Most first-year coaches would probably look at the rebuilding job facing Eddie Smolder at Sissonville High School with the same overwhelming feeling Noah likely had when he first laid eyes on a massive pile of lumber and tried to envision a boat.
For Sissonville, it's not so much a flood that's been the problem, but a drought. The Indians last reached the playoffs in 2007 and have gone 3-17 over the past two seasons, including being one of only six teams in the state to go winless last year at 0-10.
But having spent the past five years as an Indians assistant and two years at Ravenswood before that, Smolder may have the knowledge to guide Sissonville's ship across what have become the tumultuous seas of Class AA's Cardinal Conference, which sent five teams to the playoffs last year.
During the current three-week practice period, he's not focusing on the whole ark, just four important building blocks.
"Our No. 1 priority is if we focus on our four cornerstones we can become champions," Smolder said. "We've got to get tougher, we've got to be disciplined, we've got to work harder and we've got to be enthusiastic every day about being a football player."
It won't take long to find out how stable Smolder's cornerstones are as the Indians open the season at Chapmanville, then play host to Point Pleasant and travel to Wayne in the third and fifth games, respectively. All three teams made the AA playoffs last year.
"We've got a tough schedule. Anytime you play in the Cardinal Conference, you're going to play tough competition," said Smolder, a Ripley native who played football at Marshall. "We've just got to work hard, take care of each day one at a time and try to get better."
In fairness, injuries weighed the Indians down before the 2010 campaign even started as returning running backs Trent Stowers and Jarrett Mowrer were lost for the season during 7-on-7 drills in the summer.
As freshmen in 2009, both contributed to the Sissonville rushing attack. Mowrer gained 239 yards on 49 carries, including 13 rushes for 101 yards and a score in the team's season opener against Chapmanville, and Stowers added 85 yards on eight carries in the team's final three games.
Both are back in the fold as juniors, and Smolder hopes the duo provides a couple more weapons to an offensive scheme in which "balance" seems to be the key word.