Conway coach Chuck Jordan knows all too well that he better have a contingency plan in place for starting quarterback Mykal Moody.
The senior lit up Georgetown for a half on Friday night, throwing for 182 yards and three scores and rushing for another 42 yards. However, with the Tigers owning a 35-6 halftime lead, Jordan decided it was time to get Moody out of the game.
He inserted sophomore Ethan Smith at quarterback and let the youngster take the rest of the snaps.
“The bottom line is, your backup quarterback is only one play away from having to be your quarterback,” Jordan said. “You constantly got to prepare him for that. I want to get my backup every rep I can get him when it counts.”
The Conway coach understands that better than most, especially recently. Moody missed nearly all of 2010 with an ankle injury that required season-ending surgery. He then missed a game as a junior with a concussion.
In the spring, Moody the suffered a minor break in his collarbone that sidelined him for about six weeks.
Essentially, Moody’s style – which often has him running the ball more than many tailbacks – opens him up for additional contact.
That means Smith is one nasty hit on Moody away from being the Tigers starter.
In relief against Georgetown, Smith showed some of the promise that has the coaching staff thinking so highly of him. He completed five of his 10 pass attempts for 85 yards. Only one of his passes was even close to being intercepted.
Football this and that• There’s already been a noticeable change in Conway football this year. Mike Green, the radio play-by-play announcer for Tigers football, retired after the 2011 season to cap a 50-year career. The press box at the high school was named after Green. Ashley Smith took over for Green, and he called his first game Friday when Conway beat Georgetown. Smith, a Conway graduate who also works with the South Carolina Junior Golf Association, admitted prior to the game he was a little nervous. He received a complimentary message from Green during the game.
• The first official state media rankings for all South Carolina football classes should be released Tuesday. Check the Prep Talk blog at MyrtleBeachOnline.com each Tuesday for the most up-to-the-date rankings.
• Congratulations to Michael Hayes of Myrtle Beach for winning the first week of The Sun News/WBTW Pigskin Pick ‘Em. Hayes accurately picked all but one of the Week 0 high school football games. Keep in mind we’ll add in college games for the Labor Day weekend pick ‘em and NFL games beginning Thursday, Sept. 6. You may enter the contest by clicking on the “Pigskin Pick ‘Em” icon on the top of The Sun News sports online home.
• In case you missed it, WBTW and The Sun News are also collaborating each week for a high school football web chat. The preseason is live on the Prep Talk blog now, and the newest production should be uploaded by Thursday morning each week.
Countdown to game time
While the seasons for football, swimming and girls golf started last week, volleyball, girls tennis and cross country will fire up for the most part next Monday.
The area should be well represented in those sports this year, as some of the top talent is coming back.
Former Toast of the Coast winners Jaz Greene (Waccamaw boys) and Benjamin Jenerette (North Myrtle Beach girls) lead a strong crew of retuning cross country runners. The Waccamaw girls cross country team is also expected to have back three runners who finished in the top seven of the Class AA state meet a year ago.
The Warriors girls tennis program will be solid as a team, but all eyes will be on senior Tolley Rice. She is one of 12 players to win the individual state tournament at any class level three times. This fall, she’ll be attempting to become one of just five players to accomplish the feat four times.
The area volleyball scene will again revolve around North Myrtle Beach. The Chiefs return seniors Taylor Allman and Moriah Jones. Waccamaw (Class AA Lower State runners up in 2011) and SCISA school Myrtle Beach Christian Academy also could be primed for big seasons in which they could compete for their respective state titles.