Alcovy football coach Chris Edgar knew going into his team’s final regular season game of the season at Greenbrier that the next time his team would play a meaningful football game as far as wins and losses go would be in August 2018. That doesn’t mean Edgar didn’t want to see his Tigers go out with a win and avoid a second straight non-win region campaign in as many years as he’s been at the helm.
The Tigers ended up falling 21-10 at Greenbrier to finish the 2017 season 3-7 overall and 0-5 in Region 3-AAAAAA. Edgar acknowledged that, despite the win-loss record, he saw his team and program take steps forward. But he’ll also be the first to tell you that he’s weary of “moral victories.” Nevertheless, Edgar took the time to chat with sports editor, Gabriel Stovall about the season that was and what to expect for next year.
Stovall: Coach, you said before the season that if you didn’t make the playoffs this year it would be a disappointment. Do you still feel that way?
Edgar: “I was unabashed about making the playoffs. As long as you know me, you’ll know that’s going to be my goal every year, and this year, again, we fell short. It hurts at the end of the day. We made some small steps, even though we know making the playoffs is the kind of growth we really wanted to see.”
Stovall: What would you say some of those small steps were this year?
Edgar: “You know, you look back and you see some close games. We dropped two touchdowns in Eastside in a game that a lot of people say we could’ve won. It could’ve went either way. And then once we got to region play…last year we were blitzkrieged in every single game. But this year, should’ve won against Lakeside. Could’ve won Grovetown. Played an excellent last two quarters against Heritage. It’s getting better. We’re on the precipise. But I hate it for the seniors who’ve been with us during the darkest times because they’ll never get to experience when we do get there.”
Stovall: You guys have some athletes who are getting some shine beyond the local area. Do those players represent those steps of progress you’re talking about?
Edgar: “I would agree with that. Our kids work hard, and to see guys like Q (Hammonds) and others get the kind of exposure they’re getting, it’s definitely good for the program. We’ve got some quality young kids in this program who want to do right and have the character and work ethic. And if they continue to bring that to practice every day, good things can happen to you. We’ve got several players I feel will be all-region. Guys are going to the all star game. I think people in the community are starting to recognize the things we’ve done at Alcovy.”
Stovall: Probably a new region next year. New teams on the schedule. How soon do you start getting ready for 2018?
Edgar: “Some of our guys who are coming back, they’re asking, ‘Coach, can we start workouts next week?’ So they’re already ready to get after it. And we’ve got some good pieces coming back. Four lettermen offensive linemen, two game ready quarterbacks, some running backs. I think another year is only going to help those guys. We’ve already got a mantra for next year, and it’s just, ‘Man up.’ That can mean a lot of things. For us, it starts with, again, getting better physically, stronger and faster. But we want to come back and be accountable for ourselves and learn to dominate the man in front of you. If you can man up against him each down and each play, good things happen. It means another hard offseason for us. But the guys coming back, they really want it.”
Stovall: What did you tell your guys in that last postgame talk of the season?
Edgar: “I addressed the seniors first, and I told them thank you for fighting. They didn’t give up. Their next season now is just all about getting them into college. We had to do the things to get there though, like grades, film and highlights stuff right, and the test scores. I told them if they want the opportunity to play in college, I’ll work my hardest to get it done. Then I turned to my underclassmen. They already know, like I told them, our mantra is ‘Man up.’ I told them I’d give them a couple of weeks off, but that they should come back expecting the most intense offseason ever. And that’s in the weight room, classroom and holding each other accountable to get this program where it needs to be.”