WEBSTER SPRINGS, W.Va – There is a fresh attitude for the Webster County football team this fall with a new head coach and a new outlook on the future of the program.

Eddie Williams comes to Webster Springs this year from Roane County and he’s hit the ground running in establishing his culture for his first season in charge of the Highlanders.

“Really the main thing that I’m bringing over is just a family atmosphere, having a team built on family, love and respect,” he said. “We’re going to work hard, coach the guys hard but we’re going to love them every day and they’re going to love each other and that’s going to take them a long way.”

The transition at the head coaching position appears to have gone smoothly for the Highlanders with an increased excitement around the Webster County program from the players and what seems to be an early respect for the new man in charge.

“I think we’ve been taking it really well. A lot of the guys seem to like him. I like him real well,” senior lineman Ayden Clutter said, “It’s a good change and it’s definitely different but I definitely like it.”

A big part of the growing anticipation for the upcoming season is an inflated number of players who have come out for the Webster County team this year. As student interest in the program continues to grow, Williams believes that can only be a step in the right direction toward improvement.

“We’ve had about 28 guys consistently throughout the summer. They’ve bought in. They’re excited. I’m excited and its kind of rubbed off,” he said, “We’ve got some of the best numbers out that they’ve had around here in a while so its a little bit different change from where I’ve been but I’m excited for the challenge.”

While it would be easy to be distracted from the task at hand when it comes to building a progranm that will be successful for the long haul, Williams still has his focus centered in the incremental improvements that he wants to see out of his team, week in and week out.

“Our goal every week is to be 1-0. We’re not looking forward to anything past the front of our nose so we’re trying to improve every day so if we can come out every day 1-0 which means we’re getting better, that’s a win for us,” he said.

After a 2-8 finish last year, the Highlanders are ready for a turnaround under their new head coach. That has served as a catalyst for a new level of motivation when they turn up to the practice field every day.

“They’ve got energy. You can tell we want it this year. It’s a lot different from last year. We’ve got kids that want to be out here. You can just tell,” senior Noah Clutter said, “Some young guys are really stepping up too. They’ve surprised us. We’ve got some freshmen that are really mean. We want it this year.”

While there will obviously be a bit of a feeling out process once the lights come on Friday night, Williams feels like he has a team that’s ready to handle the changes he’s made in the offseason and that the pieces are there for a quality result this season.

“We’ve got some very athletic guys all the way across the board. We’ve got a couple guys that are new to the varsity scene but I think are really coming along in their own and out line group, I think as the season goes on, they start learning a little bit, they may become our strength,” he said.

Webster County kicks off its 2022 season on Friday at Richwood with the Wagon Wheel on the line.