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November 16, 2012

More on Hartsville-Socastee

Our primary story this morning on Socastee's Lower State semifinal game against fellow unbeaten Hartsville couldn't contain everything that was worthy of print.

Following at-length interviews with both coaches - Socastee's Tim Renfrow and Hartsville's Jeff Calabrese - there was so much more. Consider this a notebook emptier. If for no other reason, this game certainly deserves it.

This game is the only one this weekend between undefeated teams. That goes for all four classes and all seven playoff divisions.


* As I pointed out in the story, both Calabrese and Renfrow will be assistant coaches for the South squad in this year's SCADA North-South All-Star Football game. Both coaches have defensive backgrounds. However, how they ended up where they did was a product of the spread offense typically ran by both teams in the event.

"When were announced, we asked if we were going to run some wings," Calabrese said, talking about both he and Renfrow's offensive styles. "They all kind of looked at us and laughed. We volunteered to coach defense."

* Renfrow's overall record at Socastee is now 57-56 in his 10 seasons as head coach. He was 45-56 prior to this year. Including his three seasons at Green Sea-Floyds (1985-1987), he is 66-78 in 13 seasons.


On Socastee's triple-option:

"It all starts with the structure of the offense. They put you in assignment conflict all night long. Coach Renfrow has been doing that a long time and he has a system.  Before you get to the players and the play-makers, it comes down to that system. Any one of those kids can make you pay for a mistake."

On Socastee's often-underappreciated defense:

"They’re just not going to be blocked. They’re a bunch of kids who refuse to be blocked. You can create a lot of problems for offenses."


On keeping players' attention after brackets were released and people started talking about the potential for this game:

“It works both ways because we haven’t had success. In a lot of ways, it’s easier to try to concentrate on winning that next game. When the playoffs brackets came out, all you heard around the school was about the brackets. We told the kids ‘Don’t worry about the brackets. We can’t do anything about those.’ All we can do is try to beat Crestwood, and then try to beat Berkeley, and if it happens, and we play Hartsville, great. There was no guarantee to either one of us.”

On how team can still grow in his 10th season as head coach:

“At Socastee, we feel like we’ve never had any stability here. We have had some stability the last 10 years. I wish we would have more five years ago, just for the kids’ standpoint. But I think we just tried to stay the course and our kids believed it more each year. We’ve gotten better. Two years ago, early in the season, we were 1-4 and everyone beat the mess out of us. Last year, we lost a lot of close ball games, but I thought we were making progress."


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About the author

Ian Guerin has been covering sports in Myrtle Beach since 2005 and in South Carolina since 2004. In that time, he has served as a reporter on the college and high school beats at multiple publications. You can reach him directly via ian@ianguerin.com.

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