CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When Coach Eddie Smolder took over at Sissonville one year after a winless 2010, he set his sights on success.
In his third year, Smolder has done just that, guiding Sissonville to its best season since 2007 when it finished 6-5 following a first-round playoff loss to Scott.
According to Smolder, the Indians should earn a postseason berth with one more victory, something Sissonville will seek at 7:30 p.m. today with a visit to Seth to face Class A Sherman (2-6).
"Winning means something to me and it's starting to with these kids," Smolder said. "This community and school deserve a winning football team and we are working as hard as we can to make that happen."
Smolder said a playoff appearance would be a fitting end for the seniors who hung around. They are 13-24 in their careers, but 13-14 under Smolder.
"These kids have been through a lot," Smolder said. "Our seniors were 0-10 and 0-8 in JV as freshmen. They never won a game. A lot of kids quit and gave up.
"The ones we have now never did. They bought in to my plan to win. After last season, we set a goal to make the playoffs. They have wanted to accomplish that more than anything. I'm proud to be their coach."
One of the reasons for the program's turnaround is the development of the offensive line, spearheaded by four-year starters Logan Crain (5-foot-10, 180 pounds) and Duncan McClain (6-2, 195). Joey Beane (5-10, 200) also is a key figure up front along with three-year starting junior Clay Whitney (5-10, 240).
Sissonville has battled some adversity, however, with injuries hitting the Indians hard. Beane suffered a torn ligament in his knee and Whitney nursing a broken foot.
"This wasn't our starting lineup at the beginning of the season," Smolder said. "We lost three starting lineman early in the year, and they were our biggest linemen."
"We are hoping to get (Beane) back for the playoffs," Smolder said. "Clay broke his foot just running sprints.
The Indians lost two of their lineman after their opening game of the season and the other, freshmen Zach Kerns (6-1, 265) in his fourth game, leading to an even increased role for Crain and McClung.