Updated Fri, Aug 16, 2013 5:27 pm
Editor’s Note: Three-Point Stance is Gridiron Glory’s written preview series leading up to its 15th season on WOUB. Gridiron is visiting training camps for all 32 teams in the coverage area as they prepare for the 2013 football season. The series continues in the TVC-Hocking, where eight teams look to dethrone a defending state champ.
Coming off of a state championship might present challenges to some teams in terms of motivation, but Mason County’s own, the Wahama White Falcons, are back on the grind. After going 10-0 in the regular season, and bulldozing their way through West Virginia’s finest in the Class A state tournament, Wahama defeated Madonna High School by a score of 43-42 to take the title, finishing at 14-0. Now Ed Cromley, in his 19th year at the helm of the team, is working his boys back into championship form.
1. Returning the Big Boys
The White Falcons lose some important pieces, The most glaring of which is First team All-TVC-Hocking Quarterback Trenton Gibbs. White Falcon fans don’t have too much to worry about, though, as transfer Hunter Bradley will step in at the quarterback position for Wahama after a Class AA first team all-state selection for Roane County in the 2012 season. A year ago, The White Falcons ran all over TVC-Hocking defenses, putting up 45.5 points per game in conference play. Wahama returns all five starting offensive linemen from a year ago, all of whom factor to see some time on the defensive line as well.
Colten Neal and Kane Roush (an All-State First Team selection after rushing for 1,803 yards and 30 touchdowns) will likely see a majority of the carries this year. With a primarily rushing offense (exemplified for example by when they rushed for 551 yards in the first round of the state playoffs versus Buffalo), there will be a mix of hard-nosed between the tackles rushing, and explosive plays turned in by a number of talented White Falcons.
2. A Stout Defense
After shutting down opposing offenses, the 2013 Wahama White Falcons defense comes back looking for more of the same. Allowing 15.6 points per game in conference play in the 2012 season continued an ongoing trend of lockdown defense in the Cromley era, and Coach isn’t changing a lot to maintain that. Zack Killingsworth will return to hold down the Wahama defensive line (while anchoring the offensive line as well). They don’t throw too many confusing looks at opposing offenses; they focus on the fundamentals that they work on, on a daily basis in practice.
3. Business as Usual
After achieving success since the early 2000’s (Wahama has consistently been a fixture in the West Virginia state football playoffs), winning is nothing new in Mason, West Virginia. It’s something locals have come to expect year in and year out. Wahama sent off six seniors after their state championship and returned 11 more to be the new leaders this season. Cromley was adamant that the team would not change much, and would make adjustments whenever they saw fit. In three years of TVC-Hocking play, Cromley’s bunch has yet to lose to a conference foe. 31 straight regular season victories isn’t usually something that comes about as a result of constant change. Really, there doesn’t seem to be much change in this Wahama program at all. It’s really just the same old Wahama team. And the sky is still the limit for the White Falcons.
Wahama opens its season at home and out of conference against Fayetteville (W.Va.) Friday Aug. 30.
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