CCU seniors seek one final victory at Western Carolina

For Coastal Carolina’s senior class, Saturday’s game at Western Carolina will be more than the last game of the season. For almost all of them, it will be the last game of their careers.

From the pee-wee leagues to middle school, JV to high school varsity, and then for four years of college, football has been the primary focus of their young lives.

So when the clock strikes zero on Saturday’s game, it will do the same for the playing careers of the Chanticleer seniors. Some aren’t ready to face that harsh reality just yet.

“The time for reflection will be after the season is over,” said CCU senior Jamie Childers, who has split his senior season at tight end and quarterback. “Right now, we are in the moment, focused on this next football game we have to play.”

A couple of Coastal seniors have a good chance to play beyond college. Tight end David Duran and defensive back Josh Norman are getting some attention from pro scouts, but the odds are against them and any player at a FCS school.

Norman has set school and conference records this season and even got some national exposure earlier this week when he was named a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top DB in the FCS ranks.

“I had a couple of things (brought my my attention) this past week, with all the accomplishments and the things I got done, but we still have one more game left,” Norman said. “I will try to hold off on thinking about all that until after this game.”

That’s when the reality will sink in, walking off the field for the last time, the final team trip, cleaning out their lockers when they return to campus.

It’s never easy, but nothing eases the pain like walking off the field a winner one more time. For the Chants, who saw a promising season disappear amid a three-game losing streak, the best way to salvage the season is with one more victory.

Of course, the same holds true for the Catamounts and their seniors. Nobody wants the taste of a loss left in their mouth when they spit out their mouthpieces for the last time.

For a team that had high hopes for the playoffs and maybe more, a win is the only way to hang up their cleats for the last time.

“I don’t think you’re ever completely pleased, but being able to win seven ballgames, to me, is better than winning six,” CCU coach David Bennett said. “We want our guys to go out on a winning note.”

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