Last year was a tale of two seasons for the East Mecklenburg Eagles football team.
Or maybe three seasons.
The Eagles started strong at 5-1, the only loss coming to Mallard Creek.
After losing the seventh game, to Independence, East Meck seemed to fall apart, getting upset by Myers Park and hammered by Butler 52-13. Fortunately, the next week was a bye.
East Meck looked strong again, winning two of its last three regular-season games and charging all the way to the regional semifinals as a No. 12 seed, where the Eagles lost to eventual champion Butler.
The 2010 season should be an interesting year for the Eagles.
But when he took the reins of the Providence Day football program in 2008, Hardin wanted the challenge of trying to build the Chargers into one of the best teams in the state.
To do that, Hardin and company first must win in their own conference, the Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA), which boasts the last nine state champions. The CISAA has been so dominant that both teams in the title game have come from the conference the last seven championship games.
Only once in that span has Providence Day been in the final game, in 2005.
The Chargers now hope their time is coming.
"Playing Country Day, Latin and Christian every year in the our conference makes it kind of like playing in the SEC or ACC," Hardin said. "We know it is going to be brutal. But we feel like this could be a breakout year."