FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Shake Eakle knows he has his work cut out to try and rebuild the East Fairmont High School football program.
Yet Eakle, who was introduced Friday inside the EFHS gym as the Bees’ new head coach, is looking forward to the challenge that awaits as he takes over a program with just one win over the last two seasons.
“It starts with us and ultimately it starts with me at the top,” Eakle said. “We have to do the right thing as a coaching staff and get the kids to buy in and believe. Hopefully we get out there on Friday nights and we’re competitive and the kids are going hard. People can respect that and they get excited when kids are playing hard and that’s really what we’re looking for at East Fairmont.
“If we do the right things off the field and in the offseason, it’ll translate to what we want to see on the field.”
A veteran assistant coach at Tuker County with a focus on defense, Eakle will now oversee his alma mater, which finished the 2018 season with an 0-10 record and was outscored 433-49.
Eakle believes changing the culture and attitude of the program is a big part of making it more relevant again.
“One of the things is taking what I’ve learned over the last ten years at Tucker County coaching with guys like Tom Gutshall and A.J. Rapp and kind of instilling a work ethic in the kids so they take pride in everything they do on and off the field,” Eakle said. “If we can start to do that, hopefully we can start to see that pay off on Friday nights.”
East Fairmont athletic director James Beckman was impressed with Eakle during the school’s search for a replacement for Wes Eddy, who held the head coaching position for the last two seasons.
“There were eight applicants for this football position. We interviewed all eight and once Shane went through the interview process, he was our man,” Beckman said. “He’s a perfect fit for East Fairmont High School.”