PREVIEW: Barr Has Wahama Poised For Another Playoff Run In 1st Full Season As Coach< < Back to
Editor's Note: Over the next two weeks our reporters will be bringing you team previews for each team in the SEOAL, TVC-Ohio, TVC-Hocking, and our West Virginia teams. We continue in the TVC-Hocking, where Trimble and Wahama are still the top teams.
The Wahama White Falcons enter the 2014 season with several changes throughout the program. Dave Barr starts his first season as a full-time head coach after being named interim coach after Ed Cromley resigned midseason in 2013, and some of the White Falcons’ top players from the past few seasons have moved on.
Wahama finished the 2013 season 9-1 overall, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the West Virginia state playoffs last season before losing to Madonna, who went on to win the state title. The White Falcons’ lone loss in the regular season came to TVC-Hocking champions Trimble by a score of 12-7 during week two.
The toughest loss for the White Falcons is losing running back Kane Roush, who was the school’s all-time leading rusher and the 2013 Gridiron Glory Player of the Year, and has since continued his football career at the University of Charleston.
Although it will not be easy to replace the production that Roush gave the team, Barr said he is not worried about the offense having a down year with his departure.
“I don’t think you really replace (Roush),” Barr said. “We’re not putting that kind of pressure on any one of our players to fill a role in a way that Kane did for us. We do have a handful of guys that have a lot of strength in their own skillset and bring things to the table of their own.”
Some of those players the White Falcons are expecting to step up are running back Demitirius Serevicz–who Barr describes as a physical runner with good speed–and Jared Nutter, who can play both wide receiver and running back. The White Falcons also have running backs Timmy Gibbs and Hunter Trent to help carry the load throughout the season.
Wahama will also have to make up for the departure of quarterback Hunter Bradley, who was also lost to graduation after last season. As of now, former Meigs quarterback Kaileb Sheets–who transferred to Wahama this year—is penciled in as the No. 1 quarterback.
“He’s a solid football player,” Barr said of Sheets. “[He’s] going to be playing quarterback for us, and he’ll do a nice job for us.”
Replacing the all-time leading rusher in Roush and a leader like Bradley will be difficult for the White Falcons, but there are some players who Barr believes will step up and lead the team in 2014.
“We have three guys up front – Brent Lark, Jesse Hesson, and Clayton Sines – who have been starters for an extended period of time for us and who I feel our offensive line is our strength for our football team,” Barr said.
“We also return our tight end Garrett Miller,” he said, “who is a very good blocker and has really improved as a receiver over the offseason. They give us up front the push we need to be able to run the ball the way we want.”
The White Falcons’ first game is Friday against Ravenswood, a consistent playoff contender, and was the 2010 Class AA state runner-up.
“In a town like Ravenswood, they know what it’s about,” Barr said. “You know that they’re going to line up and come after you and play tough.It’s going to be a big challenge for us, but we’re in a similar setting. And that has been a rivalry game for us in the past, so we are thrilled to have them back on the schedule, but we respect them and see them for what it is. It’s a big challenge.”
'Gridiron Glory' airs every Friday night at 11:30 p.m. on WOUB. You can follow the show on Twitter @gridironglory, like the Gridiron Glory page on Facebook, and follow along on Instagram @woubsports. You can also join the conversation throughout the season by using the hashtag #GridGlory.