Chargers determined to avenge ‘22 season

Published 5:52 pm Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Players are bigger, stronger, and playing with attitude

A 5-5 regular season with just three district wins in 2022 was far from satisfactory, but not a reason to panic, either. If anything, the prospect of a playoff season this year under the guidance of veteran coach Chis Cutcliffe is anticipated, if not assured, by the players who wear the Chargers jerseys.

“All the way, this is our year, we have what it takes, and winning it all” were oft-repeated phrases during a recent visit to the Oxford High football training facility for a photo session and Q & A’s with a few players.

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“There’s a familiar excitement this year,” the eighth-year head coach said, as he divided up players into groups. “They come in ready, we have a good group here.”

Last week’s scrimmage game with Winona was encouraging for the coaching staff and fans alike. Game speed action give coaches their final pieces of information before the whistles blow on opening night, and players have the chance to work out pre-season jitters and make final preparations for game one on the schedule.

Game one for the Chargers is the Crosstown game, where friends – and often extended family – will meet for the yearly gridiron bragging rights in a contest where school size and classification mean little to the outcome of the Lafayette High versus Oxford matchup.

Oxford will be young on offense, especially up front, but there’s plenty of senior leadership on the field. Look for young players to mature quickly and learn the pace of 7A football on the job.

Defensively the Charges are veteran laden and playing with something to prove. A couple of games from last year’s campaign are bitter memories – the players mention those in the following interviews. And while the returning starters are bigger, stronger, and faster, it may well be that seed of bitterness from last year’s near-misses that will bloom a tree of success with branches of victories in 2023.