Toast of the Coast: Renfrow orchestrates best season in Socastee football history

For The Sun NewsJanuary 26, 2013 

  • The team Offensive Player of the Year Hunter Renfrow Position | Quarterback School | Socastee Class | Junior Highlights | Centerpiece of best season in Socastee history finished 2012 with 1,418 yards and 19 touchdowns rushing while averaging 9.5 yards per carry in Braves’ triple-option offense. Also passed for 560 yards and another eight touchdowns. Led Socastee to undefeated regular season and a pair of playoff victories. Mykal Moody Position | Quarterback School | Conway Class | Senior Highlights | Two-time Toast of the Coast honoree and Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas selection passed for 1,543 yards and 21 touchdowns and ran for another 813 yards and 15 touchdowns despite missing the final three games of the year with an injury. Hunter Windham Position | Running back School | Aynor Class | Senior Highlights | Finished his senior season with 1,288 yards and 16 touchdowns while averaging better than six yards per carry. Caught seven passes for 147 yards and also spent time at quarterback and defensive back. Levi Moody Position | Running Back School | Loris Class | Sophomore Highlights | Rushed for 1,221 yards and 16 touchdowns for Lions team that advanced to the third round of the Class AA, Division I playoffs. Averaged 111 yards per game and doubled as team’s starting nose guard. Delonzo Williams Position | Running back School | North Myrtle Beach Class | Junior Highlights | Spurred Chiefs to four victories after back-to-back winless seasons by rushing for 1,149 yards and 15 touchdowns. Also caught nine receptions for 153 yards and despite missing two full games with an injury. Malcolm Green Position | Receiver School | Conway Class | Senior Highlights | Big receiver finished the 2012 season at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas after catching 80 passes for 1,172 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also returned 13 kickoffs for 401 yards and a score. 2011 Toast of the Coast honoree as a defensive back. Trell Harrell Position | Receiver School | Myrtle Beach Class | Senior Highlights | Seahawks’ leading receiver had 62 receptions for 814 yards and 10 touchdowns. Was also third on the team with 246 rushing yards (four touchdowns) and averaged 6.6 yards per carry. Stefan Hannah Position | Offensive line School | Carvers Bay Class | Senior Highlights | Tackle helped lead Bears to a 9-1 regular season and No. 1 seed in the Class A, Division I playoffs by grading out at 90 percent and adding three pancake blocks. Also started at defensive end and defensive tackle. Dylan Dennis Position | Offensive line School | St. James Class | Senior Highlights | Last-minute injury forced Dennis to make the move to center, where he played every snap this season. First-team All-Region VII-AAA selection. Dillon Alford Position | Offensive line School | Georgetown Class | Senior Highlights | SCADA North-South All-Star Football selection graded out at 90 percent or better in every game this season. Played every offensive snap for Bulldogs, gave up just three sacks and also served as team’s long snapper. Sam Hall Position | Offensive line School | Conway Class | Junior Highlights | Tigers’ most consistent offensive lineman played both center and tackle. Graded out at 87 percent for the season for an offense that amassed more than 2,300 yards rushing and another 2,200 passing. Ashton Culick Position | Offensive line School | Aynor Class | Senior Highlights | NCAA FCS prospect graded out at 87 percent with 25 pancake blocks for Aynor offense that ran for more than 3,500 yards. Was a cog for Blue Jackets squad that won eight games for the first time in more than 20 years. Max Huggins Position | Kicker School | Myrtle Beach Class | Senior Highlights | SCADA North-South All-Star Football selection connected on 12-of-17 attempts, including a 57-yarder in the regular-season finale against North Myrtle Beach. Also made 43 of his 49 PAT attempts.

Not that long ago, Hunter Renfrow wasn’t even planning on playing quarterback.

After taking up the position two seasons ago, the Socastee junior made sure people remembered that he was under center.

Renfrow, the Toast of the Coast Offensive Football Player of the Year, propelled the Braves to a 12-0 start that included a pair of playoff victories for the first time in program history.

In the process, he added some flash to a triple-option offense that is often considered formulaic and less popular than the spread offenses seen most everywhere these days.

“Hunter’s been gifted,” his father and coach, Tim Renfrow, said. “He does some things naturally that some people can’t do.”

That much was apparent in 2012.

Hunter Renfrow finished the season with 1,418 yards and 19 touchdowns rushing and another 560 yards and eight scores passing. He also returned five punts for an average of 33.4 yards, returned nine kickoffs for a total of 176 yards, picked off two passes early in the season and handled punting duties.

But for all the diversity in his game – he was the lone area player named to both the Toast of the Coast offensive and defensive teams as a sophomore – it was his abilities in open space that made him so fun to watch.

Socastee fans knew he was a threat to score every time he had the ball in his hands, and it produced some star power around school and after games.

“You get used to it after a while,” he said. “But when you had a line like ours and players like ours, it’s fun to be a part of it. They make me better, and hopefully I make them better.”

None of his teammates have said anything rebutting that.

As teams focused more and more on the quarterback, it opened up opportunities for running backs Daquon Brown, Tommy Lazaroff and Delano Walters. Defensively, opponents focused so much on stopping Renfrow that they often forgot Socastee’s defense was developing into one of the better ones on the Grand Strand.

For all of the accolades, though, Renfrow continues to go back to what it all meant for his team. The Braves beat Myrtle Beach and Conway in the same season for the first time in more than a decade, proving early on that this season was going to be something special.

“It means a lot,” Hunter Renfrow said. “We worked hard to get it. Beating Myrtle Beach and Conway, those were the two key games we’ll remember the most. I hope we started something.”

Whether or not it was only the beginning will be the big question next season. And it could possibly be answered with Renfrow going back to a do-it-all offensive role that he held a sophomore.

Socastee has a pair of young quarterbacks who have the potential to allow Renfrow to play more running back and receiver, as well as in the defensive backfield.

Regardless, what he did from the quarterback position as a junior was unmistakable.

Contact IAN GUERIN at ian@ianguerin.com.

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