Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ringgold must act quickly to find head coach

Ringgold QB Nico Law
It has been a tumultuous week for the members of Ringgold’s football team. After a playoff appearance last season, expectations were high and excitement was aplenty for the Rams’ 2014 team.

That changed on Monday when head coach Matt Humbert took the head coaching position at Belle Vernon ­– Ringgold’s bitter rival. It is unknown who will take Humbert’s place on the sidelines, but one thing is for certain, a decision must be made quickly.

Opposing teams will not stop offseason conditioning while Ringgold’s school board makes a decision. With an incredible amount of talent returning, there is pressure to find the perfect replacement for Humbert. In Western Pennsylvania, finding an up and coming coach looking for an opportunity at a Class AAA school should not be difficult.

There is an influx of talent at Ringgold, including quarterback Nico Law, who will be a senior once the season kicks off. Law had a record-setting season in 2013 when he compiled 2,604 total yards and 29 touchdowns. He is one of the top returning talents in Western Pennsylvania.

The Rams’ potential is not limited to Law. Running back Chacar Berry was great last season and will only improve with time. Law did lose his top receivers in Alan Pritchett and Dayshore Majors, but the Ram will have five senior wide receivers in 2014, including Jake Gerard, and plenty of depth on the offensive line.

The school board has its hands full. The athletic director position is open and with the football coach opening, Ringgold has immediately become an intriguing destination for not only a young coach, but an experienced one. Plenty of coaches have succeeded while undertaking both roles and maybe that’s what it takes. It’s always better when the athletic director has a familiarity with the strengths and weaknesses of a school’s athletic programs.

From what I have seen on Twitter, the Rams’ players are frustrated with the recent events, but not discouraged. They plan on continuing their offseason preparation on their own and leaving the details up to the district. It’s great to see them continuing their work without a head coach.

One thing is for certain: the job will be incredibly attractive.

Humbert did a great job building the program up and had the ability to relate to the kids. With the amount of personalities in a locker room, that aspect is important. While his departure came at a tough time, it is just a bump in the road for Ringgold’s football program. Some have asked why would Humbert leave, but let’s not get caught up in his reasoning. The focus is on the future.

While Clairton has the state championships and recent success, they do not have a district that is the size of Ringgold and the Bears do not have Law commanding the huddle. Some see him as too short to play quarterback at the next level, but my advice is to watch him play. He’s an incredible talent and along with his teammates, make Ringgold an immediate contender in the Big Nine Conference.

The ball is in the school district’s court. A search needs to be thorough, but also requires a somewhat speedy conclusion.

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