Hallmark Reflects on Football Season after Playoff Loss


The Bearchat’s Carson Lane sat down with Head Football Coach Shane Hallmark to reflect on the 2016 Football season.

How did you feel, after the game ended on Saturday?

“Depressed. Football coaches get in a grind during the season. The season is like a constant adrenaline, where no matter how tired you are, you can get up at 5 in the morning and work till 10 on the weekends. You don’t know what to do with yourself.”

What did you tell the players after the game?

“I told the seniors that I knew they were heartbroken, but they laid a foundation for our kids, showing what it takes. How to prepare, to practice and to do those things. Hopefully one day they will realize what they did for this program.”

What do you think went wrong Saturday?

“We were probably fortunate to be ahead at halftime. They are a very talented team. The kids played well, and the coaches did a very good job of game planning against them, especially defensively. They were number 1 in their district on offense and defense. It hurt to have that touchdown called back. But even then, with 3 minutes left, we were only down 12-7, and we couldn’t move the football. I take responsibility for that. I call the plays. We just couldn’t get anything going on offense. I think we shocked them with what we showed them in the first half, but they settled in and their physicality began to take it’s toll.”

Do you feel the team lived up to expectations this season?

“I think they exceeded them. We were playing so many kids who had no varsity experience, and then we lost three starters to season ending injuries. (Austin Trammel, Isaiah Shepherd, Grant Hilding.) Trammel was 50 percent of our offense. For our team to step up and achieve, even with those guys out was incredible. I hate to use the word overachieve, but they really did.”

What does the team do going forward?

“Right now we are still licking our wounds and pouting a little bit. *laughs* We are doing some fun things and we gave them the week off. Soon as we get back from Thanksgiving, it’s on. Back to the weight room, and doing things outside that will make us better as a team. That’s all you can. Go back to work and become even better for next season.

What was the happiest moment of the season?

“The happiest moment was when we beat Stratford. They were just coming off of beating Oak 51-32 and no one gave us a shot. No body. People thought they would of pulled out their starters, but they didn’t. We went out and held them to 7 points and beat them. That was the most rewarding game of the season, I think, to the team and coaches.”

What are you most excited about for next season?

“We have so much youth coming back next year. We are probably going to be starting 10 sophomores, from our very good freshman team. Getting them ready to play Varsity football is something I’m looking forward to, and knowing we are capable of going out with these kids is very exciting right now.”

What is your expectations for next season?

“We expect to do better. We expect to go in and win playoff games. It’s how you measure a coach. It’s how you measure a program. We need to get in there and win some playoff games.”

How are you going to achieve it?

“Coach better. You have to get better every day, or you might as well quit what you’re doing. We are going to continue to tweak and think outside the box and visit coaching staffs on both the collegiate and high school level that have done a great job and try to learn from them.”