Georgetown had to quit feeling sorry for itself before it could try to start maximizing its potential.
The Bulldogs had a promising start to the 2013 season before a score of injuries derailed any chance to achieve something special. Instead of being in the running for a region championship, coach Bradley Adams’ team finished in fourth place in Region VII-AAA and missed the playoffs by two-tenths of a point.
“The first concern I had, when Jordan [Ward] went down, ‘we can’t lose him,’ ” returning quarterback Jarvis Brown said. “And then Mike [Billings] went down against Carvers Bay and we’re really in a bind. And then Cody Floyd went down against North Myrtle Beach. We really started to lose our confidence.”
Brown’s short list only scratched the surface of what Adams described as a “freakish” season. In total, approximately half the team’s starters missed multiple games because of injury.
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“It hit us when we went into play North Myrtle Beach and we got down to our fifth-string quarterback,” Adams said. “It was one of those moments when there wasn’t anything you could do. No matter what you put out there, you just didn’t have the ability to move the football or stop anybody. … It was a total mismatch for our kids, and it was a total mismatch for us as coaches.”
Needless to say, the Bulldogs are ready to move on from 2013.
Once again, Georgetown will have a roster full of experienced players hungry to reach for the top of the region. Brown put up nearly 1,400 yards and 11 touchdowns. Billings, who verbally committed to Coastal Carolina in July, returns after averaging 90 yards and more than a touchdown per game in the six contests he played.
The team’s top three receivers are all back, giving the Bulldogs eight returning starters on offense alone. Georgetown’s defense also returns five players who helped the team to an impressive 23 points per game despite all those absences throughout the season.
“We don’t know whether we’re going to win or we’re going to lose,” Adams said. “But we’re leaps and bounds farther along than we’ve ever been right now. We’ve got more experience coming back than ever before.”
Adams has changed his philosophy to the preseason and even the first few weeks of the regular season.
He said he has spent significantly more time preparing second- and third-string players, and those units will get the majority of snaps in the team’s final two scrimmages this weekend.
“We’re trying to make the right decisions instead of winning things that didn’t matter,” Adams said. “We started out last year with a bang. But look at what we did in our region. We get banged up and we’re struggling because we don’t have those players.”
Said Brown: “With everybody healthy, and if we stay healthy, we can give Myrtle Beach a run. We can give anybody we play a run. Our confidence level is high. We have that chance.”