In January, Buckhannon-Upshur football coach Bill Struble retired from coaching. Struble spent time at both B-U and down the road at West Virginia Wesleyan College. However this year, the Bucs have a new head coach, one very familiar with the program.
"I've been here 16 years as an assistant coach," said new Head Coach Duane Stoeckle. "I started off with the Freshman team, and have been an assistant the last several years under coach Struble, coach Chips, coach Vincent before that, and coach Hill and Fisher before that."
Stoeckle may have been around for 16 season, but don't expect that to mean this year's team will be the same ole Bucs.
"The whole attitude of the team has changed," said senior Tyler Demastes. "It's stricter, we've got a better schedule and it's running smoother."
"It's definitely more upbeat, more positive. The energy is more different," said senior Daniel Nolte.
The energy is just the tip of the iceberg at B-U.
Stoeckle's new triple-option offense should play into Seth Cutright's wheelhouse. A year ago Cutright tallied more than 1,000 yards and 8 rushing touchdowns.
"If we had big, huge linemen year in year out we could run a little more power football," said Stoeckle. "We are going to try some triple-option, it gives us an advantage to what we usually have year in year out, once in a while we get those big guys, but not very often, so we think that'll be to our advantage."
Last year B-U tallied just a lone win. Stoeckle is very specific about his team's goals this season.
"Our goal right now is to be the best team we can be," he said. "If that comes with a bunch of wins than great, but if we see improvement, which we have from our first day of camp through now, than that's good enough for me. We're really trying get our players to believe they can succeed. We say the word 'BUCS' Believe U Can Succeed. That's our motto."
Buckhannon-Upshur opens the season at home against Bridgeport August 30.