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New school, elevated expectations for Class AA runner-up Herbert Hoover

FALLING ROCK, W.Va. — Herbert Hoover played on the state’s biggest stage last fall by winning ten consecutive games, including three postseason games on the road. Victories at Clay County, Winfield and Frankfort were needed for the Huskies to advance to the Super Six.

“Being on the road, the experience and everything of going up to Wheeling, the Frankfort trip was probably my favorite going up there,” said Herbert Hoover senior lineman Kole Johnson. “We were underdogs going into that one. Winfield, that was an underdog one too, beating them by one point.”

“Since I have been here, those past three teams we have gotten better as the season went on,” said Herbert Hoover head coach Joey Fields. “That’s a credit to our coaching staff and how our players approached every day.”

Despite unprecedented success, Fields and the veterans on the Herbert Hoover team are making sure that the great memories from 2022 are just that, memories.

“That’s last year. This is our year,” Johnson said. “It is a different team. We are going to set our own story. It gives us a little bit of a boost but that was also last year and we want to set our own story this year.”

“We’re very proud of what we accomplished but it can do no more for us,” Fields said. “It is about approaching each day and getting better. I know that sounds cliche but that’s what we try to do.”

As Fields enters his fourth season guiding the Huskies, he welcomes back perhaps the most experienced offensive and defensive lines during his tenure. That unit will plow the road for a group of running backs led by junior Rocco Frye. He rushed for 1,008 yards and a dozen touchdowns last fall. Two-year starting quarterback Dane Hatfield returns to engineer the Husky offense. The junior accounted for 46 total touchdowns and just over three-thousand yards of total offense in 2022.

“Dane’s a great player,” Fields said. “He’s had a good offseason. I like his approach thus far.”

Seven years after flood waters tore through their community, the Huskies will play their first games at the brand new Herbert Hoover High School next month.

“I haven’t been to a high school my entire life. I don’t think any of us have,” said Herbert Hoover senior lineman Zac Greer. “That’s just something I don’t think any of us can wait for. It is going to be awesome.”

“The pictures do no justice, is what I tell them,” Johnson said. “Going up and seeing it, the logo and everything, it is going to be pretty nice.”

“It think that we are even a little more antsier now than we have been because we know what’s coming,” Fields said. “A lot of the guys have still not been up there or saw any of it. We’re excited. This community is excited. The school is excited and our staff and students. We are looking forward to getting home.”

Herbert Hoover will host a scrimmage game against John Marshall High School on August 19. JMHS alumnus Brad Paisley will attend the scrimmage. Hoover’s first regular season home game will be against Cardinal Conference rival Nitro on September 8.

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