WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — There’s a new face at the helm in White Sulphur Springs. Following the retirement of longtime football coach Barry Hedrich, Travis Novark takes over the Hornets.
Hedrich was best known for his prolific passing offenses while White Sulphur Springs was in 8-Man, making the Hornets a perennial contender. Hedrich recently helped WSS successfully transition to the 6-Man ranks.
“I know what kind of hours and dedication that takes,” Novark said. “Fourteen years, my hat’s off to Barry. That takes a lot of time, a lot of dedication if you can do it. Big shoes to fill. He’s ran a solid program for years. I respect the heck out of it”
Although it’s Novark’s first season, expectations are sky high after last season ended with a disappointing loss in the 6-Man semifinals. The Hornets were ousted in the semifinals by Bridger, 64-36.
“Finally last year, we know we’re capable of (a deep playoff run) and doing more,” Novark said. “You kind of got to get past that threshold to get your confidence built up and kind of get a little bit of a culture going, and nice thing, like I said, is five returning starters from last year. That helps. They’ve got the experience, they know what it takes to get there.”
The Hornets have set some lofty goals for this season. With those five returning starters, including all-state selection Will Collins and cousin Isaac, White Sulphur Springs is primed to improve upon last year’s playoff run.
“I think it’s pretty good. It’s pretty important because we all know each other and know our abilities,” Isaac said.
“Just hard work, dedication, keeping eligible in school, that’s going to be the biggest thing for most of the kids. Staying healthy,” Will said about what it takes for another deep run.
If all the pieces come together, White Sulphur Springs is among the favorites to challenge for the 6-Man state title.