Sherman takes over as ECH football coach
Jon Sherman, East Chapel Hill’s associate head coach and offensive coordinator, has been named the Wildcats’ new head football coach, athletic director Ray Hartsfield said on Friday.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity to continue with what Coach (Bill) Renner started here,” Sherman said of his former boss. “He has done an amazing job here developing the program. The enthusiasm the kids show is amazing.”
East Chapel Hill, which became town’s second public high school when it opened in August 1996, had one of its best seasons in 2012 when Renner led the team to a 5-6 record (3-3 PAC-6) and lost in the first round of the state 4-A playoffs. The Wildcats finished 3-8, 3-3 PAC-6 in 2011, Renner’s second year with the program, and 1-10 in 2010.
His three wins in 2011 were the most at the school in at least eight seasons — the 2004 team won two games.
Since the start of the 2004 season, ECH has gone 15-74 in football, with more than half of the wins coming under Renner the past two years.
Sherman, like Renner, is a proponent of the spread offense and said he likely will continue many of the same philosophies he and Renner put in place last year.
Sherman’s coaching résumé includes a stint as an assistant coach working with wide receivers at his alma mater, Methodist University.
A former wide receiver and tight end, Sherman was part of Methodist’s 2005 USA South Athletic Conference championship team as a senior.
He was a four-time Academic All-USA South Atlantic pick and also coached wide receivers at state 4-A power Fayetteville Jack Britt in 2007 and 2008.
Britt won conference titles each of his two seasons on the staff and lost the 4-AA state title game to Richmond County 38-35 in 2008.
Sherman is a native of Naples, Fla., who teaches social studies at ECH and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science.
He began his coaching career as an assistant at Clinton High School.
In the fall, Sherman will have some experienced talent returning.
While he loses starting quarterback Ben Jones and Nos. 1 and 2 receivers Luke Arlotto and Will Buckley, the Wildcats return leading rusher Colby Owens, a 6-1, 240-pound bruiser (95 carries, 493 yards). Also back is No. 2 rusher Jeremy Hubbard (43-122), and both will be seniors.
The quarterback slot is likely to be manned by Adam Bussian or Connor Stough. Bussian is a 6-1, 165 rising junior and Stough a 5-10, 155 rising sophomore. Bussian completed 7 of 18 passes for 26 yards but threw three interceptions in his only appearance of the year, a start against Northern.
Stough, who also played receiver, hit on 22 of 34 passes for 216 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.
Rising junior Arkavius Parks is the top returning receiver and also plays basketball. He caught 20 passes for 132 yards and a pair of scores, while Owens caught 18 passes for 81 yards out of the backfield.
Stough had 11 catches for 112 yards.
Defensively, leading tackler Cameron Sieradzan, a linebacker, will be gone, but Nos. 2-3-4 tacklers Izzy Settles, Chris Alston and Armond Berry all return for their senior season.
Settles had 58 tackles, including 4.5 for loss and 3.5 sacks as a defensive back. Alston (6-0, 300) had 51, 2.5 for loss and a team-best six sacks at tackle. And outside linebacker Berry had 48 tackles, 1.3 for loss and a sack.
Sherman said there are playmakers from the junior varsity team that will move up.
“We lost some offensive linemen, but we’ve got some really good young guys and we’ll see how they do after working in the weight room this offseason,” Sherman said.