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Who do you root for when your son performs your alma mater?

On Saturday night, there is just one school soccer sport Shawn Lutz shall be centered on. 

Lutz, the pinnacle coach at Division-II Slippery Rock College in Pennsylvania, shall be totally locked in when his staff hosts convention foe West Chester in a sport that may kick off at 6 p.m. Saturday evening.

Nonetheless, in moments of downtime between the motion between The Rock and Golden Rams, Lutz would possibly discover himself questioning how one other school soccer sport that kicked off on the similar time goes. A sport during which his alma mater, West Virginia, is internet hosting the staff his oldest son performs on, Duquesne.

“That’s a troublesome one proper there,” Shawn mentioned over the telephone Tuesday morning. “You’re actually in a win-win state of affairs on that one.” 

Shawn was a decent finish for the Mountaineers from 1991-95. Logan Lutz, his oldest son, is a decent finish for Duqeusne and can get to play in the identical stadium as his father when the Dukes come to Morgantown on Saturday.

“It’s simply superior that he has the chance to go right down to Morgantown and play and expertise what that’s all about,” the older Lutz mentioned. “I used to be simply telling him he’ll see some stuff he has not seen. The fervour in the entire state and the way they get behind this system and what it’s all about.

“It’s superior to suppose that he didn’t play at WVU, however he’s going to get to expertise what that’s all about.”

Logan and the Dukes aren’t any strangers to taking part in in bigger stadiums. Over the previous two seasons, Duquesne has performed street video games in opposition to TCU, Florida State, Hawaii and Ohio and they’ll journey to Coastal Carolina one week after taking up the Mountaineers.

“We all know large stadiums like that, so it’ll be a cool expertise to do this once more,” Logan mentioned Tuesday. “It’s positively a reasonably cool expertise attending to play with that many followers. Being on the sphere, you’re in your individual sort of world, however listening to that loudness of the stadium is a really cool expertise.”

Duquesne’ tight finish Logan Lutz (85) will get to play in the identical stadium that his father did when the Dukes tackle WVU this Saturday. (Duquesne Athletics)

The Dukes beat Ohio 28-26 of their contest in 2021, this system’s first and solely victory over an FBS opponent.

“The temper is simply to play our sport and concentrate on ourselves,” Logan mentioned. “I really feel like if we play our sport, we will maintain with any staff regardless of the extent we play in opposition to.”

Duquesne gained its opener 49-7 over Division-II Edinboro final week. Edinboro is in the identical convention as Slippery Rock, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Convention (PSAC).

“They seemed good in opposition to Edinboro, however that’s an entire totally different monster taking part in at that subsequent degree,” Shawn mentioned. “You by no means know what occurs generally. Have a look at Clemson-Duke (Monday), not that it’s the identical degree however issues like that may occur.”

Shawn, initially from Massillon, Ohio, mentioned he ended up at WVU after his recruitment to Ohio State fizzled out.

“I needed to go to Ohio State and so they had been on me,” he mentioned. “Then they obtained somebody higher, I believe it was (eventual first-round choose) Rickey Dudley, which was a great transfer, he performed eight years within the NFL.”

Then-WVU head coach Don Nehlen was from Canton, Ohio, and located Shawn by a reference to former NFL assistant coach Ron Blackledge, father of former Penn State quarterback Todd Blackledge.

“I knew Ron Blackledge a little bit bit and Coach Nehlen was greatest mates with the man,” Shawn mentioned. “So when he knew Ohio State wasn’t going to work out for me, he referred to as Coach Nehlen for me and I ended up going to WVU due to him.”

Shawn Lutz noticed little motion with the Mountaineers, ending with simply two profession catches, however he mentioned taking part in for Nehlen and experiencing the fanbase in Morgantown made it an unimaginable expertise.

“I wouldn’t change it for something,” he mentioned. “Coach Nehlen is a man that I discovered methods to be a complete skilled each single day. I simply don’t suppose that man ever had a foul day. He was probably the most organized, detailed man I’ve ever been round.

