Renfrow ends football career as one of Socastee’s best ever

For The Sun NewsJanuary 25, 2014 

Hunter Renfrow Socastee Football

CHARLES SLATE — cslate@thesunnews.com Buy Photo

  • The team

    Offensive Player of the Year

    Hunter Renfrow

    Position | Quarterback

    School | Socastee

    Class | Senior

    Highlights | South Carolina Football Coaches Association Class AAA Lower State Back of the Year, All-Region VII-AAA Player of the Year and two-time Toast of the Coast Offensive Player of the Year had 1,501 yards and 14 touchdowns rushing and threw for 810 yards and 12 scores. Led Braves to second straight 12-1 season and five playoff wins in last three seasons.

    Will Brunson

    Position | Quarterback

    School | Carolina Forest

    Class | Junior

    Highlights | Area’s top passer and All-Region VI-AAAA selection completed 196-of-301 attempts for 2,967 yards and 28 touchdowns. Broke his program-best single-season record for yards and touchdowns.

    Brandon Sinclair

    Position | Running back

    School | Myrtle Beach

    Class | Sophomore

    Highlights | Area’s leading rusher put up 1,919 yards and 18 touchdowns for the Seahawks’ Class AAA State Championship team. Combined with receiving stats, finished with 2,091 total yards.

    Delano Walters

    Position | Running back

    School | Socastee

    Class | Senior

    Highlights | Braves’ speedster finished the season with 1,518 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground and another nine receptions for 205 yards and three touchdowns. Named to All-Region VII-AAA team.

    Devin Cuttino

    Position | Running Back

    School | Carvers Bay

    Class | Senior

    Highlights | All-Region VII-A selection helped Bears to Class A, Division I state title game by rushing for 1,331 yards and 22 touchdowns. Averaged 9.1 yards per carry and scored nine touchdowns in the playoffs.

    Bryan Edwards

    Position | Receiver

    School | Conway

    Class | Sophomore

    Highlights | In first full season as an offensive starter, Edwards had 66 receptions for 680 yards and eight touchdowns in just 10 games for the Tigers. Led team in scoring.

    Kyle Belack

    Position | Receiver

    School | Carolina Forest

    Class | Junior

    Highlights | All-Region VI-AAAA selection smashed the school’s single-season receiving record by piling up 1,067 yards on 61 receptions. Tallied 15 touchdowns and averaged 17.5 yards per reception.

    Josh Carranza

    Position | Offensive line

    School | Carolina Forest

    Class | Senior

    Highlights | Offensive tackle had 28 knock-down blocks and graded out at 86 percent while playing for an offense that passed for nearly 3,000 yards and broke several school records along the way.

    Tyler Davis

    Position | Offensive line

    School | Waccamaw

    Class | Junior

    Highlights | Center helped Warriors to their first playoff victory since the 1990s. Recorded 15 knock-down blocks and led four different backs to rush for at least 320 yards. Also started at defensive tackle.

    John Leggett

    Position | Offensive line

    School | Socastee

    Class | Junior

    Highlights | Braves center graded out at 92 percent while handling the snaps for an offensive that finished with just shy of 5,000 yards of total offense on the season.

    Oneal Johnson

    Position | Offensive line

    School | Carvers Bay

    Class | Senior

    Highlights | Two-way player was a focal point of the Bears’ offense, playing primarily right guard. There, he graded out better than 80 percent while allowing only one sack and not being penalized all season.

    Javon Carnegie

    Position | Offensive line

    School | North Myrtle Beach

    Class | Senior

    Highlights | The Chiefs’ offensive tackle played every snap on offense this year, grading out at 87 percent while allowing just one sack and accumulating 45 knock-down blocks. Named first-team All-Region VII-AAA.

    Christian Buis

    Position | Kicker

    School | North Myrtle Beach

    Class | Junior

    Highlights | All-Region VII-AAA selection was 53-of-54 on extra point attempts and six-of-seven on field goals this season. He also recorded 20 touchbacks for the Chiefs.

Doug Illing didn’t have much time to get to know his star quarterback.

The Socastee first-year coach, officially hired in May, crammed in as many opportunities to find out exactly who Hunter Renfrow was. Illing had seen plenty of tape, and he even watched a few summer league baseball games.

The real connection, though, started over two rounds of golf prior to the football season.

“He’s terrible at golf,” Illing said. “But he’s competitive. He wanted to get that ball all the way to the hole. He was so competitive. I saw it then. … That’s going to be a part of his personality for his entire life. You hear people say that; you hear people say ‘greatness.’ They work as hard as they can to be the best. That’s who Hunter Renfrow is.

“That’s the legacy that he’s going to leave behind.”

Renfrow, the Toast of the Coast Offensive Player of the Year, led the program to its best two seasons in school history. A pair of 12-1 records, both of which included undefeated regular seasons and Region VII-AAA slates, was like nothing the school had seen before.

Leading the charge was Renfrow, the quarterback who ran the option offense to near perfection for the majority of his time on the field. As a senior, he rushed for 1,501 yards and 14 touchdowns and threw for another 810 yards and 12 touchdowns.

In three seasons, he combined to put up 5,305 yards and 61 touchdowns, and he helped Socastee to five playoff victories in that time as the team’s starting quarterback, a role he assumed during the home stretch of his sophomore season.

“It still hasn’t hit me yet,” Renfrow said. “It’s amazing that when you get a group of guys together who wants to win what you can accomplish. Everyone had the same goal.”

Socastee has had scores of influential players over the last two seasons. However, most of those other Braves have said that many of the team’s 24 victories over that span don’t happen without Renfrow.

He was able to take over more than his share of games, and in a variety of ways. He’s played eight different positions since the start of his sophomore season, and it stands to reason he’ll be playing a position other than quarterback when he finally decides between his numerous college options sometime this month.

No matter his next move, though, he’ll be remembered as one of the best football players to have ever played at Socastee. S.C. football coaches also believed him to be one of the best across the state. They honored him as the Class AAA Lower State Back of the Year and named him to the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas roster.

He allowed the Braves and their new coach to have a repeat season of the one that started it all.

“It was very comforting to know you have an athlete, a competitor like that,” Illing said. “His desire to win was endless. You don’t see that in the weight room; you don’t see that in practice. You don’t see it until you get him on the field. The desire in his eyes, you see very few athletes with that.

“I knew this kid was going to be special.”

Contact IAN GUERIN at ian@ianguerin.com.

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