PHOTO | Bill Lusk
Chapmanville's Brody Dalton runs for positive yardage in the Tigers 40-21 victory over county rival Man last season. Dalton ran for 828 yards last season and threw for 750 yards for Chapmanville.
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
LOGAN The Chapmanville Regional Tigers will try to pick up where they left off last season when they host Cardinal Conference foe Sissonville Friday evening at Barker Stadium.
After the starting the season 1-5, Chapmanville won three of its final four games to finish the season 4-6.
“We thought last season by the end of the year that we were good enough to be a Class AA playoff team,” Chapmanville coach James Barker said. “Our guys worked hard, stayed together as a family, and we improved week to week like we should have.”
Three of Chapmanville’s first five losses came by a total of 11 points as the Tigers dropped close games to Sissonville, Winfield and Class AA playoff participant and Boone County rival Scott.
Despite the early season struggles, the Tigers rebounded to close the season with three wins in its last four games.
The Tigers defeated Wayne, dropped a close contest to county rival Logan and closed the season by with its first ever win over Mingo Central and snapped a two-game losing streak to county rival Man in the regular season finale.
With eight returning starters on defense and seven returning starters on offense, Barker is hopeful that experience learned from the close losses combined with the strong finish will translate into success for the 2022 season.
“We are aware of the close games, and with each those games we lead at halftime, that is something of battle cry for us this year-FINISH,” Barker said. “We have confidence going into the season that’s for sure, but last year was last year. This is a new season, and everyone is undefeated right now.”
Friday’s opponent, Sissonville, was just 2-8 last season but the Indians return junior quarterback Ethan Taylor, senior running back Cam Arbogast and junior wide receiver Jake Wiseman.
As a sophomore last season, Taylor completed 81 of his 139 attempts and threw for 1,160 yards. The sophomore signal caller threw for nine touchdowns and was picked off five times last season.
Arbogast ran for 548 yards on 75 attempts, however, in his final four games of the season he ran for 488 yards including three games of at least 100 yards.
Wiseman hauled in 60 passes for 837 yards and one touchdown last season as a sophomore.
“Quarterback (Taylor) is very dangerous outside of the pocket. Their running back (Arbogast) can turn the corner and be gone in the blink of an eye,” Barker said. “Obviously the Wiseman kid at wide receiver is one of the best we will see all year, but they have three other wide receivers that can beat you as well.”
Chapmanville quarterback Brody Dalton and running back Kohl Farmer hope to pick up right where they left off last season. The tandem combined to rush for 1,770 yards last season.
Farmer, who rushed for 111 yards in the first half of Chapmanville’s regular season finale victory over county rival Man, finished with 942 yards on the ground last season.
Dalton, who missed two games with a cut hand, rushed for 828 yards and threw for 750 yards last season.
Barker said Sissonville, just like any other Cardinal Conference team, is a quality opponent.
“They have great athletes, are aggressive and they play angry up front,” Barker said. “We must find ways to run on the outside and block them in our rollout game.”
“We haven’t been able to do that in years past,” Barker said. “Defensively, we have to take away their big play threats and match their physicality.”
Sissonville has won 10 of 15 meetings, including eight of the last nine in the series, and has won the last five season openers between the two schools.
“Our kids and our program as a whole are excited to get the 2022 season underway,” Barker said. “Our players and staff would like to thank the community of Chapmanville and Harts for their support this offseason and their continued support throughout this school year.”