CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — Chapmanville Regional battled through injuries and a difficult Cardinal Conference schedule to finish 6-4 in 2017, just outside of the Class AA football playoff field.
“We had a solid season against some good competition. Our four losses were to four playoff teams and we just were on the outside looking in,” said Chapmanville coach Rob Dial. “We had some adversity last year with some injuries, a couple of ACL tears. But our kids were resilient, we found a way to fight through some of those things and came out of it with a winning record.”
The Tigers lost a big senior class of 18 players, including multiple-sport standout Dylan Smith.
When starting quarterback Adam Vance went down with an injury in the preseason, it was Smith who took on an even bigger offensive role, rushing for 1,783 yards and 30 touchdowns.
“We got in a situation last year where we felt like it was best to turn around and give the ball to Dylan Smith – the more times he touched it, the more good things happened,” Dial said. “This season, though, we cannot rely on just one single person to carry the bulk of the load.
“We need to be more diverse in what we do offensively, both in who is running the ball and in our run-to-pass ratio,” he continued. “We feel like we have a strength on the offensive line and strength in a few of our skill guys.
One of those standouts is rising junior quarterback Chase Berry who threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns in 50 attempts as a sophomore last season.
“We’re really high on Chase,” Dial said. “We think he’s a good decision maker. We believe he’s gotten stronger this offseason and he’s throwing some good passes.
“To play quarterback in our offense, you have to have intelligence and Chase has football smarts,” he continued. “He’s not only a smart kid in the classroom, but on the football field as well. He has to make certain that we protect the football and avoid turnovers. He’s a pretty good pocket passer, which is something we haven’t had in a couple years.”
Overall, Chapmanville returns four starters offensively and five defensively.
Brennan Williams is the leading receiver returning for the Tigers, while Ethan Ferrell and Sammy Craddock are both expected to be key contributors there as well.
Seniors Dillon Renninger and Nick Collier are expected to share the duties in the backfield.
Linebacker Seth Whitt returns for his senior season after leading the Tigers defensively last year with 93 total tackles.
Chapmanville opens up the year at home against Cardinal Conference foe Sissonville on August 24.
“The last couple of years, if you’re not in the top four of our conference, you’re not going to make the playoffs,” Dial said. “We beat each other up where we play each other so much. We need to find a way to get into the top four of the Cardinal Conference, because we’ve been on the outside of the playoffs for two years in a row.
“For us to take the next progression in building this program, then we need to find a way to sneak our way into the playoffs,” he continued. “Once you get into the playoffs, anything can happen.”
2018 Football Schedule
|6||09/28/18||7:30PM||H –||HERBERT HOOVER||–|
|9||10/26/18||7:30PM||A –||MINGO CENTRAL||–|
|10||11/02/18||7:30PM||A –||MAN HIGH SCHOOL||–|
|wins: 0 lost: 0 ties: 0|