McCarty, who’s been on the football staff as the JV coach and a varsity assistant, is the Razorbacks’ new varsity head coach. But because he’s a familiar face, McCarty hopes the transition isn’t difficult.
“With me, I’ve been in this community for 10 years, so for some of these kids, it will be their seventh year playing for me. I had them in middle school and then I got them as freshmen over here,” he said. “I have a bond with a lot of the kids already.”
McCarty takes over for Travis Nixon, who went 5-5 in 2011 but just 9-21 overall in his three years. As a program, Cross Creek has only two winning seasons in its 14 years. In 2012, for example, the Razorbacks went 3-7.
But with what he describes as a strong rising senior class, McCarty hopes for better days in the near and long-term future, days that could eventually end with a playoff appearance or even a region title. The coach, who will use multiple formations on offense and a 3-4 defense, sees implementing a winning mentality and increasing numbers as keys to turning around the program.
In recent years, McCarty estimated there were between 40 to 60 players present on the JV and varsity teams. To up that number, McCarty will go around and talk with potential players at Cross Creek. He said even if players haven’t participated in football before, the coaches will simply teach the students the game.
So far, he thinks his efforts have worked, as 30 to 40 students are already weight training. And once basketball and wrestling finish, McCarty hopes that number will increase.
“The past few years, we really haven’t had the numbers,” McCarty said. “Our goal is to get at least 100 kids on the program. We’re doing a good job of that right now. That and getting a winning attitude – those are our biggest two obstacles right now.”