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Heasley a shot in the arm for PC

By Staff | Jul 3, 2019

I started watching Paden City Head Football Coach Zach Heasley play sports when he was 14 years old, maybe15. He was a pretty good ballplayer back then as a young freshman three sports star for the Wildcats and a starter in all three throughout high school. I told his coach back then he was going to be a good one and he didn’t disappoint.

Back in the late sixties and early seventies I remember helping his Great grandfather run his ditch witch as they dug the ditch for the power cables to the old light poles. The Heasley family has always been there when called upon. I was a little boy when his grandfather Ron Senior, played on the 1960 state championship basketball team. His great uncle Larry was a friend of mine, he was a good football player for the Cat’s back in the mid-sixties. Zach’s uncle Lance was on the Wildcats 1987 undefeated state championship basketball team. He comes from a long line of good Heasley athletes.

Zach came out of Paden City as one of their best athletes and went on to have a stellar football career at West Liberty University. He is very energetic and knowledgeable of the game and is working extremely hard to deliver that mindset to the schools’ athletes. It takes more than a year or two to rebuild a program, however this guy is mature beyond his years and from all indications he’ll have the Cat’s back in the spotlight sooner than later.

“I care a great deal about these guys and this community,” said Coach Heasley. ” When I accepted this job, I did so with a couple things in mind, number one I have heard all the stories of the great Wildcat teams and I wanted to bring those days back and restore the pride in Paden City High School football. Number two, this school gave a lot to me and I wanted to give back to it. Those two things will remain top priorities for me. However, nothing will be more important than the kids. I want them to be in good shape physically and mentally.”

Coach Heasley has taken a real interest in reviving Wildcat football, he is involved in every aspect of the program, from fund raising to teaching proper technique, he’s right on top of it. A couple times this past week he was over at the field at 11 p.m. taking care of some of the little things that often go unnoticed. He has been nothing but positive when speaking about his coaching staff and the kids who have taken part in summer practice. If just a fraction of that kind of work ethic rubs off on his players, you can count on the Cat’s winning at least half of their games this year.

“The kids in town have responded to the call and have been in the weight room, conditioning, running drills and taking part in every way they are asked. I am proud so far of their entusiasm and willingness to start getting this program back to winning ways. As for my coaching staff, hey! I played under a couple of them.

They know the school, the players, the game, and they want to win . We’re going to do all we can to see that it happens,” said Coach Heasley.

Heasley is the 11th football coach in Paden City High School history. He will begin the 2019 season as just the second Coach in the past 21 years for the Wildcats. Paden City has not had a winning football season since 2001 when the Cat’s went 8-3 making the playoffs before losing to Moorefield 0-46 in the first round. Prior to that the last winning season was Coach Mike Flannery’s 1995 club that went 10-2 with only one regular season loss 0-14 to Valley, while beating Doddridge 6-0 in a first-round playoff game and ending the season with a 0-3 loss to Mount Hope. And

Heasley is replacing Coach Brent Croasmun who took over the program in 1999 and held the reigns for 20 seasons before retiring following the 2018 season. Heasley is hoping to bring new life to a program that has had only one winning season in the last 23 years. Can he do it? I say yes! However, only if the community gets behind him with positive support. No rush Coach, it’s been a long time already. eparsons@tylerstarnews.com