Aynor football hopes to build off one of its best seasons in 2012

For The Sun NewsAugust 11, 2013 

Aynor senior DQ Nash (left) said, "there’s a winning mentality in Aynor. We’re hungry for wins.”

FILE PHOTO BY JANET BLACKMON MORGAN — jblackmon@thesunnews.com

  • The scoop

    Coach | Jody Jenerette (27-58 in eight seasons at Aynor and overall)

    Last year | 8-4, 3-2 Region VIII-AA, third place, lost in second round of Class AA playoffs

    Returning starters | 5 offense/4 defense

    Strengths | A 2011 playoff victory over Garrett was nice and all, but it was clear the Blue Jackets had simply defeated an overmatched opponent in the all-inclusive Class AA playoff system. Last year, however, Aynor clearly proved it had some ability to shed its regular spot among the bottom teams in the region. Confidence has paid dividends in terms of numbers and work ethic.

    Weaknesses | There is, and probably will continue to be, a noticeable difference in size at Aynor when compared to a majority of the opponents on its schedule. That is crucial, given the Blue Jackets require strong play from their offensive line in order to control the clock. Having to replace three linemen won’t be easy.

    Three players to watch

    Nathan Peeples, Sr., RB/WR | As a quarterback last year, Peeples contributed 13 total touchdowns to an offense that put up some quality numbers.

    DQ Nash, Sr., TE/DL | The team’s best player won’t catch many passes, but he has the ability to neutralize opposing defenders. Some of that comes from his experience as a defensive tackle.

    Louis Taylor, Sr., RB | The two-year starter at linebacker makes the move to fullback. The guy he’s replacing, Damion Riggins, had 130 carries a season ago.

  • 2013 schedule

    Date Opponent Time ’12 result
    Aug. 23vs. Lake View7:30 p.m.L, 49-38
    Aug. 30at Creek Bridge7:30 p.m.W, 36-6
    Sept. 6vs. Green Sea Floyds7:30 p.m.W, 44-12
    Sept. 13vs. Latta7:30 p.m.W, 52-29
    Sept. 27at Hannah-Pamplico7:30 p.m.W, 54-12
    Oct. 4at Dillon7:30 p.m.L, 40-12
    Oct. 11vs. Marion7:30 p.m.W, 14-12
    Oct. 18vs. Waccamaw7:30 p.m.W, 38-21
    Oct. 25at Mullins7:30 p.m.W, 58-22
    Nov. 1at Loris7:30 p.m.L, 29-8

  • 2013 roster

    No. Name Pos Ht. Wt. Grade
    1Austin WindhamQB/LB6-115811
    5Caleb JeneretteQB/DB6-01559
    9Quin ProsserRB/DB6-016612
    10Adam DoyleRB/DB6-017012
    10Kajuan GrahamRB/DB5-1115010
    11Landon FlowersTE/LB6-116612
    12Jackson WoodleQB/DB6-214011
    15Nathan PeeplesRB/DB6-217012
    20Noah EarnestRB/DB5-81409
    21Blake GoreTE/LB6-116011
    22Dalanse SmithRB/DB5-1016011
    23Aaron CowingRB/LB6-218010
    24Andrew RedmonOL/LB5-816211
    25Charlie CarrolRB/DB6-013810
    30Zack ToddRB/LB5-915810
    31Zack JeneretteTE/LB6-420011
    33DQ NashTE/DL6-022012
    34Louis TaylorFB/LB6-020712
    41Jimmy JacksonRB/DB6-016812
    44Daquan SmithRB/LB6-018511
    50Ryan GeeOL/LB6-021112
    50Stevie MayOL/DL5-616910
    51T.J. FoxOL/DL5-818711
    52Brandon WigginsTE/LB6-119511
    53Robert WinburnOL/LB5-1116711
    55Wyatt McCrackinOL/DL6-326512
    55Trey JohnsonOL/DL5-1119210
    56Andrew LovellOL/DL5-621011
    56Cordalle WilliamsOL/DL5-1118110
    60Shawn TarrOL/DL5-1122510
    63Ryan BarnesOL/DL5-1120410
    64Wyatt CullerOL/DL5-1022611
    66Dalton HubbardOL/DL5-1122810
    67Josh HodgeOL/DL5-724410
    70Laine JordanOL/DL6-016312
    71Noah LingOL/DL5-1127211
    73Blake RobertsOL/DL5-1016910
    74Adam CarterOL/DL6-025511
    75Cole SingletonOL/DL5-820610
    80Jackson RiddleRB/DB5-815210
    81A.J. JenkinsRB/LB5-615010
    82Josh OwensRB/DB5-1015211
    83Kamron JohnsonRB/DB5-1014711
    84Gregory RobertsTE/DL6-316711

Jody Jenerette contends losing football is a thing of the past at Aynor.

The ninth-year coach, with memories of the team’s first winning season in more than a decade still fresh in his mind, is ready to add a third straight year with a playoff victory to the Blue Jackets’ history books.

Gone are the days when he was spending early August asking more players to come out to camp simply to fill out his roster.

“It’s starting to feel like a real high school football job,” Jenerette said. “I don’t have to beg, I don’t have to plead, seeing if this guy is coming to practice today. I don’t have guys holding me hostage any more. … We actually have competition for jobs before, something we’ve never had before.”

That much is a good sign, even if departures from last year’s squad depleted the depth at the team’s most important position. Running backs Hunter Windham, Ronique Smith and Damion Riggins – a trio who accounted for 2,979 of the team’s 3,600 rushing yards – have all moved on.

In their place, the Blue Jackets now have six wings capable of carrying the ball. Some have running back experience on the varsity level; others have started at other positions for Jenerette.

The entire team, however, understands this is an offense that is going to run the ball time and time again. That stability helped the Blue Jackets turn the corner last season.

“There’s a winning mentality in Aynor. We’re hungry for wins,” senior four-year starter DQ Nash said. “We’re one of the underdogs. People look at us and say ‘they only run the ball.’ We showed last year what running the ball can do.”

The team amassed six victories by double-digit margins, with two of those such wins coming in region play. The Blue Jackets will still have Region VIII-AA opponents Dillon and Loris to contend with. This time around, Aynor believes it has even more horses to keep those games from becoming the blowouts they’ve been in years past.

It may start with Nathan Peeples, a senior making the move from quarterback to a wing/receiver role. Peeples, one of the faster players on the team, will be moved around to create opportunities. Fullback Louis Taylor will help fill Riggins’ void.

The Blue Jackets are also bringing back more than half of the seven players they use on the line – including tight ends. Jenerette called Nash, who starts at tight end, the best blocker he’s coached at the school. If the rest of the line comes close to his production, Aynor may just be able to withstand the losses en route to another winning season.

Of course, the unsung strength of last year’s team must also be sustained.

“Not fumbling is why we won last year,” said Jenerette, whose team lost just three all season. “If you’re going to fumble the ball, you’re not going to have a job. When you’re counting on guys who haven’t bought in, it’s hard.”

That’s not the case so far this fall.

“Coach Jenerette’s brought this program a long way,” Nash said. “It’s up to us to keep it going. … We’ve got to improve and do as well as we did last year, if not better.”

Contact IAN GUERIN at ian@ianguerin.com.

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