Wilkens begins new role as Christiansburg's head football coach

By Alyssa Rae - Sports Anchor / Reporter

CHRISTIANSBURG (WSLS 10 SPORTS) - Offseason workouts at Christiansburg High School look a little different this year. For the first time in over a decade there's a new head coach leading the way.

"From the very first meeting he was very impressive. He was very confident in what he was doing, he knows what he's talking about, and I'm super excited for this year," said Blue Demon quarterback Nic Cook.

Former Bridgewater College player Alex Wilkens was hired to replace Tim Cromer, who led the Blue Demons to the playoffs 10 out of his 15 seasons, including a state runner-up finish in 2011. Coach Wilkens and the players hope to uphold the culture that Cromer instilled on the program.

"Coach Cromer did a phenomenal job here and that was one of the things that drew me to this job, I knew he did things the right way, with class and integrity," explained Wilkens.

"The teamwork, the teamwork is very important and the character of the team, good people in and out of school," added captain Grayson Cridlin.

This is Wilkens's first head coaching job after serving as an assistant under Kevin Clifford at Glenvar for the past nine seasons. In high school, he played at Floyd County under Winfred Beale.

"I think that if you are around both of them long enough; you realize it's about consistently loving kids and relentlessly loving kids and being there for your athletes," Wilkens said.

He's also big on strength and conditioning and wasted no time telling his team that hard work starts in the weight room.

"For me, even at Floyd and at Glenvar, the weight room was something I bought into at an early age, it was something that I had to do, I wasn't a great athlete. Everything that I became as an athlete was because of hard work and commitment to the weight room."

With effort and heart, the Blue Demons hope to lift their performance on the field, as a new era of Christiansburg football begins.  

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