Elk River ready for Hoover title tilt

Principal Mike Kelley speaks at Thursday’s pep rally.

ELKVIEW, W.Va. — Friday is officially Herbert Hoover Huskies Day in Kanawha County as the Elk River community’s football team will play for the Class AA state title Friday night in Wheeling against Independence.

Members of the Kanawha County Commission and others were on hand for a big pep rally Thursday morning. Commissioner Lance Wheeler read the proclamation naming Friday as all-about the Hoover football team.

Longtime Hoover Principal Mike Kelley said the entire Elk River community is excited.

“This being the first time that we have ever played in the state football championship, Elk River guys have been trying to accomplish that since 1963 and this is the first time,” Kelley said.

Much has been written about how the school has been impacted by the 2016 flood. Hoover students still attend class in portable buildings set up on the parking lot of Elkview Middle School. County school officials are hopeful the new school, not far from Interstate 79, will be ready for students before this school year is over.

Kelley said the school has responded in many ways since the flood including academics and sports.

“We’ve gone to school and made the best of it. It hasn’t been an ideal situation but we continue to be one of the highest achieving schools in the state and our athletic success has been greater over the last six years as it’s been any time in school history,” Kelley said.

Kelley credits a great staff and credit student leadership for the school success, even though they’ve been without their own building for a half dozen years.

“It’s hard to win at school, at athletics, at anything without great student leadership and we’ve been fortunate to have that,” he said.

The next time Hoover plays football after Friday night, it will have a new school and a new athletic complex. Kelley said it would great to bring a Class AA title to the new school.

“We’re going to transfer all our memories from that place up to the new place when we move up there and it will continue. It’s just closing one chapter of our history and starting a new one,” he said.