Any pressure the Pioneers faced this year - with many fans anticipating nothing less than a title - could ratchet up a notch next season.
They do lose eight senior starters on offense and defense, but return key talent like Hodge, a 6-foot, 230-pound sophomore linebacker-running back, sophomore quarterback-defensive back Grant Ferguson and versatile junior Nathan Spurlock, younger brother of Brandon, who ran for 212 yards against RCB in his brother's absence.
Adding to the expectations is that Wayne's current winning streak of 23 games - longest in West Virginia - would balloon to a state-record 37 straight with another unbeaten title team in 2013.
"In all honesty,'' Harmon said, "the biggest pressure is the pressure you put on yourself. The only thing we're ever concerned with is how much effort our kids put into winning. And if that happens, great, but the big thing is, be as good as you can be.
"It's fun to get there. It's a lot funner to win. Our guys remained loose throughout the week and to be able to come out here and play with their heart on their sleeve is not the easiest thing to do. These guys had the pressure of the world on their shoulders all year and didn't pay any attention to it. They just worked.''
Hodge didn't exactly fan the flames of expectations for next year, but didn't deny them, either.
"We take it season by season,'' he said. "It takes it all to win. We'll come out next season and try to do the same thing. I don't know what else to say.''
Keyser should also be in the mix again as a strong contender in AA, returning starters at eight positions from a stout defense and seven on offense.
"We faced adversity all season long,'' said Golden Tornado coach Sean Biser, "with the schedule we played and the teams we played. We've been in tight games, big games all year long. We handled adversity and kept on going.''
Keyser also played without a key cog Friday, injured sophomore running back-defensive back Garrett Crites.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.