The high school football season is rapidly approaching. With that in mind, here’s the launch of a new preseason series to get you ready for all the exciting game broadcasts this fall that will kick off each Friday night with ‘The Grid with Matt & Matt’ on WCHL, 97.9 FM.
First up comes Chapel Hill High School and Tiger head coach Isaac Marsh.
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After a couple superb seasons in 2011 and 2012, the Tigers were never able to find their footing a season ago, stumbling to a 4-8 final mark in 2013.
Coach Marsh says the injuries and inexperience were just too much for Chapel Hill to overcome.
“We were never quite there. We were in several games, but we were never quite able to finish the games out. That comes from injuries and just having a young team,” Coach Marsh says.
But the Tigers were competitive. Most notably, in a 6-0 narrow defeat to then undefeated Orange High School that memorably ended on a last-second touchdown as time expired.
But Coach Marsh is looking for more. He says he’s liked what he’s seen in offseason workouts so far for a couple of positive reasons.
“The offseason has been an interesting one. I think we’ve improved greatly with the numbers of guys that are coming out to play football. That’s a positive. The next thing that we have noticed is the high energy in workouts,” Coach Marsh says.
The Tigers are getting it done on the scoreboard as well. Chapel Hill claimed the title at the 7-on-7 tournament in Pinecrest earlier this summer.
Who are the guys to watch out for in black and gold this season? Coach Marsh says he has two big-time players in mind.
“They have been playing up on varsity for a long time now. Logan Tisch is a top college prospect with offers and Noah Layden as well. Those are our two top guys. We return a strong nucleus of guys up front,” Coach Marsh says.
Speaking of the guys up front, Coach Marsh says the linemen on both sides of the ball will be the strengths of the Tiger team.
“On the offensive line, we return four out of our five starters from last season. On the defensive line, we return all four starters. So definitely, up front for us in the trenches, that’s where our strength lies,” Coach Marsh says.
With such a veteran-laden offensive line, it’s easy to envision some success moving the ball for Chapel Hill this fall. But on the other side of the spectrum, Coach Marsh says he worries about complacency in his team.
He says he wants to impress upon the Tigers to be focused on upping the ante at every practice.
“Our players have to constantly improve on something each day. Don’t just when you come out here, ‘I don’t have anything to work on. I’m just going to go through the normal flow.’ Whatever you improved upon or learned the day before, try to increase it the next day,” Coach Marsh says.
Although the Tigers have even loftier aspirations, Coach Marsh says the team is staying local with its goals first.
“We want to be the top school in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools district. We want to beat Carrboro. We want to beat East [Chapel Hill]. From that goal, we want to win the county. We want to beat Orange and Cedar Ridge. If we’re able to do that, that’s four wins right there,” Coach Marsh says.
If Chapel Hill finds a way to be crowned town and county champions in 2014, given the tough competition in the area, there promises to be more success at the conference, and maybe even state levels, for Coach Marsh and the Tigers.