CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Washington head coach Mark Hash has seen his program grow considerably since its first season back in 2008. The No. 11 Patriots (6-3) head into Friday’s regular season finale against Jefferson battling for position in their first ever playoff appearance.

“We feel we’re already in and have solidified our spot in the playoffs,” Hash said. “If we lose, which we aren’t anticipating, we’ll be at No. 14 or No. 15. Jefferson is playing to get in, which would be big for them because they have struggled for the four or five years.”

Washington, meanwhile, has solidified its playoff positioning by winning four straight games after a 2-3 start that included losses to Sherando, Va., Handley, Va., and three-time defending state champion Martinsburg.

Christopher C. Davis/Clark’s Artistic Photography

Washington’s Kendell Smith has had a big season for the Patriots offensively, collecting 49 catches for 782 yards and 11 touchdowns.

“We played three really, really good teams over that three-week stretch,” Hash said. “We’ve only played two teams on our schedule with losing records, although Hedgesville has a losing record now.”

Washington had two wins back in 2008, one win in 2009, four wins in 2010, five wins in 2011 and just three wins a year ago. This year, though, the Patriots have finally gotten over the hump. Hash credits a lot of the turnaround to veteran depth overall.

“We finally have some seniors – we have 19 seniors this year and we’ve never had any more than eight,” Hash said. “We’ve had great leadership, and we’ve also had great practices. We’ve been trying to teach our kids how to practice for years. This year we’ve been real consistent in our practices. We’re excited about what we’re doing and we feel our team is battle tested with the schedule we’ve played.”

The Patriots this season are led by several playmakers, including senior Kendell Smith who has 49 catches for 782 yards and 11 touchdowns on the year. Last week in a win over Hampshire, Smith finished with nine catches for 173 yards and three touchdowns. He also added a defensive score as well.

“In my opinion, he’s the best athlete in the state of West Virginia,” Hash said. “He’s 6-foot-5, 210 pounds with a 4.5 40. He’s been really unbelievable. Our other players in the program have really come a long ways as far as strength and size. We’re really excited about things and where our program is at right now.”

Jefferson, on the other side of Friday’s matchup, has also taken significant strides under head coach Craig Hunter.

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  • coach13

    I said#2

  • coach13

    Yes Gustines,Harris,and Smith are at #1and2sin their positions....but lets talk defense...Zane Bradbury is#1 and Mark Becraft#4 in sacks with Jake Kidwell#10... and the D-line is really fast to the ball they play great team D...and let not forget the #2 PAT leader in the state Kaleigh Pierce... GO PAT!!

    • MHSdog93

      Im not sure about the PAT leaders

  • Ronda

    The other side of the story, is that WHS has lost 2 coaches, one to a sudden heart attack, and one to brain cancer. Last year's state rated quarterback lost his senior season to cancer treatments. (he is fine now) This team has been battle tested off the field as well. They have come through it all as a family. The parents, players, coaches are a tight knit group. They have learned that there is more to football then the scoreboard every Friday. Their success has been hard earned and is well deserved. GO PATRIOTS!!

  • John Doe

    Nah, that kid actually sounds like D-1 talent. He already offered Stone Wolfley and Amani Brown from MHS. That will be enough, the rest can come from Oklahoma or Texas.

  • KX

    Top 3 AAA WV leaders I believe.. from Gustines rushing, Harris passing, Smith catching to Bradbury tackling.

  • mounty

    This kid is special and has played QB. I hear he has the best arm on the team and can really throw it. The best thing is he is a 3.5 student and is a very good young man.

  • Say What?

    Holgerson should ask the kid if he can play QB.

  • Chris

    Not going to happen anytime soon hes here for a bit.

  • Matt

    Holgs needs to walk away. All the way back to Texas.

  • Patrick

    6'5" 201 and runs a 4.5. Holgs needs to look at this guy for a possible walk-on!

    • Bulldogs89

      Kid not that good look what he does vs a real team like Martinsburg.

    • Patrick