Is bigger better?
Cary’s football team will put that to the test.
There are a few question spots for the Imps entering Year Two under head coach Kurt Glendenning, but size is not one of them.
Cary (4-7) has four players near the 300-pound mark and nearly 20 who tip the scales around 240 or more.
If games were won based on looks stepping off the bus, Cary may not lose. But Glendenning knows that’s not how it works.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” he said.
On a team full of “heavies” as Glendenning calls them, no one is bigger than defensive tackle/tight end Anthony Rush (6-5, 300), who could play a number of positions in college. He had an interception for touchdown last year and was the team’s second-leading receiver (96 yards).
He’s also a big reason why Cary offensive coordinator Dave Potter is able to run the double-wing with confidence.
“If you have more heavies and more momentum, then you’re going to be able to get downfield,” Glendenning said.
Connor Hill moves up from JV to assume the starting quarterback role, where he’ll be relied on for his mobility.
Running back is by far the team’s strength. Junior Isaiah Gibbons (1,142 yards, eight TDs) and senior Trevion Hackney (872 yards, 14 TDs) are the conference’s top returning backfield duo.
Offensive line has seven returning players with experience, including Kyle Thompson and Noah Luxford.
Jack Long returns as the team’s kicker and punter.
Coordinator Rob Lagore’s defense will start with four down linemen and adjust the rest of the unit based on the opponent.
The line should be the strength of the unit. Aside from Rush, Abdul Shaat, Andrew Grena and Rod Perry give the team good experience and size up front.
The linebackers and secondary will have to grow up fast, however.
“I just hope that we can live through adversity,” Glendenning said. And his team is already having to face some of that.
“Right now we only have five coaches out on the field every day,” Glendenning said. “We can’t get them into smaller groups where we can work with them.”
The Imps have a tough nonconference schedule, facing three of Wake County’s best teams over the past five seasons – Cardinal Gibbons (who Cary beat 47-26 in Week 2), Wake Forest and Garner. Despite the questions, the mammoth Imps are ready to face this season’s challenge.
“We’re going to try to win more games than we did last year,” Glendenning said.