“Warriors Above the Influence 2016-2017”

Since 1998, the Pocahontas Prevention Coalition has selected students from PCHS to be included on annual posters to serve as role models for other students because they have chosen to remain above the influence of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

This year’s poster was unveiled on September 21st at a ceremony attended by the entire student body of Pocahontas County High School. Alicia Dunbrack, the Prevention Coordinator of the Pocahontas Prevention Coalition introduced the 2016-2017 “Warriors Above the Influence” poster.

She told the students that she was overjoyed to present the 2017-2017 Warriors Above the Influence Poster. Dunbrack went on to introduce the 5 students who passed a rigorous application and selection process to be selected to appear on this year’s poster. They are –in Alphabetical order:

  • Brady Jones of Green Bank, a Senior.
  • Tiler Mortensen-Smith of Marlinton, a Junior.
  • Kevin Thompson of Hillsboro, a Senior.
  • Drake Warder of Green Bank, a Senior.
  • Charles “Hunter” Wilfong of Hillsboro,


At the end of the ceremony, we had the opportunity to talk with Alicia Dunbrack about the “Above the Influence” program. She said that the program was inspired by West Virginia University’s “Mountaineers Above the Influence” program.

“That really inspired us” said Dunbrack. “People really look up to those athletes and we thought why can’t we do that in our county. Why can’t we take our athletes that are choosing to have a positive life and choosing positive behaviors and showcase them so that would maybe influence other students to be above the influence.”

Alicia explains that first and foremost, the applicant must be free of drug, alcohol and tobacco use and they must have at least a 2.0 GPA. The selection group actually check the applicant’s social media posts and sites looking for anything suggesting use of any of those substances, and then the applicants must pass an interview and finally are drug tested by the Sheriff’s Department.

We were able to catch up with three of this year’s Warriors on the poster and asked why they applied to be included in this year’s poster

“Hi, I’m Brady Jones, I thought it was pretty cool seeing other people on the poster” said Brady. “I am proud to be above the influence.” What was the process like? “Well, they gave us an application and we filled it out. It consisted of what we did, where we live, the activities we were a part of. And then we turned it in and a couple of weeks later they got back to us, gave us an interview then they asked us some questions about the different experiences we had where we had to say no to drugs and alcohol. And then a couple of months later I received a letter saying I was on the poster.” What sports do you play? “I play football and basketball, and last year I through shot-put for the track team.”

“My name is Kevin Thompson. I’m 18 years old” said Thompson. “I’s a very big privledge being on this poster. I feel I represent my school very well.” How come you applied for it? “I applied for this poster because I wanted to be a good representation of my school and my fellow students. I just want to add that the quote I said today is very true. Being above the influence means to me that you are an individual who does not rely on drugs and alcohol to have a good time or to have a good life, and you’re an awesome individual who is above social influences of life such as peer pressures and dramas that may come into your life.”

“My name is Hunter Wilfong. The reason I applied for it is because I’ve seen other students who applied for it in the past and I thought that was cool, and I want to be a role model” said Hunter. “It’s a good program to get into. I’v always been above the influence.” What does being above the influence mean to you? “Just making the right choice and always being the role model, and not falling into peer pressure” Is that hard to do? “Yes Sir, it is, but I believe I can do that and always keep my head on my shoulders.” What sports do you play? “I play football, and I am also in the Hillsboro Volunteer fire Department as a junior member.”

On behalf of everyone here at Allegheny Mountain Radio, I would like to congratulate each of the 5 2016-2017 Warriors Above the Influence and assure them their commitment will make a difference.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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