High School Football

With new bar set, Socastee Braves eye playoff success

When Socastee beat Hilton Head in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs in 2009, it set off celebrations for current and past Braves football players.

The school had its first playoff victory.

The reward? A 41-3 drubbing to Marlboro County in the second round.

That playoff loss serves as a reminder for the start of this season. Coach Tim Renfrow has already asked his team if that's going to be the end of the postseason success.

"We'll find out this year how the kids respond, if they're satisfied with a playoff win or if they want to continue to progress," Renfrow said. "We hope there's going to be some progress as far as getting to the playoffs and advancing."

That won't be easy.

The Braves lost seven starters from an offensive unit that served not only as one that would put points on the board, but also one that kept the ball out of the hands of opposing defenses by using up clock. Socastee's option offense, though, will have to maintain without the likes of quarterback Zack Elliman and fullback Brendan Hyde, who stepped into the position a week into last season and ran with it.

Those two players have been replaced by quarterback Jordan Renfrow, the coach's son, and P.J. Brave, who will be making the transition from halfback to fullback in the Braves' offense.

"P.J.'s gonna get the ball," Tim Renfrow said. "We start off putting the ball in our fullback's belly just about every play. We're going to depend a lot on P.J. He's going to run the ball hard."

Brave and Jordan Renfrow will be joined in the backfield by Michquan Brown and Daquan Brown. Michquan Brown, though, won't be full speed at the beginning of the season due to an offseason hand injury.

Once he returns, the Braves should again have four legitimate backs for an offense that relies heavily on running the ball.

Tim Renfrow said he hopes the versatility in the backfield will allow the Braves to get more runners to the outside of the line via the pitch. And the Braves hope that will help them turn the corner when playoff time rolls around.