But instead of seeing that as a hindrance, he thinks this team has an opportunity.
“What I’ve been stressing to them is, ‘None of that matters now because this is a new team. You guys can be the best team what’s ever walked through these halls. You have the opportunity to do that this year,’ ” McCarty said.
McCarty, the new head coach after spending the past three seasons on staff, is in control of a program that has just two winning seasons since the start back in 1999.
The Razorbacks’ leader was previously the JV head coach, varsity receivers coach and then the running backs (with playcalling) coach before taking the head coach position. McCarty replaced Travis Nixon, who was the head coach for three seasons.
Though he hasn’t been the coach for a regular-season game yet, McCarty has already seen big changes. He said numbers have gone up, estimating 70 players were present for a recent practice. That’ll help with depth as Cross Creek plays in Region 3-AAAA and a subregion with Burke County, Richmond Academy, Butler, Glenn Hills and Hephzibah.
Cross Creek has also tweaked its systems. On offense, expect multiple formations with more runs than passes. Defensively, the Razorbacks will go with a 4-3.
McCarty has stressed physical play from his players, doing so with a board drill in practice. Players go one-on-one in the drill, trying to push the other player off the board, kind of like a tug of war.
McCarty also wants seniors Tyler Darnall, Jukobie Frye, Vincent Norris and Deon Kleckley to make an impact on a team ready to forget past struggles.
“If you look at film last year and then look at film after next Friday, you’ll see two totally different teams,” McCarty said. “I believe we’re going to surprise some people. I really do.”