For the first time in nearly 22 months, the Chapel Hill Tigers competed on the gridiron in a varsity football game. Like many places across the state, Chapel Hill has experienced low football participation, and last year, the Tigers had to cancel their varsity season.
2019, however, is a new year, and new talent has arrived that will help reinvigorate this proud program. I witnessed many young Tiger players come out on the field and learn life lessons that will pay dividends down the future.
The Riverside Pirates, led by my good friend and head coach, Cory Lea, are the reigning Triangle-8 champs. Tonight, the guys in purple met the proverbial “eye test”. The player that impressed me the most was #25 Donte McCall, the Pirates’ junior running back. Donte’s game includes a great mix of speed and power. The Pirates play an aggressive style of defense that will challenge most quarterbacks, receivers, and running backs.
The Pirates brought more size, strength, speed, experience, and numbers to the field than their Chapel Hill counterparts. The game was called at halftime due to lightning. The final score was Riverside 44, Chapel Hill 7.
While Chapel Hill was on the losing end of the score, the Tigers played with tremendous heart. I saw the Tigers improve during the 2nd half as both their offense and defense made some big plays. Many Freshman and Sophomores played for the Tigers tonight, and if these young men are dedicated to the game and each other, the Tigers will compete for a Big-8 Conference Championship in the near future.