Kimple steps down as Trojans head football coach

February 10, 2006|by MARK KELLER

If time equaled football victories, Shawn Kimple would have a winning record.

Then again, coaching football at Chambersburg Area Senior High School was never all about wins and losses for Kimple. It was about leading his alma mater back to prominence in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth.

That's easier said than done. With perennial powers Harrisburg, Bishop McDevitt, Central Dauphin and Cumberland Valley on the schedule, the Trojans struggled to eight wins in four years under Kimple, who resigned as Chambersburg's head coach last week.

"Every coach put in a lot of time, which I'm sure they do everywhere," Kimple said. "But I'd be willing to say we put in more time trying to get things turned around, and to have as many close games this year and still come out on the short end is definitely tough."


But, Kimple added, neither the record nor the time was the deciding factor in his choice to step down. He pointed to "a lot of things off the field" in swaying him to give up the position.

Kimple is a 1990 graduate of Chambersburg and played for his coaching predecessor, Don Folmar, whom he also worked for as an assistant before taking over as head coach in 2002.

Chambersburg went 2-8 in 2005, losing four games by 10 points or less.

Kimple didn't use the level of competition as an excuse for the Trojans' subpar record.

"It's one of the toughest leagues in the state. That's not going to change," Kimple said. "It's not going to get any weaker. We have to figure out how to play against them."

Kimple said the time is right for a new coach as the Trojans prepare to break in their new stadium in 2006. He doesn't rule out a different role on the sideline when play begins on the new field.

"My only goal is to have the program become a force in the league year in and year out, whether I'm the head coach, an assistant or not coaching at all. That doesn't matter to me," Kimple said. "It's time to bring in a new coach and get something turned around."

He also does not rule out a return as a head coach.

"I love the coaching part of it," Kimple said. "Who knows? Five or 10 years down the road, with some more experience, whether it's in Chambersburg or somewhere else ... I'm not going to say 'never.'"

Monster matchup

It often is tough for successful football teams to fill open dates on their schedules.

With so much riding on every single game in a 10-week season, many schools are reluctant to schedule a team that is good for at least eight wins and could put their playoff hopes in jeopardy.

Fortunately, that's not a concern for every team.

Martinsburg and Urbana, two of the top football teams in their respective states over the last eight years, have helped one another out by agreeing to a game Sept. 15 at Martinsburg's Cobourn Field.

"It's probably a good thing for both of us," Martinsburg coach David Walker said. "It's good for high school football, it's good for the area. It should be a lot of fun. I hope a lot of fans will come out to see it."

The Bulldogs have made the West Virginia Class AAA playoffs eight straight times and played in the championship game in 2001, 2003 and 2004. They had a 27-game regular-season winning streak from 2001-04.

The Hawks have had nothing but success since their first full varsity season in 1997. They went 5-5 that season before beginning a Maryland state-record 50-game winning streak in 1998 which included four consecutive state titles.

All indications are that the game will be a one-shot deal.

"If you go off of what the teams have done recently, it should be a heck of a game," Walker said. "It's pretty big news for high school football."

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