Myers Park football has a new head coach this season, but that’s nothing new for senior quarterback Clay Norris.“I don’t know what it would be like to be back with a coach for a second year,” Norris said.Scott Chadwick is the third head coach the Mustangs have had in four seasons. The former Marvin Ridge coach said he thinks the Myers Park program has the potential for success.“It’s a school with a great history of success athletically and academically,” Chadwick, 44, said. “I think there’s the right mix of kids here to be successful athletically.”“It just felt like this was a place where I could come and win,” he said.Chadwick replaces Scott Stein, who was fired last year after one season. Last season was challenging for the players, Norris said, as Stein missed a majority of the season on medical leave. The Mustangs finished 4-7.“I feel like people kind of lost the fun of playing football last year,” said Norris, 17, who started as a junior last season. “Obviously we didn’t really perform and no one was really having fun. … This year I feel like people want to come out and work, want to get better and just be out there. It’s just a different mentality.”Chadwick has compiled an 112-62 record in 15 years as a head coach, first in Maryland – where he won a state championship in 2001 with Bowie High – and Georgia before coming to Marvin Ridge in 2008.He won 41 games in five seasons at Marvin Ridge and was the 2010 Carolina Panthers High School Coach of the Year. Chadwick was fired after going 6-6 in 2012.Last year, Chadwick was vice principal at North Point High in Maryland and didn’t coach football. He had plans for his family to follow him to Maryland until he heard about the opening at Myers Park.His oldest son, Tyler, plays baseball at Coastal Carolina, and his middle son, Cody, will go to UNC Charlotte in fall. Chadwick liked the idea of staying close to them and keeping his house in Waxhaw.Chadwick said his experience in his final year at Marvin Ridge affected how he approached the job with the Mustangs.“I was not going to take another job where I was not comfortable with the school leadership … and the athletic leadership,” he said. “I wasn’t desperate for a job, so I felt like … I could do my due diligence.”Before taking the job, Chadwick talked extensively with coaches around the area and met with Principal Mark Bosco and Athletic Director Rick Lewis. “The words ‘sleeping giant’ kept getting thrown out there by a lot of my friends,” Chadwick said. “It was the only job in the state of North Carolina that I even made a phone call about.”“I don’t think you’re walking into a place where the cupboard is bare and you have to completely rebuild,” Chadwick said. “I think there’s enough of a history here to draw on that it makes you feel comfortable that you can be successful.” The Mustangs have experience spread evenly throughout the lineup, with players like Norris, senior running back Jacquavion Alexander and senior wide receiver Tederin McNeil on offense, and junior linebacker Noah Smith, senior linebacker Emrys Calin and senior safety Bo Owens on defense. To make the most of the team’s talent, Chadwick knew he’d have to earn the trust of those players this summer.“I think that you kind of go into it knowing that the first thing you have to do is kind of establish some trust with those older kids, because when you’ve been through three coaches in a short amount of time, you know it’s hard for them to trust you. … You can’t fault them for that,” he said. “You’ve got to understand what they’ve been through and be sensitive to that.” So far, that strategy seems to be working. “This year I feel like people are buying in,” Norris said. “(Chadwick) kind of goes out of his way to try to make relationships with players. You can talk to him. … He’s obviously working with you and you’re not working for him.”
Friday, Aug. 01, 2014
New Myers Park football coach has players buying in
Inscoe: 704-358-5923; Twitter: @CoreyInscoe
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