PADEN CITY, W.Va. (WTRF) — The Paden City Wildcats are in new territory this season after watching longtime Coach Brett Crossman retire from the sidelines.
However, new Head Coach Zach Heasley, who is also a Paden City High School alumnus, is excited to take over the reigns as head coach of his Alma Mater.
“It’s just unbelievable to be able to come back home and coach these guys,” said Coach Heasley. “It’s kind of always been a dream to coach. The ability to be home and give back to my community has been huge.”
In his first season, Coach Heasley will have plenty of options to work with.
Senior Ethan Cross is in at Quarterback and Clayton Thomas will star as the team’s starting Running Back.
“Ethan Cross, who is a senior, is a very good vocal senior leader,” said Coach Heasley. “Also we have our Running Back, Clayton Thomas, who is just an absolute freak in the weight room. He squats over 400 pounds, benches over 300 pounds and deadlifts over 500, so you can’t ask more from a Running Back besides speed, which he has.”
Linebacker Jake Amos will spend time alongside Senior Jeff Billiter on defense, who plays Tackle and Defensive End.
“I played D-line in college so I might be biased but I think our strength is D-line,” said Coach Heasley. “We’re very strong up front. We’re very violent with our hands so I’m excited to see how we move upfront.”
Although the end game is advancing to the Super Six Tournament, Coach Heasley is hopeful his players will learn life lessons beyond the football field.
“Of course, the end goal, everyone wants to be on the Island,” said Coach Heasley. “They want to win a state championship but we have got take it one step at a time and try to go 1-0 every week.”
2019 REGULAR-SEASON SCHEDULE
8/30 — @Frontier
9/6 — Wirt County
9/13 — @Van Senior
9/20 — Bridgeport
9/27 — @Hundred
10/4 — @Cameron
10/11 — Clay-Battlelle
10/18 — BYE WEEK
10/25 — Hancock
11/1 — @Beallsville
11/8 — Valley (Wetzel)