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Bill Shedd takes over PHS boys soccer

PARKERSBURG — Don Fosselman left behind a high school soccer empire upon his retirement as the head coach of the Parkersburg High boys soccer program after 35 years last November.

As he piloted the team to 400 and then 500 cumulative victories, including six state championships, an immense sense of pride developed alongside a vigorous and passionate fan base as the Big Reds climbed higher over the progression of each season.

Athletic Director Chris Way held all of this information in high regard during his search for only the second head coach in the history of the program. He desired someone who could make a mark in their own way while keeping PHS at its ever lofty standards.

Of the two applicants for the job, Way believes he found that person in Bill Shedd.

“He had a good combination of passion and knowledge for the sport. And he has a son coming into the program so he knows a lot of the kids and knows what it takes to build relationships with kids.

“He had a nice resume of what he has accomplished on the field and what he has accomplished as a coach.”

Shedd enters with a lengthy list of achievements over his 35 years with the sport. Past accolades on the pitch include several visits to the all-conference and all-state teams during his time as a player at Parkersburg South. He went on to play two years at Marietta College. Away from playing the sport, Shedd coached multiple youth teams throughout the state, including a five-year stint as the leader of the W.Va. Select Bandits. He still plays in an adult league as well.

What isn’t attached to his resume is a job as a high school coach. Way saw past this fact early in the process, though.

“I think anytime you hire a coach that has never coached in high school before it can be concerning. School-based and club-based athletics are quite different. But he (Shedd) wants to learn and do what needs to be done to be a successful coach and he has the willingness to get better as a coach. He understands he represents an entire community,” said Way.

Shedd’s actions since being approved by the Wood County Board of Education have already proved his AD correct.

His coaching staff is ready to get to work. Chris Hunt, Derek Manner and Joe Gribble assist Shedd, while Corey Litton brings an extra defensive punch in the role of a specialist. “I lean a lot on my staff and these guys are going to be huge,” he said.

Shedd shared those four played a big role in him applying for the position. “They are PHS alumni and wanted us to try and get the job and we are really excited to follow Don and keep this program where it is,” said Shedd, who now has the responsibility of constructing a team to snap a 14-year state title drought.

“I think the boys are going to be ready for this as long as the coaches jump on board and teach them everything we know. I am excited to get started,” said Shedd. “We are going to be well organized as well as an efficient passing team. Hopefully, we will be aggressive and score some goals. I feel like we may be more aggressive than PHS was last season, but we will have to see what we have.”

His wait continues as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make face-to-face introductions impossible with Gov. Jim Justice’s stay-at-home order. Shedd said he posted something on Facebook, but hasn’t officially met his team. However, he attended most of the games last season, which helped him gain a general knowledge on the ability of his new group.

“We really need to get some practice in and I would love to sit down with the parents, but I can’t even do that right now,” said Shedd.

Regardless of the availability of the much valued three-week summer period, Shedd said his staff will be ready to go from Day 1.

“We are ready to step in and we know we have big shoes to fill. I have coached young gentlemen for a long time and I know what I am doing. I love the game and just want to see PHS grow and get better and maybe win a couple of state championships.”

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