West Stokes football program hit their 100th win Friday night after defeating Forbush 30–10.
“It’s a milestone and a lot of people had their hands in this. It wasn’t just me, it was the community, the coaches, and our players,” said coach Jimmy Upchurch.
Upchurch has been with the Wildcats program since 2003 and has led West to the state playoffs for the past 11 years. In 2011 their hard work culminated in a 2A Western Piedmont State championship win.
“I can remember being here in 2003 and 2004. Those first years I told the kids we’re going to build this program one brick at a time. It was a new school and there weren’t traditions set so we had to lay the foundation,” Upchurch said. “Over time we started to see our hard work come to fruition. We took our lumps in the early years and we’ve gotten a little better now.”
The coach believes young men can benefit from the game of football, on and off the field.
“It’s a game of life. You go through so many life situations throughout a football season. Even if you’re not the greatest player, you take away from all the hard work and dedication you put into it.”
To memorialize the 100th win Upchurch’s team is retiring a football signed by players and coaches and adding it to their trophy case.
Friday night’s victory against Forbush improved the Wildcats record 7-1, and kept them undefeated in the Western Piedmont Conference. Devan Hairston continued to be an offensive force. For the third time this season, the junior had over 200 yards rushing.
“He’s playing really well. Alex Helvey did a great job. Defensively Ty Walker had a good game at linebacker and Jacob Wagner played good on defensive line for us,” Upchurch said.
Kameron Wall added two touchdowns, totaling 14 in his high school career, another West Stokes record.
The coach believes his team is playing cohesive at this point in the season and it’s showing on the field.
“We’ve found ourselves down two or three games very early on and this team has a tremendous amount of fortitude to never quit and keep fighting through. They remind me a lot of our 2011 team of how we would get down, but as the game went on they just kept getting stronger and stronger.”
While West is focused on one game at a time, Upchurch said his team is eying the conference championship. Besides 2011’s state championship run, five out of six years the Wildcats have come in second place.
“We’ve got three really good teams we’ve got to play. We’d like to win it,” Upchurch said.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.