Michigan Football Recruiting: Taco Charlton and Coach Sharrett Exclusive Interview with GBMWolverine — Part I
Seniors are Important Leaders-
An Interview with Coach Sharrett and Taco Charlton of Pickerington Central High School, Pickerington, Ohio
When the craggy author of this article was in his youth, Pickerington was a very small, typical rural Fairfield County town of less than 1,000 residents. There were many such towns in this county, aptly named Fairfield, where glaciers dropped till and moraine that resulted in small rolling hills and abundant nutrients for the soil. The southern end of the county is the gateway to the beautiful Hocking Hill area.
Things have changed, and noticeably so!! Pickerington is now a bustling, growing suburb in the far eastern part of the Metro Columbus, Ohio area, spreading past the rural Fairfield County. The population is now near 20,000 and a simple, small high school of decades ago has been replaced by two large, state of the art suburban high schools, North and Central.
Coach Jay Sharrett and Michigan recruit, and commit, Mr. Taco Charlton, were recently kind enough to take time in the busy pre-season preparation period to sit down and respond to some questions and topics. Our thanks go out to Coach and Taco for their kindness.
Coach Sharrett was asked to provide some basic information about the Central football program, which like the community, has grown and prospered in the last four decades. He responded that Pickerington football as a high school program started in the mid 1960’s. The program is accurately described as upward bound. Like many suburbs with growing populations, high schools burst at the seams with students and so a second high school was added in 2003. And so this year marks the ten-year point with the split.
Pickerington Central plays in the highly regarded OCC (Ohio Capitol Conference). The conference has four divisions of eight teams and both Central and North play in the Ohio Division. While the perception is that the Northeast Ohio and Cincinnati areas are THE football hotbeds, Central Ohio has fared very well in the last decade with OCC teams leading the way.
Coach Sharrett points out that Central has won 7 OCC titles in recent years and has been to the State Championship big school Division 1 game twice, in 2003 and again in 2011. Hilliard Davidson, on the west side of the Columbus suburbs, has of course won big school titles. So, there is no need to worry about the state of Pickerington Central football, or Central Ohio football, as both are strong.
Coach and Taco were asked to respond separately to selected topics; the first being the nature and importance of the coach-player relationship. Coach Sharrett and Taco Charlton were on the same page in communicating their thoughts on this topic, as with the other selected discussion areas.
Coach Sharrett has known Taco and his family for six years. He has great respect for Taco and has over time gotten to know the family quite well. Coach speaks with pride in stating Taco has been a four-year starter. He is proud of Taco’s scholarship, which is on track to achieve early enrollment at Michigan. To Coach Sharrett, Taco is best described as a serious student, loyal, and a well-connected young man. In this sense well connected should be interpreted as he gets it, knows what is going on and makes good decisions.
Taco Charlton’s discussion of a coach-player relationship showed strong insight. He spoke at length about the importance of a coach in forming players as people destined to be successful by doing things the right way. He views the relationship of a coach to a player as very important, perhaps critical.
The author was struck in a positive manner by Taco’s discussion of trust, and that trust is a major component of such a relationship. Coaches should navigate players in the right direction, and players should listen to coaches for all the right reasons. Trust in Taco’s perception occurs when a player knows the coach is looking out for the best interests of the athlete and “has his back.” This theme came through in a strong manner. Taco then attached the above view to another that again demonstrated a strong sense of perception: that when trust is established and a player knows the coach “has his back,” a player has the luxury of not second guessing himself, instead relying on the experience and knowledge of the coach. This makes perfect sense, and one trait of superior athletes who happen to also be superior citizens is a supreme self-confidence. And certainly, eliminating second-guessing and doubts should enhance the growth process.
The discussion next turned to the outlook for the 2012 season and what Taco’s team role would entail. Coach Sharrett spoke immediately about the role of seniors. Seniors are to be leaders, seniors are to leave their mark and continue the legacy. Coach implied these expectations apply every year.
Coach Sharrett stated that Taco will be team captain and is a leader in the weight room. He believes one of Taco’s main assets is strength and he expects him to play hard-nose football. His role will be as a rush end, linebacker, and a combo package type of player. Taco will also play tight end.
Coach Sharrett was asked if he can see Taco being successful in a 4-3 under type of defense and he responded that Taco, due to his athleticism, strength, and good leverage (due in part to good strength) should do very well.
Taco sees his role and outlook similar to what Coach Sharrett laid out. He appears poised to truly enjoy his senior season. He welcomes the role of leader and knows he has a clear role as team leader. In the Central system he is being asked, and wants, to serve in the role of coach on the field. As Taco has developed trust with Coach Sharrett, he clearly wants to develop trust from the younger players (he stated the team will be a little on the young side). The discussion closed with this thought by Taco: “I like leadership, I want to lead in the right direction.” To do this Taco states he may have to be a little “boisterous. “
Closely related to the above discussion was the question of goals. Coach Sharrett believes there is a place for goals and that they are important. He does not splatter them all over existence, however, and his main goal is to find a way to score at least one more point than the opposition, whether by offense, defense, or special teams. The goals for Central are simple: prepare to be the best, stay in the race for the conference championship, which then should yield the final goal, making the playoffs.
Part II coming Monday at 4:00 Eastern time.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu — Recruiting and Writing Editor
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