Jody Jenerette still talks like he’s in charge of a struggling football program.
The Aynor coach won his 40th game at the school last week when a somewhat depleted Blue Jackets roster defeated Latta. Taking it at face value, it was a victory over a winless Class A program. But Jenerette said it was about much more than that.
“The fact that we’ve been successful the last couple years … it doesn’t matter, any win is a good win,” he said. “Some of those teams [that Aynor regularly defeats now] were teams that were beating our brains out five years ago. When coaches start devaluing a win, that’s when you need to look inside your program.
“Any time we get a win, we’re going to celebrate. We’re going to enjoy it. I’ve been on the other side of it. It ain’t no fun. We’ve been at the bottom. We’ve been at the very bottom – we lost to a private school.”
He was referencing a Sept. 17, 2010 loss to Hilton Head Prep. That was the midway point of his sixth year with the team, and he joked shortly after he wasn’t sure if he’d be welcome back for a seventh.
But since the start of the 2011 season, Aynor has won 22 games and put together two seasons that would have qualified the team for the playoffs even had the Class AA not gone all-inclusive for three years (the Blue Jackets finished last in Region VIII-AA in 2011, third in 2012 and fourth in 2013).
This year, Class AA reformatted its playoffs to essentially take the top four teams from each six-team region. However, Aynor (3-1) looks like it could have the tools to head to the postseason again.
Behind what is essentially an eight-player offensive line – tackles Sean Parr and T.J. Fox, guards Dalton Hubbard and Josh Hodge, center Andrew Lovell and tight ends Wyatt Culler, Aaron Cowing and Zack Jenerette – senior Kamron Johnson is leading the area in rushing by more than 200 yards.
The team’s other top running back, Daquan Smith, is actually seventh in the area in rushing despite the fact he played in only a game-and-a-half before injuring his shoulder.
After one more non-region game (at Lake View, Sept. 26), the Blue Jackets will then likely need to win three region games to ensure a fourth consecutive playoff berth. Jenerette wants to make sure his team is whole when that begins.
Aynor did not practice on Monday and won’t on Friday, either. Jenerette also said that outside of a small possibility of a partial-contact practice on Wednesday, the team would not wear pads at all in the coming days.
“We’re kind of beat up,” he said. “We’re going to get our hitting out of the way against Lake View. I feel like we’re doing the right thing.”
Football this and that
With two wins in Georgetown’s next two games, Bradley Adams will join a small group of area coaches who have won at least 60 percent of their games at their current schools. The list includes Socastee’s Doug Illing (15-2, 88 percent), Myrtle Beach’s Mickey Wilson (62-11, 85 percent), Loris’ Jamie Snider (30-9, 77 percent), Carvers Bay’s Nate Thompson (131-48, 73 percent) and Conway’s Chuck Jordan (258-131, 66 percent). … In addition to Aynor’s Johnson, three players at other schools lead the top four individual statistical categories following the Week 3 games. Conway sophomore Peyton Derrick is the top passer with 695 yards, Myrtle Beach senior Kyle Belack is leading the way with 300 receiving yards and Carolina Forest’s Will Brunson has combined for nine total touchdowns. … Through four weeks of games, there are 36 remaining undefeated SCHSL football teams. Three of those –Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, Loris reside on the Grand Strand. Georgetown and Loris are scheduled to play next week.
A trio of former Georgetown linemen are starting to make an impression at North Greenville.
In fact, two of them are starting alongside each other for the NCAA Division II university.
Defensive tackle Anthony Blair, nose guard Leeshawn Cromedy and offensive lineman Dillon Alford have all played in each of the team’s first two games this season. Blair, who has 2.5 of the team’s four total sacks, is tied for fourth on the team with 10 total tackles. Cromedy has three tackles in 2014 after playing in nine games in each of his first two seasons.
Alford, a sophomore, has appeared in both games this season (and all 11 last year) as a reserve.
The three players making an impact for the Crusaders is not much of a surprise after successful high school careers. Cromedy was named to the 2011 North-South All-Star Game. A year later, Alford and Blair became the first Bulldogs named to an all-star event in the same season.
Blitz Weekly Web Chat
The fifth episode of the Blitz Weekly Web Chat with WBTW’s Conan Gasque and The Sun News’ high schools reporter Ian Guerin will air at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The show will wrap up the Week 3 action and preview all of the Week 4 games. It can be viewed live at MyrtleBeachOnline.com or WBTW.com, and both sites will have the show available for archived viewing. Questions on area football teams can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the top questions will be answered during the show.