CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Sustained success has been the hallmark of the Capital High football program since the school opened 30 years ago. The Cougars have advanced to the playoffs 24 times and in their nine years under head coach Jon Carpenter, they have won fifteen postseason games. Carpenter saw another quality senior class leave the program a year ago, led by new WVU safety Kerry Martin.
“That’s what makes it exciting here is that the next guy you’ve got is not in seventh grade, he is here,” Carpenter said. “There will be quite a few of these kids to step up and do a good job for us.”
Fortunately for the Cougars, Marshall commit Kerion Martin is back to lead a Cougar defense that allowed just 14.6 points per game in the regular season a year ago.
“He is so big, he has gotten a lot bigger since last year,” Carpenter said. “With the defense we play you have to have a point man to get there first and he is going to get the shot at it. He’s got to have a good year for us.”
“You can’t really predict because as a defensive back you can’t be the one to predict stuff,” said Capital senior receiver/defensive back Karrington Hill. “You just have to read and react. We are just going to read and react the whole season and hope for the best.”
Without Kerry Martin at the controls, the Capital offense will look much different in personnel as well as scheme. Senior Logan Spurlock is likely to line up all over the field, including at quarterback.
“There’s definitely going to be some new personnel,” Spurlock said. “New quarterback has to replace our quarterback for three years… best quarterback I have seen in Kerry. But I think that we will be fine.”
“We have a sophomore that is going to be a really good passer in (Evan) Landers,” Carpenter said. “Logan Spurlock is probably the toughest kid I have ever had. He could play quarterback for anybody. But he kicks and he is on every other team. That’s pretty neat. We’ll have to design two little offenses for each one of them.”
If the Cougars go to the air more often in 2019, senior receiver Chance Knox could be a major reason why. He averaged 17 yards per catch on 23 receptions last fall.
“He is as good as anybody I have seen,” Carpenter said. “I don’t guess he could stock the tall shelves at Wal-Mart but he can play football.”
With six consecutive semifinal appearances, the Cougars are confident that their trend of playing their best football late in the season will continue to and perhaps past Thanksgiving weekend.
“I coached for Dick Whitman and he used to also say that you have to coach where you get better each week and not hit your peak early,” Carpenter said. “That will be the key to it.”