Spring Valley’s hard-running Chafin hungry for state title
SPRING VALLEY - Owen Chafin craves his first carry in a state championship football game.
Spring Valley High School played in the Class AAA title contest each of the last two seasons, but the Timberwolves’ senior running back didn’t see action in either game. As a sophomore, Chafin played for South Point High School. After transferring to Spring Valley as a junior, he suffered a late-season broken leg that sidelined him.
“I think we can make it all the way back if we stay healthy and do the best we can,” Chafin said. “We’ve had that taste in our mouth and we want more.”
The Timberwolves lost to Martinsburg each of the last two seasons and would love another shot at the Bulldogs or any other foe in December at Wheeling Island Stadium. How far Spring Valley goes depends, in part on Chafin, a speedy, yet strong, runner who opened the season Friday with 112 rushing yards on eight attempts. He carried on the Timberwolves first two plays, gaining one yard on his initial rush, then 63 yards for a touchdown on his second carry as Spring Valley defeated Wayne 49-8.
“I just waited for the right time and saw grass and ran,” Chafin said of his touchdown sprint behind a massive and talented offensive line that features Ohio State University commitment Doug Nester, University of Louisville commitment Zach Williamson and another likely college player in left guard Luke Jarrell.
Where Chafin will play college ball is to be determined. The 5-foot-10, 198-pounder owns multiple options, thanks to his considerable talent and a 3.6 GPA. Chafin said he desires to be an engineer, either mechanical or chemical.
“It’s so much fun,” Chafin said. “It’s hands on work and it’s computer work. It’s different.”
Chafin led the Timberwolves in rushing last season with more than 800 yards. He could have had more, but Spring Valley uses multiple backs out of its Wing-T attack, as evidenced by the Wayne game when fullback Isaac Howard ran eight times for 50 yards and halfback/receiver/quarterback Graeson Malashevich carried four times for 33 to go with two catches for 121 yards and a touchdown.
“We always rotate backs and share carries,” Chafin said. “Isaac gets carries, I get carries, Graseon does everything.”
Timberwolves coach Brad Dingess said Chafin has fit in well since arriving from South Point.
“He’s a hard runner,” Dingess said. “He works hard and puts himself in good shape to be successful. he’s a smart kid and a good teammate.”
Chafin praised those teammates, from his blockers, to backfield mates and receivers to the defenders and special teams players. He said coming from South Point, an Ohio school that would be Class A in West Virginia and went 2-18 in his two seasons there, to Class AAA Spring Valley with more than 1,000 students was an adjustment. Chafin said he has fond memories of South Point and remains friends with his former Pointers classmates.
“It was a game changer for me,” Chafin said of playing at a high division. “This is big-boy football, not that it wasn’t at South Point, but there are guys here with extreme talent. The community support is so strong. It was a blessing for me to come here.”
Chafin believes in blessings. He give God credit for giving him opportunities, especially for healing his asthma which threatened to end his football-playing days.
“God has changed my life in so many ways it’s crazy,” Chafin said. “With my asthma, I couldn’t do anything outdoors. I prayed about it and God gave me the power and strength to play baseball. I prayed for extra strength to play football and He gave me that, too. I wouldn’t be here without Him.”