Pastrick said they are focusing heavily on weight training and conditioning as they are teaching the incoming freshmen how he would like them to play the game.
With 11 returning starters – seven on offense and four on defense – Pastrick said the team’s strategy and plan of action won’t see many changes from last season.
“We try to stay the course with what we do. I don’t know if there will be any major changes,” he said.
One thing Pastrick said he hopes to change is how his team finishes this season in regards to the playoffs.
“We’re not satisfied with just making the playoffs. That’s a different type of focus. They’ve tasted it and now they want more,” said Pastrick.
Finishing the 2012 season with a 6-5 record, the Panthers made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2009, losing to Johnson 32-23 in the first round.
Since opening its doors in 1999, Chapel Hill has made it past the first round of playoffs only once in 2008 when they finished the season 9-3, losing to Coffee 35-14.
If the Panthers want to make it to that point or further again, Pastrick said there are two things they have to do.
“Defensively, doing what you’re coached to do. Don’t question it. Trust that the coach put you where you need to be. Offensively, we have to be able to throw the ball better,” said Pastrick.
Along with that, Pastrick added that being physical also is necessary to advance in the post season.
New concussion laws are coming that require all youth athletics, including high school, to follow rules including removing athletes from play and getting a health care provider to clear the player to return.
Pastrick said that has had no effect on the team as they always try to get the best helmets possible, along with teaching their players the proper way to hit and block.
“We have a good trainer and a plan in place in case anything happens,” he said.
Making it through his first season, Pastrick said he is proud of his players’ academic success and said they come to work hard every day and try to do things right.