Updated Fri, Aug 30, 2013 12:18 pm
The 2012 Wahama White Falcons opened up the season with a convincing 35-7 win over the Fayetteville Pirates. The White Falcons garnished momentum from the season opener and ran through the schedule with steam, ending with a perfect 15-0 record and winning their first state championship in school history. One year and six days later, the 2013 White Falcons begin the quest to defend their title with a rematch against the Pirates.
Fayetteville’s opening loss to Wahama a season ago marked a season-long trend of losing. The pirates ended the 2012 campaign winless, struggling to put the ball in the end zone. Fayetteville will have its hands full with the reigning state champs, who return star tailback Kane Roush, an All-State first team selection who ran for over 1,800 yards in 2012. Roush isn't the only White Falcon expected to have a big year. Coach Ed Cromley believes Colton Neal will have a breakout season after moving to fullback. "Colton didn't have many carries last year; he performed well when he did,” Cromley said. "He has been working hard in the offseason, and we are expecting a big contribution from him.”
The biggest question mark for Wahama heading into the offseason was at the quarterback position, after losing the talented Trenton Gibbs to graduation. Luckily for the White Falcons, transfer Hunter Bradley is waiting and ready. Bradley, a Class AA First Team All-State selection out of Roane County will be the man under center. Adjusting to a new team can be very tough, however Cromley believes the transition will be smooth. "Hunter works hard, his work ethic alone will have him ready,” he said.
The biggest challenge for the White Falcons will be the adjustment of having a target on their back every week. Cromley believes the key is to just go out and play.
"We must play every game the same no matter who the opponent is,” Cromley said. "We can't go into games thinking that we are better than others.”
Wahama kicks off its title defense against Ripley Friday at 7:30 p.m.