CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Under the radar perhaps, though not out of contention, Wahama quarterback Hunter Bradley, as a senior transfer, leads the White Falcons toward defense of their Class A state title.
Bradley joined Wahama, transferring from Roane County, following the Raiders' final loss of the 2012 season. After contributing to the Wahama basketball and baseball programs, Bradley has found success on the gridiron, too, in replacing graduated quarterback Trenton Gibbs and Bradley will lead the 8-1 White Falcons at winless Buffalo 7:30 p.m. Friday.
"I think things have gone great this year," Bradley said. "I like it down here. I seem to fit in real well. I like how the community comes out and supports everybody. It seems like, down here, a lot more people care about football, come out and support the kids and stuff."
Bradley continues to adapt to his new school as interim head Coach Dave Barr adjusts to taking control of the program. After leading Wahama to a 5-1 record this season, 19-year Coach Ed Cromley announced his retirement less than a full season from leading the White Falcons to their first state championship.
Bradley brings the skills to take Wahama back to Wheeling Island, though, at approximately 6-foot-2, 175 pounds. His more intangible aspects have made his transition easier to Wahama's system, too.
"He's really a smart kid, has a good instinct for the game and he's a great competitor," Barr said. "He worked really hard and I feel like especially late in the season he's become better and better at having total command of what we're doing offensively, and he knows the game very well."
At Roane, Bradley earned All-State honors as an offensive utility player in 2012. He also won the Little Kanawha Conference offensive Player of the Year award.
Because Roane incorporated similar aspects of Wahama's Wing-T offense, Bradley adjusted to the White Falcons' sets quicker than other transfers might have done, Barr said.
"They had some Wing-T principles there in their offense, as well as some spread things built in, and so I felt like he was very familiar with the kinds of things we're trying to do," Barr said.
In addition to learning components of a new offense, Bradley, as quarterback, needed to learn how to step into a leadership position with a new group of players.
"Coming in, I didn't really want to say much, because I didn't know how the guys would take it," he said, "but we had all those first good weeks of August practice and I got to know everybody real well. Everybody started looking up to me for leadership and stuff, so I just took the role on and started helping out."
Barr said Bradley's temperament exudes confidence.