First Flight coach Jim Prince talks Nighthawks

By on October 3, 2019

First Flight High School coach Jim Prince (Richard L. Miller Photography)

On the eve of the Friday, Oct. 4 Marlin Bowl between Manteo and First Flight high schools, Tom Hoggard interviewed the coaches of the two varsity football squads about their season so far and the outlook for the big rivalry game. This interview is with First Flight High School coach Jim Prince.

Q: You are 1-3 on the season. That said, the three opponents you have lost to have a combined record of 13-1. Is it safe to say that the team has played better than the record indicates?

A: We do think that we are better than 1-3. All of the teams have been quality opponents. The Gates County game is probably the one that bothers me the most because we nearly had that game won. We got stopped by inches on a late fourth quarter drive then watched as our defense couldn’t stop them on a long, time-consuming drive. They scored with 55 seconds remaining and that was the ballgame

Q: You have a very young team this season. Does that limit some of the things that you want to do schematically?

A: Offensively it has limited us a little bit early because of the number of young guys we have in key positions. We are implementing new things each week on offense as our guys gain experience. We’re learning, but still have a ways to go. On defense, we are much closer to being who we set out to be. We’re not really adding anything or changing anything defensively, just sticking with the game plan and trying to improve.

Q: When viewing the film, what stands out as First Flight’s weaknesses and strengths?

 A: Our weakness is clearly size. With our team being so young, we are not as big as past teams. In fact, we have a several starters up front who weigh in at under 200 pounds. Our biggest strength is the team speed. Our receiver group, defensive back group, and running back group can all fly up and down the field.

Q: The Marlin Bowl vs Manteo is this Friday night. Do you prepare any differently for that game?

 A: As a coaching staff, we don’t prepare any differently. The coaches are just thinking about how to get from 1-3 to 2-3. And then from 2-3 to 3-3. It’s probably different for the players though. These guys know that this is a big rivalry game. It generates a lot of excitement throughout the county when these two teams meet.

Q: What must the Nighthawks do to be successful this week against Manteo?

A: We have got to stop their inside run game. Manteo is so big and experienced up front. We can’t allow them to string together long drives and possessions. On offense we need to be able to run on the edges. That’s the key to opening up the rest of the offense for us.

Tom Hoggard is sports director/media consultant at East Carolina Radio. He hosts the Outer Banks Sports Report on 98.1 The Score Monday through Friday from 7 to 9 a.m.

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