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HCHS has tough slate

AHOSKIE – Someone else created it.

Diego Hasty and his staff have to run the gauntlet that is Hertford County High School’s varsity football schedule in 2007.

A slate that opens up with a trip to Winston-Salem and a date with Parkland High School barely gets any easier through the 12 weeks of the schedule.

“For a new coach, this is probably the most challenging schedule I’ve ever had to face,” Hasty said. “Not only have I moved up in classification, but with the travel and the teams we have to face, this schedule is a challenge for the players and the staff.”

The Bears begin the 2007 slate with a trip to Parkland High School, where they meet a 3-A team that was seeded in the top half of last year’s 3-AA playoff bracket.

After that, HCHS will return home for Hasty’s home opener as the Bears’ skipper when they play host to Southern High School from Durham. The Spartans are a 4-A power from the Triangle area and will push the Bears.

After that, HCHS will travel to neighboring Northampton County where the Bears will face the Rams of Northampton-East, who are coached by former Hertford County coach Greg Watford. Hasty, who retired from Northampton-West in December before returning to the sidelines in Ahoskie, is a former Northampton-East skipper as well.

The next two non-conference games will see Hertford County travel to Northern Nash and then host Rocky Mount, a team that beat the Bears twice last season.

That will conclude a tough non-league schedule for HCHS.

What Hasty said he hopes to do in those weeks is prepare his club for a difficult Northeastern Coastal Conference schedule.

“We need to take the non-conference games and scout ourselves,” Hasty said. “We’re going to try to win every game we play, but if we do suffer a loss, we need to improve on the things we did well and correct our mistakes.”

He said the non-conference schedule would also help prepare both the offense and the defense for the multiple schemes they will see in the league.

“I know defensively, we’ll be challenged by multiple offensive looks,” he said. “That will help us be more prepared for the conference and the playoffs if we’re fortunate enough to get there.

“We will also have the opportunity to evaluate how our personnel perform against certain looks and in certain situations,” he said. “That will also help when we start conference play.”

The coach said seeing how players reacted in situations would help him with his job, which is putting those players in the best position to be successful.

“My job is to put in plays that give our athletes the best chance to succeed,” he said. “Just one type of offense can’t be successful. We have to have multiple abilities to go a long way because eventually you run into someone who is your equal or superior in talent.”

Hasty said his team would work to begin by executing their basic packages well and then adding to those.

The Bears open up league play at Northeastern High School in Elizabeth City before coming home for back-to-back contests with Edenton’s Holmes High School and Currituck.

After a road trip to Pasquotank County High School, the Bears will take an open date on October 19. A week later, HCHS will travel to Kill Devil Hills to meet First Flight.

The season finale will see the Bears at home to host archrival Bertie High School on November 2.