CHAPMANVILLE — Adam Vance certainly has the look of a grizzled veteran quarterback.
Last week during practice at Chapmanville’s Tiger Stadium, the CRHS junior signal-caller zipped pass after pass on target to his receivers.
Back in June during numerous 7-on-7 scrimmages, Vance stepped into the quarterback role for the Tigers and was mostly on target — often finding his top wide receivers for nifty touchdown passes.
What may come as a surprise to most however, is that Vance has never started a game under center for the Chapmanville Regional varsity team.
He will get his chance this fall as Vance has been tabbed to be Chapmanville’s starting quarterback.
Vance was certainly good enough to start last year for the Tigers but Chapmanville had senior quarterback and prolific passer Alex Berry, a three-year starter.
Berry, an Class AA All-Stater last year, had a record-breaking year for the Tigers and led Chapmanville to a 7-4 season and home playoff game. Berry completed 165-of-251 passes for 2,345 yards with 31 touchdowns and eight picks.
Those are big shoes to fill.
Vance only saw limited action last year for the Tigers, completing 4-of-6 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown.
He did have a moment in the spotlight.
In last year’s 35-28 win at Man, Berry was shaken up and had to sit out a play.
In came Vance and the then sophomore delivered, tossing a swing pass to senior all-state wideout Jacob Dingess, who reeled in the toss and raced down the sidelines for a 65-yard touchdown.
Chapmanville first-year coach Rob Dial said Vance is certainly not green and it’s turn to shine this season.
“Adam played on defense last year and was a backup to Alex Berry,” Dial said. “He’s a junior. He’s got multiple years in our system. He was also a quarterback in middle school. For us, it begins with Adam. He has a good grasp of what we want offensively. He has all of the intangibles of knowing where to throw the ball, who to read and has all of the physical attributes.”
Like Berry, Dial said Vance also gives the Tigers leadership abilities. He’s like a coach on the field.
“He also has some natural leadership qualities,” Dial said. “That’s something that you really need out of that quarterback position. He’s the guy that’s going to have the ball in his hands every single play. He’s going to be the guy that has to know where all 11 guys are going to go and what to do. He has those attributes and we’re looking for some really good things out of Adam.”
Dial said Vance played well a couple of months ago during the 7-on-7 scrimmages as part of the Tigers’ three-week June practice period.
“Back in June when we played a lot of 7-on-7 scrimmages we played 20 games against other teams and Adam only threw two interceptions,” Dial said. “I felt that that was a phenomenal stat. For us to be successful offensively we have to continue to protect the football.”
Backing up Vance at QB are freshman Chase Berry — Alex’s younger brother — and lefty Sam Craddock.
“We have a couple of young guys that we are working in there,” Dial said. “We have Chase Berry and Sam Craddock. Chase is a freshman and was our eighth-grade quarterback for our middle school team last year. Sam was our JV quarterback last year. Both of those guys have really done a good job and they have done a lot for us during practice. We feel like they are both going to have bright futures ahead here on this team at some position.”
Austin Butcher, who may play a number of positions for the Tigers this fall, is also capable at quarterback if needed, Dial said.
“Austin Butcher is a utility player for us,” he said. “He’s going to play some quarterback, some running back and some at receiver. Austin is a guy that we want to use in a lot of different roles and in a lot of different ways. He’s an athlete and he’s got good speed and good size. We feel like he’s someone who can’t be standing on the sidelines when the offense has the ball. He could play quarterback very easily. He’s a guy that’s going to figure into that mix somewhere as a utility guy.”
Chapmanville is scheduled to open the regular season Aug. 26 at Sissonville.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).