CAMERON - Scott Holt, Cameron High School's newly named head football coach, has a vision for the future of Dragons football.
''We want to be in a situation where coming out that windy road on (U.S.) 250 is the best part of (an opponent's) trip,'' he said. ''We want to be the team that gets circled on your schedule, not the other way around.''
It was like that for a time under longtime coach Jim Rogers, who announced his retirement at the end of last season, but things have been tougher the last few years.
Holt, a four-year member of the Cameron football staff under Rogers after serving as the head coach at St. John in Bellaire from 2007-2009, wants to change that.
''Our goal is to be in a situation to make the West Virginia state playoffs year in and year out,'' Holt said. ''It is a challenge. But I believe it's one that we can be successful in.''
Holt pointed out the growth of the Dragons' youth football program and how it's holding its own against bigger communities such as Moundsville and St. Clairsville as proof his guys are close to doing something special at the varsity level.
''That only filters up,'' he said. ''They're high school ready when they get to high school.''
Though he said he learned a bunch during three years at St. John where his team won 5 of 30 games (but was 5-0 in one-point games), Holt figures he's far better prepared for this stint.
An assistant at Wheeling Central where he worked with the likes of J.T. Thomas, Mike Young, and Terry Edwards - all highly respected mentors of his, along with Rogers - Holt was already behind the 8-ball with the low-numbered Irish, who were 1-9 the season prior, because he wasn't hired until June.
''It was a real eye-opener,'' said Holt, a social studies teacher at Cameron. ''Here, it's a situation where I'm very familiar with the kids, the people; I know who my coaches are going to be, and we're seven, eight months away from our first game.
''I have a really good feeling about this. I'm really excited about representing our community. When I think of small school football in West Virginia, I picture Cameron.''
Holt feels he owes a debt of gratitude to Rogers for the opportunity.
''I can't say enough about him,'' Holt said. ''For what he did for me personally coming off a head coaching experience. I can't imagine anyone in this valley making me feel more welcome in a program and a community than Coach Rogers.''
With all of that, Holt's ready to get to work.
''I'm aware of how much work a position like this is going to take,'' said Holt, a volunteer assistant at Cameron his first year there (''They gave me a shirt, a hat, and a jacket,'' he said). ''Working at a small school, there are a lot of different hats you have to wear. You have to be aware of how important you are to the school, the football team, and the community itself.
''My eyes are more wide open this time going in. It's a good feeling.''