Football Coach of the Year: Sherando’s Bill Hall
Sherando’s 10th-year head coach Bill Hall — The Winchester Star Football Coach of the Year for the third time and the first time since 2007 — led the Warriors to a 6-5 overall record (3-1 Northwestern District) and a berth in the Region II, Division 4 quarterfinals.
Sherando overcame a 1-3 start and the loss of quarterback/safety Reid Entsminger to a season-ending broken collarbone early in their seventh game against Handley — a 21-0 win — to win their second straight and record fifth Barr-Lindon Crimson Apple, which is awarded each year by The Winchester Star to the team that fares the best between the Winchester-Frederick County schools.
Hall helped accomplish that by taking the area’s leading rusher in Taylor Loudan after Entsminger’s injury and moving him to quarterback, where Loudan proved to be a dual threat.
Q. The team returned just four starters on both sides of the ball this year. What were the expectations coming in?
Hall: Every year you have expectations for what you want to do, and you start working on them in December. You’ve got to build throughout the year. You don’t just show up on July 30 and say, ‘All right, let’s have a good year.’ It’s a credit to our kids that they’re invested in the process in the offseason. The hard work they put in leads to high expectations, and that was the case again this year.
Q. What stands out about this season?
Hall: Just how resilient our team was this year. We had to deal with a lot of adversity. When you start off 1-3 it’s easy to feel down, but the guys continued to do the things they needed to do to be successful and didn’t make excuses. That says a lot about them.
Q. Any particular game that you thought was significantly important?
Hall: They’re all so important, but I thought the Loudoun County game was big for us. (Sherando lost 29-0 to fall to 1-3.) We had a talk in the locker room afterward, and we told them how you respond to this will say everything about you as a person and us as a team. We responded in practice and continued to build, and the game against Millbrook (the regular season finale) was the culmination of our hard work.
Q. Most memorable moment?
Hall: I’d say the Millbrook game. (Sherando won 33-14.) It was a rivalry game, it was the last game of the season, and the Apple Cup was on the line. The guys really came together and just executed well in all phases.
Q. Most difficult moment?
Hall: I’d say the Loudoun County game, just because we were so close to doing what we wanted to do as far as execution, but so far away. We were putting the effort it, but it just wasn’t showing up in terms of wins and losses. But I think they learned a valuable lesson in coming back from that.
Q. Sherando should return more than 10 key starters next season, including George Aston and Entsminger, as well as several other key contributors. What do you see going forward for next year based on who’s returning?
Hall: Obviously, we don’t lose as many people as we did before this year, so that’s a positive. But again, the recipe for success starts in the offseason, and we have to make sure we bring in high-character kids who are committed to embracing the values we teach.
— Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki