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Sherman Kevin Buzzard

Kevin Buzzard was an assistant at Sherman for seven years before being elevated to head coach.

SETH — Sherman High School found its new football coach and didn’t have to look very far.

On Monday evening, the Boone County School Board named Kevin Buzzard as the replacement for the departed Michael Showalter, who stepped down in January to pursue an eventual administrative position as an educator.

Buzzard, a Bloomingrose resident, served as an assistant coach under Showalter for seven years.

“I think that when you first get into coaching, it is something you think about or strive for,” Buzzard said. “I never thought I’d get the chance because Coach Showalter is so young and did such a good job. I gave it some thought and thought it was the best thing for me, the school, the staff and most importantly our boys.”

A 1996 graduate who served the Tide football program as a lineman, Buzzard believes in the adage that what isn’t broke doesn’t need to be fixed.

“I don’t like change for the sake of change,” he said. “We’ll keep moving along and do the things that brought us success in the first place.”

The Tide has seen success on the field in recent years.

Sherman earned three straight Class A playoff berths from 2016 through 2018 and narrowly missed the postseason in a pandemic-influenced 2020 season when the Tide went 6-3 and celebrated a true Boone County championship with wins over Class AA Scott and cross-county rival Van in what has come to be known as the “Showdown for the Shovel.”

A chief electrician by trade, Buzzard said that the program is in a healthy place, despite the loss of gate and concession sales during a season with few fans in the stands due to COVID-19 protocols.

“It makes things so much easier when you come into this knowing how organized and well ran the program has been for so long,” he said. “We can hit the ground running.”

Buzzard said he plans to keep his staff intact and continue the maroon and gold tradition of producing athletic backfields that can execute the veer offensive set.

“Our staff knows it well and our kids know it well,” he said. “We’ll throw some wrinkles in there and you’ll see us spread it out from time to time. To some extent, our personnel will determine a lot of what we do. The more versatile you can be, the harder you are to defend, but you have to know what you do and what you coach well.”

The Tide loses Class A first-team All-State lineman Hunter Bowling to graduation and the West Virginia State University football program but returns second-team running back C.J. Winnell, who was a 1,000-yard rusher in 2020 and tied Bowling for the team lead in tackles with 86.

The new head coach added that he looks forward to organizing youth football camps for area gridders and fundraising for his squad.

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at pperry@hdmediallc.com or 304-307-2401.