MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Spring Mills football program will begin a new era this season as former East Hardy coach Chad Williams has taken over following a long string of success at the Class A level.
“We left a great program at East Hardy, it’s not like I was anxious to get out,” Williams said. “Obviously I wasn’t satisfied with the way things ended last year (in the semifinals) and I was ready to go back and get to work.
“But I saw a great opportunity in Spring Mills,” he continued. “There are so many athletes and they have beautiful facilities. When I found out the job was coming open, I thought it would be a great opportunity and I’m loving it so far.”
Williams replaced Derek Munson who began the program when Spring Mills first opened in 2013. The Cardinals advanced to the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, but are still looking for a first win in the postseason.
“Coach Munson did a nice job in five years starting this program up,” Williams said. “We scrimmaged them every year that I was at East Hardy, so I got to watch a little bit for myself how they continued to improve every year. Now we’re just looking to take the next step.”
Spring Mills overall has a 24-29 record as a program, including a 1-9 mark in the school’s first year of existence.
“The talent is there to do it and the area is growing,” Williams said. “The school increases in enrollment every year. You couldn’t ask for a nicer facility in terms of a football facility and weight room that we have.
“All the pieces are there,” he continued. “Now it’s just about putting them together and seeing if we can take that next step beyond just making the playoffs, to winning some games and making a run all the way.”
Spring Mills’ opening-round playoff losses over the last three years have come to Capital in 2015 (62-7), Morgantown in 2016 (25-7) and University in 2017 (37-7).
Sophomore Keon Padmore-Johnson is expected to step in at quarterback this coming season for the Cardinals.
“He’s the exact type of quarterback that I like to have,” Williams said. “He can run, he can throw. He creates with his feet. He’s very similar and is cut from the same mold as guys like Corey McDonald that we’ve had in the past who can run and throw, beating defenses both ways and turning it into backyard football a little bit with the way they can run around.”
It’s a veteran group at other key spots for Spring Mills, both defensively and offensively, including seniors Caleb Tenney, Evin Hurt, Christian Henderson, Rohan Parchment and Mason Williams.
“We want to play as physical as we possibly can on defense, that’s what I’ve always tried to pride myself on,” Williams said. “Offensively, you’re going to see the spread, up-tempo, no-huddle. We’re going to take what the defense gives us, but we’re going to be wide-open, without a doubt.”
Williams’ teams at East Hardy went 81-19 over his last eight seasons there, including state runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2016, along with that semifinal run last year.
“It’s how far we can go with the program and how much we can take in year one, but I don’t see any reason why we can’t get it done right away,” he continued. “The first goal for us, though, has to be to win at least one playoff game. The best way to do that is to put yourself in position to host a playoff game.”
2018 Football Schedule
|2||08/31/18||7:00PM||A –||WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL||–|
|5||09/21/18||7:00PM||A –||S. HAGERSTOWN, MD H.S.||–|
|6||09/28/18||7:00PM||A –||BOONSBORO, MD H.S.||–|
|9||10/19/18||7:00PM||H –||MOUNTAIN RIDGE, MD H.S.||–|
|10||10/26/18||7:00PM||H –||N. HAGERSTOWN, MD H.S.||–|
|11||11/02/18||7:00PM||A –||HEDGESVILLE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL||–|
|wins: 0 lost: 0 ties: 0|