SOUTH CHARLESTON, W. Va. — One of the storylines leading into Saturday's WCHS-TV/FOX 11 North-South All-Star Football Classic was that it served as the final act for the game's head coaches.
And in the eyes of the North's Brad Jett, who worked for many years at South Harrison and the South's John Mustain, a long-time coach at James Monroe, there was no better way to walk away than in the North-South Classic.
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The North's 42-20 victory stretched its winning ways to three in a row.
"This has been a fantastic crew, the coaches did a heck of a job picking this team," said Jett. "What great character they had. We had a lot of things go against us today and we turned it around. We kept playing hard and good things happened for us."
While the South was on the short end of the final, Mustain couldn't have been more proud of his Cardinals.
"You know so many of them did so many things on both sides of the ball," Mustain said. "I couldn't have asked for any more."
Both coaches marveled at the togetherness their teams displayed in less than a week.
"I told them before the game, you know I have the same feeling towards them that I do the Monroe County kids I've coached all those years," said Mustain.
"The commraderie they had, they became friends after the first day," Jett said. "They worked hard and did everything together, it was great."
The two teams helped leave both coaches with one final special memory surrounding the great game of football.
"They're family to me now, everyone of them," said Mustain. "I hope to keep up with them and see what they're doing. They're the most fun bunch of kids I could've ever imagined having up here.
"You pick these kids and you don't know what you're getting. You don't know anything about them. Just going on coaches recommendations. That's a good bunch of kids. They made this week fun from good behavior, good effort. Just so much fun."
"I'm done," said a soaking-wet Jett. "What a way to go out with an ice bath. What a way to go out."
A pair of coaches from different parts of the state, going out together and doing so in grand style.