adidas original gazelle Jeremy Haymore named new football coach at Staunton River
“That’s my baby,” Haymore said about the single wing Monday. “That’s something I’ve worked on since I was in college. Hopefully, we’ll be able to advance it. We’ve had some pretty special kids come through here the last couple years. But we want to take the offense to a new level.”
Haymore, 39, replaces Chuck Poston, who announced in early January he was stepping down as head coach, capping an eight year tenure in that position and 16 years overall in the SRHS program.
Both coaches have been integral to the rise of Moneta football. Together, they installed the single wing in 2013. It endured a couple rough years after it was first implemented, but then took off in a fury.
“Besides being a very good friend and a loyal assistant, Jeremy is one of the most innovative minds I’ve ever met,” Poston said. “He’s really a dynamite football coach and I think he’s a great person for the job.”
Haymore has served three stints at Staunton River, in addition to his time as a player there. As a player in 1996, he was part of the first SRHS team to ever make a VHSL playoff appearance. He graduated from the school in ’97.
He was an SRHS assistant in 2001 and 2002, returned again in 2009 and once again in 2013.
In between, Haymore was a head coach at Eastern Montgomery (2004 and 2005) and Appomattox (2006 and 2007) and also coached at Hargrave Military School, in its now defunct post grad program.
That 19 year coaching experience, Haymore said, should benefit him moving forward. He’s coached at small schools and large ones, in rural and city settings, in public and private institutions.
Much of SRHS’ system, he said, will stay the same. Kids will still be brought to the varsity level having learned the same offensive and defensive patterns. Current assistant Jay Phares, former head coach at William Campbell, will call the defense, Haymore said.
“I think the biggest thing we’re gonna focus on is carrying on tradition,” the new coach added.
“You can’t buy tradition,” he continued, referencing a quote he picked up from a coach who ran the single wing. “There are a lot of things you can buy: New uniforms,
new helmets. But you can’t buy that tradition. So that’s what we’re gonna focus on.”
In both 2016 and ’17, Staunton River boasted the top scoring offense in the state, regardless of classification (Classes 1 through 6).
It was 2015 when SRHS started racking up the offensive yards in bunches. Then the Golden Eagles caught fire in 2016, making a state championship appearance in Class 3 and finishing 13 2. In 2017, the Golden Eagles compiled a 13 1 record and lost in Heritage in the state semifinals.
The single wing has frustrated teams for the last several seasons. The offense is full of misdirection, relies on strong blocking backs, and confounds teams, partly because it’s somewhat of an archaic offense. The single wing is as old as football itself.
But when it’s effective, watch out. Staunton River, for instance, racked up roughly 6,300 rushing yards in the 2017 season.
Twenty six seniors, though, will graduate from the program this spring.
“That’s not something we’re gonna pretend didn’t happen,” Haymore said. “But we want to build on that tradition, not just looking at next year, but at a 5 year plan and a 10 year plan.”
Staunton River administrators, Haymore added, were interested in keeping the single wing going after Poston’s departure from the program. Last year, four feeder teams ran the wing in Bedford County, all the way down to 8 and 9 year old children.
“That’s the type of system that people may shy away from,” Haymore said, “but our people have bought into it. “Fear the wing,’ that’s our identity.”
Haymore recalls those lean years and now has been a part of the fat ones, too. The transformation of the program, he noted, has been remarkable.
“I remember a time when people would be embarrassed to wear their Staunton River shirt or jacket,” he said. “When you’ve been down that long and you start to win,
it’s something special.”