“The perfect recollections from there are simply of how good the persons are…No phrases can describe the relationships I constructed with coaches, gamers and simply the way in which they handled you and the way passionate these individuals had been.”

Shawn deliberate to start out his teaching profession as a graduate assistant for the Mountaineers following his taking part in days however ended up at Slippery Rock by a reference to former WVU defensive lineman Joe Kopinsky, who was The Rock’s defensive coordinator on the time. Shawn has been at SRU ever since, finally working his method to head coach in 2016. He has a 59-17 file at SRU with three division championships, one convention championship and 4 NCAA playoff appearances.

Though he’s been away from WVU for greater than 20 years, Shawn mentioned he’ll always remember what taking part in for the Mountaineers was like.

“I used to be sort of in awe,” he mentioned, “whenever you exit and about, I don’t care if it’s Excessive Avenue or the Mountainlair or wherever, the vitality and the eagerness from folks that love the Mountaineers…You walked to the shop, mentioned you’re a soccer participant and so they suppose you’re like a star. I performed a little bit bit, I wasn’t an ideal participant, however they didn’t care. It was simply that you simply’re part of it was one thing and that was actually what impressed me to proceed to teach.”

Logan matriculated to Duquense from Grove Metropolis Excessive Faculty in Grove Metropolis, Pa., a brief distance from SRU, in 2020. He mentioned his father by no means pressured him to play for him at Slippery Rock.

“That was positively a dialog, however he needed me to go play on the highest degree doable,” Logan mentioned. “He all the time pushed for that and he helped me alongside the journey. I knew I all the time had a spot at Slippery Rock if I wanted it.”

Shawn’s center son, Gavin, will graduate from Grove Metropolis this yr and can also be getting school seems to be as a two-time Pennsylvania all-state defensive again. Like with Logan, Shawn is staying out of Gavin’s recruitment.

“I don’t get entangled in that. I need them to seek out their mark,” Shawn mentioned. “I would love one among them to come back to Slippery Rock, however no matter’s greatest for them is totally high quality for me.”

Now with totally different school groups, the daddy and son would not have very many alternatives to attend one another’s video games. 

“I gained’t have the ability to get to a lot of any of them,” Shawn mentioned. “We don’t have a bye week in Division-II. Even his Senior Day is identical time we play later within the yr. It’s horrible, however he’s completely satisfied.”

“It’s onerous,” Logan added. “Rising up, I’d all the time play my video games on Friday nights after which go watch him on Saturdays…It’s onerous, however we work by it and all the time name after the sport to see the way it went.”

Despite the fact that his father gained’t be there in particular person on Saturday, Logan will really feel a connection to Shawn, taking part in the identical place on the identical area he as soon as did.

“It’s a reasonably cool factor having the ability to go down there and see what he skilled and play on the identical area that he did,” Logan mentioned. “I performed large receiver in highschool after which at Duquesne my freshman yr, I obtained moved to tight finish. I assumed it was actually cool to play my dad’s place and observe in his footsteps.”

Though he by no means skilled taking part in in Morgantown as an opposing participant, Shawn nonetheless had some recommendation for what the expertise goes to be like for Logan on Saturday.

“I’m like ‘hear man, you’re going to get taunted as quickly as you get into Morgantown, they’re going to be rocking the bus, you’re going to get each fan yelling and screaming at you,’” Shawn mentioned. “That’s what school soccer is all about. The followers need it so dangerous…I simply needed to inform him how dangerous these followers need it. They need it simply as dangerous because the gamers, which is simply superb.”

West Virginia is 23-0 all-time in opposition to FCS opponents. Whereas Shawn mentioned he could be proud of a win by both staff on Saturday, Logan is hoping for not less than a little bit little bit of assist from his Mountaineer father.

“I perceive it’s his alma mater, however he may nonetheless root for us a little bit bit,” Logan mentioned with amusing.

The Mountaineers and Dukes will kick off at 6 p.m. inside Milan Puskar Stadium. The sport shall be broadcast on ESPN+.