Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP FOOTBALL ; Cougars Concoct New Motivation after Title Run

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP FOOTBALL ; Cougars Concoct New Motivation after Title Run

Article excerpt

Capital's current crop of seniors has never lacked for motivation. There was always the previous year's finish gnawing at them, pushing them to respond. And respond they did.

As freshmen, it was overcoming a 5-5 record and non-playoff season from 2011, and the Cougars obliged by going 7-4 and earning home field for the first round, where they fell to Musselman.

The following season, as sophomores, they upped the ante, grabbing a spot in the 2013 Class AAA playoff semifinals, losing at Martinsburg, the eventual four-time state champion.

Then last year, Capital went all the way in convincing fashion, storming to a 13-0 record and the program's first title since 1995.

All of which begs the obvious question - what will the Cougars now use for motivation? Many athletes on this year's team played vital roles last year, so there's no rallying cry to make amends.

"I don't know," said Capital coach Jon Carpenter, who begins his sixth season with tonight's home game against Riverside. "I guess I hadn't thought about it."

Carpenter, who often feigns ignorance as a ruse, swears that complacency won't be a problem.

"We've prepared and practiced better this offseason than we ever have," he said. "It's like getting money - you can't get enough of it. It's crazy for someone to fathom that you can be satisfied winning one. It's just one of those things you want to do again. It hasn't been a problem so far.

"We didn't have to do too much to get them motivated so far. And that's what you want - people who are self-motivated. That's what we've been preaching for a long time, and that's what they're doing. We've got all these [senior starters], they get the drills going and they get practice going, and it's a pretty neat thing to be part of right now."

Senior Savion Brown, an all-state lineman, said the Cougars players look outside themselves for motivation.

"Motivation mostly comes from our coaches," Brown said. "Our motivation is: We're not defending a title, we're fighting for one. …

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