CHAPMANVILLE — The Chapmanville Regional High School football team has turned the Dial this week with the opening of its June three-week summer practice period.
Rob Dial, named recently as the new Tigers’ football coach, is breaking in this week with his new team.
Dial is no stranger when it comes to Chapmanville football.
A former longtime Offensive Coordinator for former coaches Ronnie Ooten and George Barker, Dial is putting the head coaching headsets on for the very first time.
Barker stepped down recently after 12 seasons and six playoff appearances but has remained on staff at Chapmanville Regional as the school’s Athletics Director.
Dial was Chapmanville’s Offensive Coordinator from 1999-2012. The last four years, Dial has held administrative positions and was the principal at Chapmanville Middle School.
Dial last coached two summers ago and assisted Gary Mullins with the West All-Stars in the now defunct East-West All-Star Classic at Mingo Central High School.
Chapmanville is scheduled to host a home 7-on-7 on Friday at 5 p.m. on the Tiger Stadium Field Turf. Logan, Scott, Poca and Wayne of the Cardinal Conference are slated to be there, along with Valley Fayette.
Dial said the Tigers will also be going to 7-on-7s at Marshall University and West Virginia State University.
“The best thing about the June practice period is the 7-on-7s,” Dial said. “The kids learn how to compete.”
Dial said the three-week practice period will help him get acclimated with his new team.
“We have the three-week practice period and that’s an opportunity for us to implement some of the things that we want to establish,” Dial said. “There will be some changes but we’re really not going to change a whole lot because we believe in what Coach Barker has done and the system that he had. It’s also a chance for the players to see what is expected of them.”
Dial said in an earlier interview that he’s excited to coach the Tigers.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” he said. “There’s two buzz words. I’m very excited and very humbled and blessed to follow in the footsteps of Coach Barker who has built a strong football program. It feels good to have this opportunity.”
In his tenure, Barker build Chapmanville’s football program in a consistent winner and expectations have risen over the years.
In past eras, the Tigers only hoped to make it to the playoffs.
With Coach Barker at the helm, Chapmanville expected to make it to the post-season.
After six straight winning seasons from 2006-11 and five playoff appearances, Chapmanville Regional dipped to 4-6, 5-5 and 4-6 records in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons.
Last year, however, Chapmanville returned to the playoffs, going 7-4 and eventually falling 42-14 at home to Robert C. Byrd in the opening round.
It was another high-water mark for Chapmanville football in that it was only the second time in school history the Tigers had hosted a home playoff game.
Back in 2011, Barker led the Tigers to the Class AA state semifinals as Chapmanville fell 33-13 at Point Pleasant, leaving Chapmanville only a single game from reaching the Wheeling Super Six State Championships for the first time in school history.
The three-week period will also help Chapmanville break in some new quarterbacks.
Three-year all-state QB Alex Berry, a stalwart with the Tigers’ football program and a steady hand and leader under center, has graduated.
Last year, Berry completed 165-of-251 passes for 2,345 yards with 31 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.
Returning player Adam Vance saw some action at quarterback last year for Chapmanville as he connected on 4-of-6 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown. The TD pass came in Chapmanville’s 35-28 win at county rival Man. Berry had been shaken up on a play and Vance came into the game. He then threw a swing pass to Jacob Dingess who dashed down the sideline for a long 62-yard touchdown.
Chapmanville is scheduled to open the regular season on Aug. 26 at Sissonville. The Tigers upset the then preseason No. 9-ranked Indians, 30-6, in last year’s season opener at home.
Nitro, Winfield and Logan all join the new 10-team Cardinal Conference this fall. The Tigers have added Nitro and Winfield to the schedule.
Last year, Chapmanville played for the first time on its new Field Turf. Logan and Man also turfed its football stadiums as part of a $2.5 million joint project by the Logan County Board of Education and the Logan County Commission.
High School 2016
Aug. 26: *at Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 2: *Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 9: *at Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16: *Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23: *at Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30: *at Nitro, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7: Man, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 14: *at Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21: *Winfield, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 28: *at Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 4: OPEN DATE
*Cardinal Conference game
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).