After back-to-back winless seasons, the Chatham High Cougar football team looks to rebuild and start fresh. With a team consisting of multiple new coaches, a new look offense and a revamped defense, the Cougars are looking to make believers out of everyone.
This mission began Friday, when the team sent a message in a strong showing against Governor Livingston and Freehold in a tri-scrimmage.
“I was happy but not satisfied,” said head coach Jason Izsa, who is beginning his second season as head coach. Izsa has reiterated that, “We made some mistakes that are definitely correctable,” and the Cougars look to correct those mistakes as they face off against Millburn, Nutley and Becton in a quad scrimmage on Tuesday.
After losing many key role players, the Cougars have found ways to mesh upperclassmen and underclassmen well. With a senior class consisting of close to a dozen players, the junior class as well as the sophomore class will be a big part of the team’s success this season.
“I think [they] bring a lot to the table," Izsa said. "With the combination of the senior group (and underclassmen), I think it’s a very talented pool of players that we have. With the leadership of our seniors and those guys out there, we should be successful.”
After a tough season filled with significant injuries, like that of Nick Hill, the Cougars find themselves having to work around more bumps and bruises. With a handful of players already sidelined, the team has had to shift personnel around, trying to make do with what they have. “The next guy has to be ready. Guys are going to have to learn multiple positions to do what is best for the team.”