FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — The Midland Trail Patriots found themselves in a roller coaster of a season, exiting the postseason right as it began.
A few months later, long-time head coach Frank Isaacs retired, and now they look to continue the legacy he left behind.
It starts with their first-year head coach Jeremy Moore. A long-time assistant coach with the Patriots, Moore wants to remind the state what Fayette County football is all about.
“We’re very blessed with the culture in place. They know the expectations. They know what it takes to be a Midland Trail Patriot. And they know what we expect as coaches and the young kids have done a great job of following suit,” said Moore.
Moore grew up learning from great football minds in the area like Coaches Frank Spangler, Terry Sizemore, Dave Moneypenny and Willie Marshall taught him the impact a coach can have both on and off the field, and wants to do the same for this group.
“You don’t really realize the impact of the coach until you get older and you’re like, Oh, that’s why they, they tried so hard. You don’t really appreciate those guys until you get older,” said Moore.
“Coach Moore has always looked out for me ever since I started kicking my freshman year and he has kind of stepped up like a father figure,” said Talon Shockey, a senior kicker and punter on the Patriots.
In 2021, it seemed every time the Patriots took one step forward, they took two steps back.
“We missed so much with the pandemic and stuff and then people getting injured and sick and missing.
We were not in shape like what we should have been. Its disheartening to watch that slip away in the third and fourth quarter,” said Zane Burford, a senior running back and linebacker.
The blue-collar boys out in Hico know with all of the obstacles in their path they are viewed as underdogs this year, which is exactly where they want to be.
“Oh, 100%. Everybody slept on us. And then come first game of the season, everybody’s gonna change their mind. Like, everybody thinks we lost everything from last year when we still have all these weapons that we had for our backup. And now everybody just steps up, and we are going to be more dominant than last year,” said Cody Harrell, senior wide receiver and quarterback.
“When you play a Fayette county team you know you’ve played them at the end of the night. And I think that is the ultimate compliment you can give a team, ‘you guys played hard, you played physical and we don’t wanna play you again’ and I think that’s been Fayette County football since I’ve been a kid,” said Moore.
Moore and his guys know consistency is key going into this season, and they say those on their schedule are in for a rude awakening come week one as they start their redemption arc when they host Clay County.