Bass ready to build UVA Wise football program

WISE, Va. (WJHL) – The Highland Cavaliers’ spring slate came to a conclusion on Saturday afternoon with the annual Red & Gray Spring Game.

It was the fans’ first chance to see new head coach Gary Bass and his squad in action. Bass came to UVA Wise in the offseason after seven successful years at Division II Quincy University (Ill.).

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The offense flashed early and often in the scrimmage, with a handful of local guys finding paydirt. It was a heavy dose of Ian Scammel (Grundy) at running back on the first drive, as a physical carry set up the unit in the redzone.

Jake Corkren hit Bradley Cannon (Elizabethton) off of play action for a six-yard score to kick things off.

A few possessions later, Corkren found Peyton McClanahan (Abingdon) for another touchdown.

Bass believes this spring has been a good start for what he hopes to build at Wise – something that will last for years to come.

“Yes, we’re going to be a better football team, I think, than they were last year,” he explained. “However, we’ve got to make sure that we continue to work hard and earn exactly what we’re going to try to achieve in years to come.”

“It’s not just about ’24, it’s about ’25 and ’26 and the years on down the line,” he continued. “And we’ve got a great group of young men coming in. We’ve got a great group of kids that are already here, and we’ve got a great group of juniors that are here visiting for the class of 2025 today. So for us, it’s about building a program, not just one team.”

UVA Wise will open the 2024 season in Johnson City, as the Cavs visit ETSU on Saturday, September 7.

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