CHAPMANVILLE — A new era in Chapmanville football began this week.
Not only did the Chapmanville Regional High School Tigers begin their three-week June summer practice period, the Tigers also saw something exciting at their own Tiger Stadium.
The bulldozers were moving as work began earlier this week on the new Field Turf construction project at the football field.
The sod has to be removed first and then the field will be leveled.
After that, sometime this summer, the Field Turf will be laid down.
Chapmanville and other county schools Man and Logan are all getting the artificial surface and all three projects should be done in time for the start of the 2015 high school football season.
The Tigers are scheduled to open the ‘15 season, and unveil their new Field Turf, on Aug. 28 as the Sissonville Indians come to town for the season opener.
Chapmanville is scheduled to see its first on-field scrimmage action on Friday at 5:30 p.m. with a home 7-on-7 passing event.
With Tiger Stadium’s Field Turf project under way, the scrimmages are scheduled to be held at the Chapmanville baseball team’s Ted Ellis Field and also at the Chapmanville Middle School softball fields adjacent to Tiger Stadium.
Chapmanville, led by head coach George Barker, are hoping to rebound from last year’s 4-6 season. The Tigers were just 1-6 in Cardinal Conference play.
Chapmanville will play seven of its 10 games this season on Field Turf, including on Oct. 9 game at county rival Man. The three natural grass games will be at Herbert Hoover, at Poca and Tolsia in league matchups.
After opening with the Indians, Chapmanville goes to Herbert Hoover on Sept. 4, hosts Scott on Sept. 11 and goes to Poca on Sept. 18 before hosting county rival Logan on Sept. 25.
The Tigers then host Mount View on Oct. 2 in a non-conference game and go to Man the following week. On Oct. 16, Chapmanville hosts Mingo Central. Then its off to Tolsia on Oct. 23 and Wayne on Oct. 30 to close out the regular season.
CRHS will once again observe its bye week in Week 11 on Nov. 6, meaning the Tigers will play 10 games in 10 weeks.
Chapmanville last made it to the Class AA playoffs in 2011 when the Tigers lost at Point Pleasant in the state semifinals. Chapmanville made it to the post-season five straight years from 2007-11 but went 4-6 in 2012, 5-5 in 2013 and 4-6 last year.
Last year’s CRHS football season could be divided into thirds.
In the first third, Chapmanville started off 0-3 with losses to Sissonville (42-14), Herbert Hoover (35-30) and Scott (39-14).
In the second third, Chapmanville got back into the playoffs with four straight wins over Poca (34-14), Logan (48-42 in OT), Mount View (40-14) and Man (26-20 in 2OTs).
The last third, Chapmanville had losses to Mingo Central (53-6), Tolsia (31-20) and Wayne (44-8).
The Tigers did have some success.
With the two wins over Man and Logan the Tigers regained the county championship — one of the team goals.
Chapmanville will be losing a host of seniors due to graduation, including: Trevor Nagy; Nate Ramey; Austin Kirk; Zac Casto; Tyler Neil; Tristan Adkins; Devin Wiley; Austin Baker; Austin Fowler; Matt Dingess; Morgan Jackson; Michael Hall; Tristan Gilman; Rodney Workman; and Justin Bryant.
Wiley was the second-leading rusher with 115 carries for 643 yards and four TDs. Dingess, a linebacker, was Chapmanville’s leading tackler with 96 total stops, five sacks, a fumble recovery and one caused fumble.
The good news for the Tigers is that starting quarterback Alex Berry will be back for his senior season. Berry was the leading passer in the Cardinal Conference as he completed 105-of-191 passes (55 percent) for 1,352 yards with 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Leading rusher Tanner Dillon will also be back. Dillon ran for 789 yards on 151 carries and scored nine touchdowns a year ago. On defense, Dillion had 95 total tackles last year with a sack and a fumble recovery.
Chapmanville’s top wide receiver, Jacob Dingess, also will be back. Dingess caught 44 passes for 702 yards and eight touchdowns and was the top wideout in the Cardinal Conference.
The preseason football practices will then get underway at the beginning of August.
2015 Chapmanville Regional
High School Football Schedule:
Aug. 28: Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 4: at Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 11: Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 18: at Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 25: Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 2: Mount View, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 9: at Man, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 16: Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 23: at Tolsia, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 30: at Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 6: Bye week