High School Football

Davis takes Waccamaw football team against former team in Georgetown

Maybe if Waccamaw wasn't playing Georgetown tonight things would be different.

Tyronne Davis could simply be the coach taking over for his mentor, the coach who had taken a job in the community in which he lives and where his kids attend school.

If only.

Instead, Davis, the first-year Waccamaw coach, will be charged with not only getting his team ready for another Friday night game, but he will also have to do it against the team he led the last two seasons.

"Really, it's a lot of emotion for this game," Davis said. "The kids [at Georgetown], I worked with them for two years. ... I'm sure they're gonna be gunning for me."

For some, those words may not be strong enough.

Some football fans in Georgetown scratched their heads when Davis left during the offseason. It was a move down in class and it was to a school only 15 minutes away.

The results following the change, though, have already started to pay off for the coach. Davis has continued to build upon the success legendary coach Burney Bourne had during his final two seasons at Waccamaw - the two years Davis was at Georgetown. The Warriors are 3-1 heading into tonight's game, with the lone loss coming to traditional Class A power Carvers Bay.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs (1-2) struggled to an 0-2 start before getting an upset win over Andrews two weeks ago (they had a bye last week). Georgetown first-year coach Bradley Adams has dealt with injuries and scheme changes.

Through it all, Adams was never able to forget today's date.

"This is going to be one of the biggest games, with Waccamaw and coach Davis coming back," Adams said. "The biggest thing here is the community, both communities; it's a real rivalry. Both think they're better than the other. It sort of pulls us into the middle of it."

In truth, Davis and Adams consider themselves friends.

When Adams was an assistant at Newberry College, he was responsible for recruiting the Georgetown area. He even signed one of Davis' players, fullback/linebacker Stephon Leak.

However, they both realize the magnitude of Davis' return.

Adams called a special meeting before Monday's practice in hopes of calming down his players. He advised them to reduce Facebook usage in order to limit the chances for trash talk between friends.

Davis didn't even wait that long.

After Friday's win over Hannah-Pamplico, Davis preached to his team in the end zone about how he was going to stress their bodies physically so they wouldn't have time to get distracted mentally.

"I told them," he said, "it was probably going to be the most difficult week all year."

Both Davis and Adams have tried to distinguish themselves at their respective schools.

Davis stuck with a run-oriented game at Waccamaw, but he switched it to an option offense.

Adams made preseason references to the Bulldogs getting bigger, stronger and faster than they have been in the past.

Davis did not take Adams' preseason statement as a sign of disrespect, and it's because both coaches feel they are better off because Davis made the choice to follow in Bourne's footsteps.

"It's a difficult decision, but I don't regret the decision I made," Davis said. "If we didn't have Georgetown on the schedule, it would probably be a moot point."

If only.

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