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Price Is Right At Paden City

AD hired as new head football coach

PADEN CITY — Paden City didn’t have to look far for its new head football coach.

In fact, the school’s athletic director Robert Price has been hired to lead the Wildcats onto the field in the 2021 season as the new head football coach.

Price helped as an assistant alongside Zach Heasley, who stepped down as head coach earlier this spring.

With the head coaching spot vacant, Price racked his brain about what step to take next and he relied on those closest to him to help make his decision.

“I prayed about it, I thought about it and I talked to my wife about it,” Price said. “She gave me all the support I needed. The next step was to sit down with Principle Jay Salva and I gained his support, too. He gave me the green light to go through with the interview process. Being the athletic director and just an assistant coach was a lot of responsibility but taking that head coaching role is another step forward.”

The 2020 football campaign was cut short at Paden City due to lack of numbers but Price is aiming to get the program back on track after 20 kids signed up to play this spring.

“Our first goal is to maintain the participation level,” Price said. “Usually we have around 17 or 18 kids and that is great but I’d like to see even more get involved. Our second goal is to maintain the kids’ health. We’ve had some injuries over the years and we want to be injury-free at the end of the season. I want to continue to build relationships with these kids and help them be good football players on the field and fine, young, respectable gentlemen off the field.”

Price is a grad of Burch High School, which consolidated into Mingo Central and in 2010 he joined the Marines, where he learned about his true passion of molding young minds.

“I’ve always been a sports savvy guy and I played every sport growing up,” Price said. “Being in the military gives you time to think about what you want to do for the rest of your life and I wanted to do something with athletics. I also began kind of mentoring young marines and realized that I enjoyed the teaching aspect of that.”

Then, in 2018, Price became the Paden City athletic director and has been doing what he loves since.

Now, he will get the opportunity to expand on his teaching and coaching skills.

“I’m so excited and looking forward to the challenge that comes along with running a program,” Price said.

“Ron Casto and Josh Fulks are my assistants and they are on board with me and we even recently went through the interview process of hiring a new assistant coach to take my spot and that’s Logan Carroll, a former Paden City High School grad.”

That coaching staff will be leading a team who can run the football. Led by sophomore running back Joey Baker, who in his final game as a freshman, ran wild for 233 yards and three touchdowns.

“Baker will be looked at as the feature running back,” Price said. “He is a hard-working kid who comes from a good family. Along with Baker, we have a handful of talented guys on the offensive and defensive lines. Gavin Lewis will be a four-year starter, Joey Smith is going to be a senior, Caleb Young, Hunter Fulks is probably our best interior lineman and Bryson Stackpole is at center. We’ll also have wide receivers and defensive backs Jeremiah Thomas and Jassup Spragg returning, so we feel pretty encouraged about the kids we have coming out.”

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