story by Aric Mitchell
Charleston has its work cut out for it against Harding Academy Friday night, but the Tigers have never been ones to back down without a fight. The program cemented itself as one of the state’s best in 2005 and 2008 after taking its only two state football championships. To get you in the mood for Friday night’s slugfest, here are some facts about the black-and-gold you may not be aware of:
Everything old is new again
Current Head Coach Doug Loughridge was on the 1989 Charleston Tigers football team that advanced to the state quarterfinals of the Class A Playoffs with an 8-3 overall record. That team was the black-and-gold’s best since the 1980 season, a year that mirrored the ’89 bunch closely in both record and placement. The 1980 team finished 9-3 and fell short of state glory, also in the quarterfinals.
Now pushing 30
We all know the big 3-0 gets here way before we’re ready for it to, but in the case of Charleston, “30” is not such a bad number. Heading into the 2011 Season, their number of conference championships was at 21, and with hard-fought victories against Paris (13-7) and Atkins (48-28), the Tigers managed to add No. 22 this season, finishing unbeaten in conference play. Reaching 30 is only a matter of time, and we've got a feeling they'll wear it well.
Not knowing how to lose
Scouring the Charleston Tiger annals, The Varsity Wire had to go back to 1985 to find the black-and-gold’s last losing season, a 3-7 disappointment. Head Coach Mike Adams would have his Tigers back on track the following season with an impressive 7-3 record and a runner-up distinction in the district title race.
It’s bizarre to think the Lavaca Golden Arrows (2011 record: 1-9) is the town’s fiercest rivalry. Lavaca has fallen to the black-and-gold numerous times in the last two decades. Many times it hasn’t even been close. Still, the first year Charleston ever won a state title—2005—the only black mark on its 13-1 record was from their Highway 22 neighbors, a 10-7 shock the Tigers nevertheless bounced back from, walloping Dierks 22-9 in the finals. Lavaca also defeated Charleston 22-21 the following season. Since that time, the Tigers have reclaimed their dominance with 41-0, 34-7, 39-7, 48-20, and 47-6 victories.
Flying the friendly skies
While the 2011 Charleston Tigers have managed to escape conference play unscathed, their performances have not been as dominant as some. Nevertheless, the squad holds the distinction of being the most passing-friendly team in school history. Thus far, the Tigers have flung the ball 186 times, smashing the 2009 record by 37 attempts. Completions are also higher at 110, though the completion percentage (59.1%) still lags behind 2010 (63.5%) and 2009 (60.4%). Total passing yardage broke 2,000 for the first time ever (at 2,042) and the per game average is 185.6.
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