PARKERSBURG - If the Wahama White Falcons are going to defend their Class A state championship from a year ago, the squad from Mason County will be doing it without longtime head football coach Ed Cromley.
Cromley, who was in his 19th year as the head man of the White Falcons, left the team this week.
Kenny Bond, the principal at Wahama, stated on Thursday afternoon "I can confirm that Dave Barr is our interim head coach at Wahama High School."
When asked about his feelings toward the tough decision to step away from a Wahama program which had a 5-1 record and was ranked No. 11 in the latest single-A rankings, coach Cromley was steadfast in the quote he gave assistant coach Tom Cullen's son, Garrett, who works for West Virginia MetroNews.
"The stress placed on me by the school administration in both coaching and teaching is not worth continuing being subjected to," Cromley asserted.
The White Falcons are well on their way to making another postseason appearance. Cromley led Wahama to the playoffs 13 times in his career, but a potential 14th is not going to materialize.
Cromley guided Wahama to the 2010 Class A state championship game, but had to settle for runner-up honors after getting doubled up by Wheeling Central, 28-14.
All the hard work by Cromley and his coaching staff reached the pinnacle of prep sports when the small town of Mason celebrated last year's single-A state championship. Cromley's decision to have quarterback Trenton Gibbs run in for a two-point conversion sealed the White Falcons' first state crown and a 14-0 season during a memorable 43-42 overtime victory against Madonna.
That game marked the first time in more than two decades where a single-A state title affair was decided by a single point. The last time it happened was when former NFL first round pick Curt Warner's alma mater Pineville fell 7-6 to Meadow Bridge in the 1988 championship game.
"I hope for their continued success," Cromley said of his now former team. "Wahama football has been pretty successful and it's because the kids were going out and doing what had to be done and I'm sure that will continue."
Cromley finished his tenure at Wahama with a 154-60 record.