New Clay-Chalkville QB has ‘an X factor’
By Erik Harris
For The Tribune
GARDENDALE — According to head coach Jerry Hood, Clay-Chalkville returns six starters from last season’s 10-2 team, but none of them are named Hayden Moore and, more importantly, none of them threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Moore, last year’s starting quarterback, now resides in Ohio as a freshman member of the Cincinnati Bearcats football team.
Replacing a senior leader like Moore will be no small task. The 2013 signal caller proved to be a diverse weapon for the Cougars. He completed 126 of his 196 attempts for 1,966 yards and only a single interception while rushing for 677 yards and seven scores.
Rising junior Tyrell Pigrome is first in line to replace last year’s senior. Hood believes in his new starter’s ability to be a dual-threat passer like Moore.
“He does have an X factor: when he wants to run or when the situation dictates that he runs, he’s not a slow kid by any means,” Hood said.
Pigrome served as a backup behind Moore. His role allowed little more than mop-up duty snaps that took place later in blowout victories. Luckily for Pigrome, Clay-Chalkville won seven games by 21 points or more last year.
One of the longest opportunities he got came in a 62-8 thrashing over Grissom in October. With Moore and the starters providing a 34-0 lead at the half, Pigrome got the call for the entire second half and took complete advantage, going 5-for-5 through the air for 79 yards.
Offensive lineman Johnathan Butterworth calls Pigrome a “big playmaker.”
More than the physical measureables, Hood is more interested in Pigrome taking care of the football and providing leadership in the huddle.
“What we want from him more than anything is for him to show the leadership that those last four or five guys have shown and hold up that tradition of quarterbacks that we’ve had,” Hood said.
The Cougars bring back a plethora of talent to surround the new signal caller.
“The No. 1 thing I want him to do is take care of the football,” Hood said. “You know, we have a good offensive line and a good stable of running backs.”
Hood believes the junior can serve as a game manager early before developing into more of a playmaker as the season progresses.
“If he can just keep us out of bad plays and bad situations, that’s what we’re looking for out of him early,” Hood said. “I think he has a long way to go.”
Pigrome has until Aug. 23 to prepare for his first start at Hoover High School against Niceville (Fla.), which will be televised on ESPNU at 3 p.m.