High School Football

Socastee football returns with plenty of weapons

The quarterback position at Socastee may not be the most appealing among area football players.

The Braves’ signal-caller doesn’t throw much, and to the untrained eye, it appears he’s simply doing the same thing over and over again.

If only it was that easy.

After taking over for his brother late in 2011, Hunter Renfrow is officially at the top of the charts for this season. The electrifying athlete who earned three Toast of the Coast honors in two different sports from opposing coaches – on both sides of the ball on the gridiron and in baseball – as a sophomore now has two years to see what he can do with the Braves offense.

And even though he’s yet another one of coach Tim Renfrow’s kids to play a prominent position with the team, he’s already got a safety net that has nothing to do with family ties. Around him will be four of the team’s six primary ball carriers from last season.

“It makes it a lot easier. Knowing the lines they run, they’ll either run before the guard or the tackle,” Hunter Renfrow said. “They’ve done that for two years already. We have a good chemistry and they’re smart because they’ve been there for a while. They know what needs to be done.”

When Jordan Renfrow went down with an injury toward the end of 2011, Hunter stepped in, and the Braves’ offense thrived. They scored at least 21 points in every region game – including a high mark of 56 against St. James – and then went on to pile up 41 against Berkeley in a first-round playoff victory, the first in school history.

The team was eliminated by A.C. Flora in the second week of the postseason, but not before expectations for 2012 could start building.

As soon as Socastee makes up for replacing four starting offensive linemen, the Braves could be a contender in the top half of Region VII-AAA.

“We’ve still got some guys who played,” Tim Renfrow said. “But it’s going to take a little bit of time to sync. That’s expected. We’ve got to keep working them.”

The key for the offense to maintain the effort it showed last season will be limiting turnovers. It cost the Braves in losses to Carolina Forest and Ashley Ridge. But as the team’s confidence and experience grew, the fumbles decreased.

“If we don’t fumble the ball, they can’t stop us,” Hunter Renfrow said. “That’s the number one thing we did right.”

The core of returning backs should help that facet of the game. The team lost Michquan Brown (742 yards and seven touchdowns) and Jordan Renfrow (525, nine).

However, back in uniform are Adam Crane, Tommy Lazaroff and Daquon Brown, the trio of seniors making Hunter Renfrow’s transition progress quicker. Crane ran for 406 yards and eight touchdowns; Lazaroff added 331 yards and 3 scores; and Brown, who has moved to the halfback spot, led the squad with 956 yards and five touchdowns.

Add in the 1,012 all-purpose offensive yards Hunter Renfrow put up, and the offense should have the pieces to make the triple-option offense work effectively.

In the middle of it all will be Renfrow. He’ll abandon most of his duties on defense – where he had 55 tackles and a pair of interceptions – as well as the return game in lieu of his new assignment. In doing so, his coach and father hopes he provides the constant spark that he did in some of the team’s biggest games last year.

“I think so. He’s got some talents,” Tim Renfrow said. “He doesn’t yet read options as well as others in the past. But he’s getting more and more reps. In open field, he adds some things.”