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PARKERSBURG — Three Parkersburg South Patriots who took major strides on the gridiron are moving on to the next level. Brandon Penn, Dylan Day and Jeffrey Tucker each knew they wanted an opportunity to keep playing, and choosing Glenville State gives them the chance to not only keep playing together, but it will also help shape their futures from an academic standpoint. Penn and Day made it official in the PSHS cafeteria on Wednesday, while Tucker signed earlier in the week. Still, all three of them were there to congratulate each other while being surrounded by friends, family and coaches.
It was Parkersburg South’s most successful football season since the 2003 championship season, and this trio helped lead the 2019 Patriots to an 11-2 record under first year head coach Nate Tanner. Through all the success each player brought to the Erickson All-Sports Facility during the breakout year, Tanner reflected on what made them so special.
“Not just those three guys, but the whole senior class laid the foundation. Those three kids really deserve what they’re getting,” he said. “A lot of kids on our team look up to those guys, and they see what they can achieve. I could probably talk for days about each of them, individually. Collectively, the big thing I’m going to remember is the relationship I had with them. More than anything, it was the amount of buying in they did when we first got started.”
The switch to a spread offense proved to be a welcome change for a South offense that averaged 42.4 points per game, and Penn led the way as the dual-threat quarterback who electrified crowds. He tossed 25 touchowns and more than 2,200 yards under center. He found similar dominance on the ground by rushing for more than 1,600 yards and 19 touchdowns. Those numbers collected as a signal caller earned him the J.R. House Award (given to the state’s top quarterback). In Tanner’s system he put together a Kennedy Award campaign which saw him additionally excel as a defensive back and punter. Although Penn came up short and didn’t win the Kennedy Award, he collected first-team all-state honors as a DB. He led the team with nine interceptions, as he takes with him a wealth of talent to Glenville State.
“It’s a possibility that I’ll be playing quarterback, but I’m mostly leaning toward playing safety,” Penn said. “Everything (coach Tanner) taught me helped me take my work ethic to the next level. It makes the transition a lot easier (having teammates go with me). Even when we’re away from our family, it’s someone to lean on.”