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It was a day of optimism at the TD Club

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Thursday, August 23, 2012

Optimism was the keyword this afternoon at the first Greater Greer Touchdown Club meeting of the year.

Steve Euote, Riverside Head Coach, was full of confidence and entertaining; Chris Miller, Byrnes Head Coach, was mulling over missing three defensive linemen while planning for a trip to Chesapeake, Va., for an ESPN game Saturday; and Josh Thomason, coach of Eastside Head Coach Jeff Thomason, said Eastside football is back on the map. Blue Ridge coaches were not represented.

Greer Head Coach Will Young’s preview will be posted this evening.

The meeting, held at United Methodist Church and catered by Clock, featured many of the entertaining mainstays that have produced one of the liveliest TD Clubs in the Upstate.

“Things are on an upswing at Riverside,” Euote said. “Our numbers are growing and we’re coming into a new season with new confidence. We’ve been trying to get the kids to learn that yes, we can compete.”

Euote said Riverside had 100 players in the weight room this summer. “We’ve got 34 sophomores on our jayvee team, 40 on our C team and 45 on the D team.”

Riverside was thrust into the powerful Region II-4A last year with reclassification. The Warriors took their lumps last year, winning one game, the opening game versus Eastside, before losing 10 straight only scoring five times in those games.

Riverside travels to Eastside Friday night for a 7:30 game.

The Warriors will play a 4-2-5 defense. “We feel like we have more linemen that can play upfront this year,” Euote said.

“We are so close with these kids. When you see this team they are family. We will start mostly junior and seniors. Five sophomores will start,” Euote said.

The mindset of the football players has changed, said Euote. But he said shared a quip that brought laughter throughout the room. “We are finding it hard to get football boys that don’t cut their own grass.”

T.J. Gurn will return at quarterback. Gurn broke an ankle last season. Starters Gurn, running back DeAndre Cheeks and top receiver Drew Greenway was lost to injuries in the Warriors’ first three games last season.”

As Euote discussed the starter, he had special praise for sophomore wide receiver Emmanuel Jackson. “He about a buck forty (140 pounds) but he’s the real deal.”

Eastside

 Throughout last season Eastside Head Coach Jeff Thomason said he was “fixing” the Eagles’ woes by changing the culture of the football program.

Josh Thomason, son of the head coach, said the Eagles’ program could move forward this year. “Our mindset is totally different from last year,” Josh said. “This year we have a lot of athletes and a lot of talent. We have all the ability in the world now. We have football players.”

Eastside finished 2-9 last year, beating Riverside and Southside. The Eagles were shut out five times and scored only one touchdown in two of its other losses.

“The difference in the team this year is that when we got down by two (scores) last year the team would fold. This year we come back.”

Eastside plays Riverside Friday night. “It’s a game that has big implications,” Josh said. “It’s good to start off the season with someone you’re familiar with. We know each other and have friends that go to Riverside.

Byrnes

Chris Miller, Byrnes Head Coach, told the club the Rebels might have an advantage when it plays Oscar Smith High School at Chesapeake, Va., Saturday at 6 p.m. in a game televised on ESPN.

“We have a little advantage because they have players going both ways,” Miller said. “We will go in and speed up the game to try to get them a little tired.”

Miller said replacing the three front defensive linemen for the Rebels is an ongoing process. “We took one linebacker and put him down and then we took another and put him down. Our key on the 3-3 is speed.”

Miller said the offense is the Rebels’ strength. “We have Shuler (Bentley) back at quarterback and our offensive line is coming back. We feel like we can score points on that side of the ball,” Miller said.

Oscar Smith is the defending Division 6 state champions. Oscar Smith tuned up for Byrnes by routing Phoebus in a scrimmage last Wednesday, who won four consecutive Division 5 Virginia state championship. Deshawn Blow will start his first game.

 

 

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