Black Diamond District, Region D
Head Coach: Doug Hubbard (36thseason, 220-164-1)
2017 results: 3-7 (1-2 BDD)
Key losses: QB Hartley Hilton, LB Bryce Dye, LB Ethan Farmer
Key returners: RB Trevor Dye, WR/DB Chandler Hubbard, OL/DL Zach Hess, WR Chase Miller, DL Cameron Fry
In 2017, the Honaker Tigers missed the playoffs for the first time since 2009. 2017 also marked the second consecutive season that the Tigers only won three games.
It marks two seasons that fell below the standard that the Tigers established for themselves from 2010-2014 in which their lowest win total was 10 and highest loss total was three during that span.
For 2018, Coach Doug Hubbard has hopes his 36th season as the Tigers’ head coach will be better than year 34 and 35.
“You can’t rebuild 3-7, you can only get better. If we want to rebuild 3-7, we’re wasting our time,” said Hubbard. “We just need to get better. We need to do things right. I think for the most part, we are practicing better. We’re doing a lot more things that I like. At the same time, it’s gotta go to the field. I’m hoping we’re much improved from last year.”
Honaker’s Levi Miller will take the snaps at quarterback for the Tigers. Miller got the nod at QB in the majority of the Tigers’ contests in 2017 after an injury sidelined Hartley Hilton for the much of the Honaker season.
Miller will be one of five returnees to the Tiger offense. Honaker also returns Chandler Hubbard and Chase Miller at the receiver position. First team All-Black Diamond tailback Trevor Dye returns to the Tigers backfield after rushing for over 1,000 yards in 2017. Zack Hess returns up front on the offensive line to pave the way for Dye again in 2018.
The Tigers’ head honcho believes his offense can provide a pretty solid attack.
“I like the fact that we got four kids who can run a football. Trevor, whose coming back after 1,200—almost 1,400 yards last year. The two Casey boys are very quick and fast back there to compliment him. I like the looks of our backfield,” said the former East Tennessee State defensive lineman. “With Chase and Chandler, we have two really good wide receivers—I mean really good. Skill wise, I like what we got.”
However, there are a few question marks still floating around on the offensive side of the ball.
“The whole question offensively is how well our offensive line plays. If they are going to be consistent and steady and a little bit more physical,” Hubbard said. “That’s gonna be the key to our offense is how well our offensive line plays.”
Defensively, the Tigers return Trent Taylor and first team All-BDD defensive back Chandler Hubbard in the secondary. Trevor Dye also returns to the defensive side of the ball at linebacker. Cameron Fry comes back to anchor the Tiger defensive line after his second team All-BDD performance in 2017.
Hubbard knows that his defense has to be better in order for the Tigers to be better as a whole this season.
“We have to tackle better. Our defensive line and linebacker play has to be better if we are gonna improve defensively,” said the longest tenured coach in Honaker football history. “We feel like we were better than we were. We have made all the gains and steps that we need to.”
Matthew Ball returns to handle the kicking duties for Honaker, while Tyler Stafford also returns for the Tigers at punter.
Overall, Hubbard likes the aspects of the latest edition of the Tigers to take Fuller Field by storm.
“These kids have worked hard in the offseason for the most part. We had some really good attitudes,” said Hubbard of his team. “They have a really good team chemistry. There are some really good kids in that locker room. I really like this team.”
As far of the woes of 2017, that is in the rearview mirror.
“I don’t know how we could possibly get worse (than we were last year),” said Hubbard. “I’m interested in seeing one big thing and that’s will we compete for four solid quarters. Those are things we gotta do better. I like the make up of this team. They are good kids.”
August 24 Lebanon
August 31 @ Castlewood
September 7 Twin Valley*
September 14 OPEN
September 21 @ Grundy*
September 28 @ George Wythe
October 5 J.I. Burton
October 12 @ Hurley*
October 19 Patrick Henry
October 26 @ Northwood
November 2 Ridgeview
*denotes district game.
I am a graduate of Richlands High School—class of 2014. In May 2018, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism and History with a minor in war and Society from Virginia Tech.
My passions in life are numerous. We don’t have all day. This is not the place to divulge into Hokie Football, so I will shed some light on one of my other favorites.
I was born and raised in the coalfields of southwest Virginia—Richlands to be exact. I remember the first time I ever went to a high school football game (Richlands-Tazewell ’02). Since then, a passion has grown that is stronger than the current in the Clinch River. As a football player in this region, I was able to witness the passion oozing out of the hills firsthand. It was something that when I began college, people had a hard time believing the spectacle that is high school football in the coalfields. Luckily, I was able to go 42-8 in between the white lines on Fridays and Saturdays from 2010-2013. I look forward to having another platform to tell you my stories, your stories and their stories. Here’s to the good times and hoping I don’t leave you like I did Coach Greg Mance numerous times—by saying, “Gosh Durn It!”
Let’s talk, SWVA sports, Hokies, history or maybe even barbecue.