Carrboro's appearance in its first state football championship game was just two years ago, but it seems even further away to the 2014 Jaguars.
Running back Trai Sharp and versatile Rowe Mellott are the last two players on this year's team who saw significant time in the 2012 final. With former Carrboro assistant Melvin Griffin in his first season as head coach, the Jaguars feel like they're starting over.
"We've made some changes," Griffin said Monday. "A lot of what we do is the same, but I've put my own stamp on the program."
Griffin has been involved with high school football for 12 years, the last seven at Carrboro on the staff of then-head coach Jason Tudryn, who's now just a couple of miles away at the University of North Carolina.
Griffin was on the Carter-Finley sideline when Carrboro fell 30-27 to South Iredell. He wants his players to understand what it takes to get back to that game.
"A lot of people talk about making a run to the playoffs, but it's not about a long run. What you need to do is be 1-0 each week," Griffin said.
Carrboro, 4-7 last year, has enough starters back to be repectable. But new players who can step up will be needed to battle for the Mid-State Conference title.
Sharp, who rushed for more than 2,300 yards as a sophomore, is back after recovering from a mid-season leg injury. Junior Greyson Magee will get some carries, too.
Senior Darius Glover is back at wide receiver. Junior Jackson Overbeck, recruited from Carrboro's winning basketball team, will be a newcomer at wideout.
Mellott, a two-way player, is in a two-man contest for the starting quarterback spot along with Adam Bussian, son of former Duke quarterback John Bussian.
Tabian Sales, along with Mellott, gives Carrboro two experienced safeties. Griffin said seniors Caleb Clouatre and Sam Blobe both look solid at linebacker.
Carrboro’s defensive line, while not deep, has four players bigger than 235 pounds, a plus for any 2A program.