WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. — Of all the programs with winning traditions around West Virginia, Williamstown’s annual expectations don’t take a back seat to anyone. The Yellowjackets haven’t missed the playoffs in twenty years. That is by far the longest streak in Class A.
Chris Beck knows the expectations well. The former Williamstown player and longtime assistant is taking over for Terry Smith, who led WHS to 33 postseason wins and 2 state titles in 16 seasons.
“I couldn’t have learned from someone any better,” said Beck. “In my opinion, he is the best small school coach in the state the last few years, hands down. There’s going to be some tweaks obviously, some things the way I would like to do things. We’re going to change them a little bit but hopefully our calling card is still the same. When you play us, you are going to play a physical football team that plays good defense, runs the ball well, and are in pretty good shape.”
Williamstown went 10-3 last fall, losing at top-seeded Doddridge County in the state semifinals. While an impressive senior class, led by 1,800-yard rusher Ty Moore has moved on, a large senior class returns for the Jackets this fall.
“We’re excited about the seniors we’ve got coming back. Brady Ankrom, Leewood Molessa, Josh Ingram, Nick Bower, Brayden Modesitt just to name a few are definitely picking up where those guys left off leading this team and doing a really good job.”
Senior Brayden Modesitt won a training camp battle for the starting quarterback spot last fall and accounted for 1,797 yards of total offense and 17 total touchdowns in the regular season.
“I learned a lot,” Modesitt said. “My past coach, Scott Moore, he was very helpful to me. He pushed me through the whole season. He told me that I could get better and he made me better. That’s one of the reasons how I got here today.”
“You could see him grow throughout the season,” Beck said. “He is a leader. He is a competitor and somebody I have complete confidence in. I am really excited to see him this year as we put more in his hands on offense.”
While new skill players will surround Modesitt, he will go to work behind a line that returns mostly intact.
“Offensive line, we should be pretty good,” Beck said. “We’re going to start four guys coming back that are going to be seniors. Bower, Ingram, Ankrom and Molessa — we’re really excited about what we have up front.
“We want those expectations. We welcome those. We look forward to trying to uphold that tradition and put a good product on the field.”