Dealing with the loss of key offensive players to graduation, head coach Geoff Pastrick said the team is relatively young and inexperienced at some key positions and it has showed on the field.
“However, our kids are starting to understand the importance of doing their jobs and trying to continue to get better at doing so,” he said.
The Panthers also had several players out to injuries in the first three games and were unable to play at full strength until the Sept. 20 victory against Rockmart, 23-14.
The first three games of the season were against teams in larger classifications, making depth an issue for Chapel Hill. However, Pastrick said that was not the only downfall.
“We were also turning the ball over way too much and were not throwing and catching the way we need to in order to be successful. Because of that, our defense was on the field way too much and were worn out by the end of those games,” said Pastrick, hoping those games would prepare his team for region play.
With their first win of the season being a region win, it might have worked just as Pastrick hoped as he said his players didn’t turn the ball over and the defense played “very well, especially in the second half.”
Pastrick also attributed the win to an increase in physicality and passion which he said are “two major components in the game of football.”
After four games, Pastrick named two players he felt were making an impact on the team.
“Senior wide receiver Maurice Davis is playing very consistent with his route running, catching and blocking. Junior linebacker Khaleed Holt is starting to find his way as a first time varsity starter and has made some big plays for us on defense and on special teams,” the coach said.
With a bye week after the Rockmart game, the Panthers used that time to get back to drilling the basics of the game, emphasizing technique in all aspects of the game, Pastrick said.