It's only been a year since Hurricane and Winfield crossed paths, but so much has changed since then.
A lot of things will look different - including the head coaches - when the Putnam County rivals lock up at 7:30 Friday night at Redskin Stadium.
Hurricane embarks on its first season since 2004 without Willis May at the helm, as former assistant Jeremy Taylor takes over. May led the Redskins to six Class AAA playoff spots in his eight seasons as coach, thrice getting to the quarterfinals.
Not only did May take all that coaching acumen with him when he left for Florida, but he also took his son Corey, a budding receiver in the Redskins system. Corey May caught 35 passes last year, including 11 in a first-round playoff win against Elkins.
"He came on last year,'' Taylor said of Corey May. "I watched from the stands, and the longer the season went on, the better he got.''
Hurricane will be lacking at certain positions, especially along the line, where only one starter returns.
Taylor, however, has been able to get junior receiver Koi Turner ready for varsity play this year, along with getting athletes from other teams at the school to come out for football - including junior baseball player Zach Fitzsimmons, a receiving candidate, along with junior twin brothers and wrestlers Jon and Jeremy Francis.
"I got a ton of wrestlers,'' Taylor said, "and it's nice to have those guys, like the Francis brothers. One will probably start in the secondary and the other's a lineman. They're tough as nails. You like having [wrestlers] at linebacker because you know they're not afraid of anything.''
Balance among the skill position players has long been the byword at Hurricane, which saw four different running backs gain more than 100 yards in a game last season.
In that game, Andy Ellington booted four field goals, giving him a state-record 14 for the season, and running back David Gaydosz ran for more than 200 yards, putting him over 1,000 for the season and making him the first player at Winfield to reach that plateau since at least the 1980s (the school does not have complete records).
But all it got the Generals was another loss to close out a 4-6 season. Shortly after, coach Willie Wilson stepped down after five years. Gaydosz then transferred to Cabell Midland.
"Certainly, that was a weird taste in our mouth at the end of the year, the way that all went down,'' said Craig Snyder, a former Generals assistant who has taken over as head coach. "Because everyone after the game was happy, and we just got destroyed. It was very misleading the way it all went down.
"We went 4-6 last year, beating two 0-10 teams [Nitro and Tolsia] and Ripley and St. Albans. Those four teams won five games. That was the most misleading almost-.500 record you can see.''