.
“I don’t think at times your preparation should change, regardless of who you are playing,” Ramsey stated. “You should have an intention of doing things the right way that prepares you. I think you have to be careful when you emphasize different games. It comes down to doing our job and doing it well. When you’re dealing with 15-to-17-year-old kids, I sometimes think you don’t know what is going through their minds, but there will always be a purpose for us doing certain things.”
Ramsey did not say anything specifically to his team because many of his returners have been in their position.
“I think it is important to put things into perspective,” Ramsey noted. “I think ensuring your guys know what went well following our preparation is important. You let the kids celebrate the victory, but we are looking at film for the next team the next day. You also let them understand that it will not continuously happen unless they do the right things to prepare themselves to win.”
Poca will make the short drive to Sissonville for a Cardinal Conference matchup. The Indians sit winless on the season, and Ramsey wants people not to overlook them. Sissonville’s opponents this season are currently ranked in the top-17 in the latest ratings, like Poca.
“They have guys,” Ramsey said. “They have a lot of different guys that can stretch you out vertically and horizontally. They throw the kitchen at you in formation, both offensively and defensively. They are an aggressive pack defensively. They do an excellent job with the run and creating confusion with the quarterback.
“They have played great teams, and I know their record, like us, isn’t where they want it to be. Every team they have played will either be in the playoffs or barely miss them.”
Ramsey has been spoiled these last few seasons having Tobey and Ethan Payne, among the many other recently talented players. However, six starters return for Poca, including quarterback Jordan Wolfe.
“Jordan is in much more control of the offense this year than last year,” Ramsey noted. “He is slowing the game down in his head, which has allowed him to play faster. He is starting to see the field better. Jordan has done a better job of controlling the football. We have put him in some bad situations, but he has done a great job of making the most of things. He is steady, and we know what we will get out of him.”
Wolfe has been an essential piece of his offense back, and that’s all-state selection, AJ Dunbar. Dunbar has been the anchor for the offense having the most experience among other players.
“We believe he is one of the better offensive linemen in AA,” Ramsey said. “He does a great job for us on offense and defense. Jordan is steady. He is not a raw-raw guy, but he does the work and works his hind end for us. AJ does a great job of leading by example. He is an intelligent kid on the football field and in the classroom.”
The Dots will try to defeat Sissonville for a fifth straight season this evening. The Indians, however, will go for win number one on the season.