GLENVILLE, W.Va. (WBOY) — Ben Hall is no stranger to Gilmer County athletics as he was the head wrestling and baseball coaches this past year at the school.
After Thomas Cogar resigned as the Titans head football coach last year, the position sparked Hall’s interest to lead players—including his sons—on the gridiron.
“Football has always been a passion of mine, I’ve coached probably about 17 years,” the former Robert C. Byrd and South Harrison coach said. “When the opportunity came and the job came open, I was like man, I want a part of this. I’ve seen what (the kids) can do (and) the heart that these kids have makes it easy to coach.”
Hall will be tasked with turning around a Titans team that finished 3-7 last year and hasn’t made it to the postseason in two years. On defense, you can expect the Titans to run a 4-4 or 4-3. On offense, they are looking to draw up a balanced attack with a focus on physicality and intensity.
“We are smashmouth football now,” Ben Hall added. “We’re going to show that we got that hardcore power (and) that we’re going to be able to throw it around like we always have, but now we’re going to sprinkle in a lot of our power in your face kind of football.”
“The intensity is way higher and with different plays that we’re running and everything – it kind of brings that intensity up, especially with smashmouth football,” senior OL/DL Skylar Hulse said.
The sound of smashmouth football rings music to senior running back Colton Hall’s ears.
“I grew up with just running the ball down people’s throats and it’s just a fun way to play the game,” Colton said.
This team’s mission to make it back to the postseason for the first time in two years started with players buying in during the offseason.
“We’ve been putting in a lot of effort during practices, during lifts, just all of the stuff during the offseason,” Senior OL/DL Grant Butler said.
“The summer was definitely very different,” Hulse said. “Usually, we have about 10-15 kids to come out to our workouts, but this year we had about 20-25 kids come in and put in work every day.”
Their coaches believe that extra work will pay off for the team when they host Calhoun for week one on Friday night.
“I think what it would take is these guys seeing the fruits of their labor. You know a lot of times that you plant a field it takes a lot of time to see that crop bust out of the ground,” Ben said. “When they see that taste of the first victory or two, next thing you know – it starts to show what we planted in the summer is actually working although we couldn’t see it and now let’s get excited and watch this thing grow.”
After postseason projections listed Gilmer County at 3-7, the players are motivated to prove the doubters wrong.
“I don’t think they are ready for what we are going to bring out,” Hulse said.
“We’re ready to go whip up on Calhoun and we’re ready to win,” Butler said.