At an institution with more than 100 years of tradition like Parkersburg High School, the word "new'' seldom is used to describe anything involving the state's most successful high school football program.
But it's an appropriate word to use around the Big Reds football camp this summer as PHS prepares for the upcoming 2012 season.
Not only have the Big Reds changed their philosophy when it comes to physical conditioning, but coach Don Reeves -about to enter his third season as Parkersburg's head coach -has made a number of staff changes.
Reeves was an assistant coach on Bernie Buttrey's staff when the Big Reds won back-to-back state championships in 2006 and 2007. During those years, the Big Reds employed a weightlifting program that placed a huge emphasis on strength.
PHS is going back to that program.
"We've got to get bigger physically,'' said Reeves, whose team will have only one starting lineman returning from last year's squad that lost in the opening round of the state playoffs.
The weightlifting program is highly organized. Each player gets a computer program of how much weight to use on every lift.
The results, says Reeves, already are obvious. The players not only can tell the difference in their level of strength, but they also are enjoying participating in the program.
Reeves says the Big Reds, who have struggled for defensive consistency, must play physically tougher.
The coaching staff has come up with training methods designed to accomplish that goal. They've had the team join local distance runner Sharon Marks for a 6 a.m. winter run through the City Park and work out with the Army National Guard.
Reeves has named Kevin Welsh, who has more than 30 years of coaching experience, as the defensive coordinator, with Sean Smith serving as offensive coordinator. Welsh also will work with the offensive line and linebackers while Smith, a former Marshall University quarterback, will work with the Big Red signal-callers.
Former Big Red standouts Matt Kimes and Joey Lindamood return with Kimes working with running backs and safeties and Lindamood working with running backs and defensive ends. Dustin Ludolph will coach the JV team as well as work with the offensive and defensive linemen. Paul Sparks will continue to be in charge of special teams and equipment.
Reeves lost the services of Jason Woodyard, who landed a job that doesn't allow him the time to coach, as well as Murray Mace and Jay Lindamood, who wanted to spend more family time.
Reeves has added former Waterford High School head coach Chad Ross, who will work with both the offensive and defensive lines and John Prater, a former all-state high school player in Texas who played for the University of Wyoming. Prater, who coached at the Division 2 level for two years, recently moved to the Mid-Ohio Valley.
He will work with tight ends and linebackers.
Contact Dave Poe at email@example.com