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Best laid plans may not work

New Parkersburg South athletic director Jennifer Null and first-year Paden City head football coach Zach Heasley might have two entirely different jobs, but they’re trying to put in all the necessary work to be as successful as possible.

Indeed, Null has a plethora of things to concern herself with when it comes to running everything in the athletic department.

For Heasley, a dream job and opportunity is finally at hand but he and his coaching staff are trying to get enough players to field a team and avoid the fate of not having football in 2020 like Parkersburg Catholic.

“We’re going to have about 12, 13 guys and eight of the 12 guys are brand new, either freshmen or guys who have joined the team and playing for the first time,” Heasley said.

Due to COVID-19, the Wildcats lost two weeks of their three-week summer period.

“I didn’t get a true opportunity to see how some of these guys can play,” added the coach. “We would like to have more kids. That’s the bottom line. It’s not like we only have 12 guys who are able to come play.”

Although Heasley is hitting the ground running so to speak, Null had the opportunity to shadow former South AD Roger Thompson.

“I’m settled in and everything is ready to go,” Null said. “Everything is so fluid and I’m trying to keep communication with our coaches and making sure we can do what’s best for our student-athletes.

“We went back to Phase II this week and our coaches and athletes are conditioning and they are doing a phenomenal job. I’m super proud of them and our athletes and our whole community for being patient with everything.”

Null noted Thompson was “very organized” and admitted of being able to work with him during his last month “that transition time was good to have. It allowed me the opportunity to pick his brain.

“The biggest thing is communication with our coaches and southside community with all the changes. Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s almost daily.”

Heasley is pounding the proverbial streets on a daily basis hoping he can field a team, but times are much different now than when they were during his playing days at his alma mater.

“We have four or five guys who started for us last year who didn’t come back out,” Heasley admitted. “That’s the big issue and it’s a little sad. I don’t want to get on them too much to come out and play. We’ve tried to talk to parents about the values of our program and we’d like to have their son come play for us and we’re not getting good feedback.

“I couldn’t tell you the last time we’ve had 12, 13 guys fielded at the beginning of the season. If it wasn’t for this coronavirus we wouldn’t be in this situation. All the kids who quit were in the weight room the entire offseason and got into some new hobbies. It’s kind of the situation we are in.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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