WAYNE, W.Va. — After winning its last 23 straight games by an average of 36 points, there’s no doubt Wayne is the hunted and everyone else in Class AA the hunter.
“As far as having the target on us, the alternative would be that no one is thinking about you,” said Wayne head coach Tom Harmon. “So I guess we want to have it. We just have to play as good as we can.”
The Pioneers, of course, have won the last two Class AA state championship games by a combined score of 69-7. Harmon’s squad knows they are going to get everyone’s best shot each Friday night.
“One thing that has worked for us is not spending too much time looking at the past and not pointing at any one opponent,” Harmon said. “The reality is, match-ups are going to be different every week.
“There may be teams that don’t have a good record, but you don’t match-up with them very well,” he continued. “We really do try to take a one week at a time. It’s kind of wasted energy when you plan too much and it doesn’t work out.”
Although Wayne isn’t quite at the top of Class AA in terms of enrollment, the Pioneers certainly have the fan base of a Class AAA school.
“We’ve had a community that supports our players year-in, year-out,” Harmon said. “Here lately, we’ve had guys who have played for us in the past and they start having sons who want to play. The pride factor gets a little bigger every year.”
While the Pioneers will have to replace first team all-state running Brandon Spurlock, opposing coaches may lose sleep knowing there’s another Spurlock waiting the wings.
Nathan Spurlock was a second team all-state defensive selection at linebacker last season.
“Brandon got all the recognition and was very deserving of it, but Nathan has some assets in his own right,” Harmon said. “He’s really good linebacker. He’s tough and a kid that’s coachable. You can hang your hat on him in a tough game. You know what kind of effort he’s going to give.”
Spurlock will be joined in the backfield by bruiser Mason Hodge who has received plenty of attention and accolades as well. Wayne also has the luxury of returning first team all-state quarterback Grant Ferguson who heads into his junior season.
“He’s the general of things out there,” Harmon said. “He does a nice job of making those around him better. The way their attitude has been they will make great leaders for us.”
As for how preseason practices have been going so far?
“The big blocks are in place. We just have to get our right combinations of kids and make sure they understand what we’re doing,” he said.
And the veteran coach will have plenty of combinations to play with as 80 kids have been on the practice field this preseason.
“We have them crawling all over each other right now,” Harmon said.
2013 Football Schedule
|2||09/06/13 07:30PM||A||CHESAPEAKE,OH H.S.||-|
|5||10/04/13 07:30PM||A||MINGO CENTRAL||-|
|7||10/18/13 07:30PM||A||HERBERT HOOVER||-|
– Wes McKinney