CARRBORO— The dog days of summer provide a definite lull in the normal buzzing of sports activity in every other season. With the unfortunate void, minds tend to wander to the end of August, when the glories of football return.

Although on a national scale, the college and professional games garner nearly all the attention, for some purists, there is nothing better than Friday night lights. Yes, high school football reigns supreme in many regions.

And if you can cast your eyes past the giant in the room that is UNC in these neck of the woods, you may just find a palpable mix of passion and performance on the gridiron that has many locals all fired up!

This time on The Grid, I had the opportunity to sit down with Head coach Jason Tudryn at Carrboro High School.

***Listen to the full interview***

State runner-ups in the 2AA division a year ago, the Carrboro Jaguars are rapidly closing in on their 2013 season opener against Cedar Ridge on August 23rd.  Coach Tudryn says it is important for his players to move on from last season.

“I think it’s important for our guys to realize that it is no longer 2012. Dwelling in the past isn’t going to benefit anybody. So I think that’s a challenge for them to understand that winning isn’t easy,” Tudryn said.

Tudryn says he believes football to be about more than just physical ability. The intangibles are what make the difference. He shared a little bit of his coaching philosophy with us.

“There’s a mental game involved in this thing. And it’s about physical conditioning, it’s about competition, it’s about courage, and playing with honor and class. If you do that a higher percentage of the time, we are going to have a greater chance of winning on Friday night,” Tudryn said.

When asked about his team’s goals, Tudryn didn’t have to think long. Why you may ask? Well, Carrboro has always had the same four goals. And there is nothing fancy about them.

First, win the Orange County title, then grab the conference championship, snag the regional championship, and finally claim the state championship trophy.

The Jaguars came so close to accomplishing that fourth and final goal last season, but although Tudryn says his squad lost quite a few important seniors, he hopes his players will understand that every team will now be extra motivated to take them down.

“They better be really focused on the fact that they have a giant bulls eye on their chest going into every Friday night. Every team we play has got us circled on their calendar,” Tudryn said.

Ultimately, Tudryn really likes Carrboro’s makeup. He says his team’s determination and love for competition puts them in a solid position to continue their rich vein of form and make some more noise in 2013.

“I like the competitive nature of the crew that we have. I think they have something inside of them that loves to compete. I think that will come out when they get to the time to play on Friday,” Tudryn said.

But how far will this “competitive nature” be able to carry the Jaguars? After all, it is mighty tough to replace all of last season’s Carrboro senior leaders that fell three points shy of a state title.

However, I wouldn’t put it past this “crew” to put the pieces back together and check off some more of those yearly goals. One thing is for sure, Coach Tudryn seems focused and hungry for more. If the players truly buy in as well, look out!

Next up on The Grid, we’ll hear from Coach Pat Moser down at Orange High School as his team puts in the final preparations for the season that gets underway in a couple weeks’ time.