High School Football

Socastee football's Renfrows balancing dual roles

Jordan Renfrow was waiting to get taped up in the Socastee training room, and the fear of what his father was going to think became vocalized.

" 'Oh, my dad is going to chew me out for being late to practice,' " teammate P.J. Brave remembered Renfrow saying.

See, at Socastee, Jordan Renfrow doesn't simply have to worry about the emotions of being the starting quarterback. He also has to balance playing for his pops, coach Tim Renfrow.

The first two games for Jordan Renfrow have included the bad - a blowout loss to Carolina Forest in Week 0 - and the good, an overtime win against West Brunswick (N.C.) last Friday.

He threw his first career interception against the Panthers. He then scored his first rushing touchdown out of the Braves' option rushing attack against West Brunswick.

Through it all, Dad's watchful eyes have been only a sideline away.

The hardest part of the gig for both father and son, however, has been fighting off the perception that Jordan is only where he is because of Tim Renfrow's status.

"You'll hear kids around school every now and again saying something," said Jordan, a junior. "You have to ignore that.

"That's one of those things you have to learn as a quarterback - even if you're not the coach's son - you have to learn to deal with criticism. You can take it from coaches. Other guys, you're going to hear it; you just have to cancel it out."

The tightrope act isn't much easier for Tim Renfrow. In his seven-plus years at Socastee, he's developed the Braves into one of the premier rushing teams in the area.

His last quarterback, Zack Elliman, was a preferred walk-on at Coastal Carolina. And Brave, a tailback, is likely to start getting some college interest given the numbers he's put up in the first two weeks of the season.

Still, convincing everyone nepotism had nothing to do with the decision on who is playing quarterback is never going to happen.

"There's always people out there, I'm sure, that say, 'Your kid's playing quarterback or whatever because he's your son,' " Tim said. "That's going to happen, regardless of how good or how bad he is.

"You can't let it bother you. I try to do the best I can do and be as fair to all the kids. I'm probably tougher on him than I am on the others."

The coach admits, however, that it is simply out of paranoia.

For the coach, it's something he learned with past experience. This isn't his first go-round with one of his kids in uniform. His oldest son, Ayers, graduated from Socastee two years ago. And freshman Hunter Renfrow - Tim's third son - has been rushed into punting for the varsity squad due to injuries. He's also taking some snaps at quarterback for the JV team.

The dual role doesn't appear to be over any time soon for Tim Renfrow.

"You have to try to separate it. It becomes a lifestyle," the coach said. "I've had one already graduate. I've got two playing now. I've got another one who will probably play one day. It's just what you have to do.

"If you're going to be in the profession and have kids, you have to accept that."

The give-and-take, though, isn't limited to the football field.

The duo see each other first thing in the morning. They share the dinner table at night - win or lose. They have sort of an unspoken agreement to avoid football talk as much as possible when they're away from the game, even if that isn't the easiest thing to do.

It's just another part of the equity between coach and quarterback, father and son.

"When we're at home, he's my dad. He's not my coach," Jordan said. "[On the field] he's definitely got to be a little harder, but that's just natural. But I don't take it in a personal way. He expects more out of me, not just because I'm his son, but because I'm his quarterback."

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