UNION COUNTY — If the Union County High School Yellow Jackets lose next Friday’s game against Belton-Honea Path they are out of the 2015 Upper State Playoffs according to UCHS Athletic Director Michelle James.
In an address to the Union Rotary Club Tuesday afternoon, James briefed Rotarians on the football team and the importance of its next game to its continuing in the playoffs.
“There will be no game this week because of the flooding in the lower part of the state,” James said. “We will play next Friday at Belton-Honea Path and if we lose we’re out of it. From here on out we can’t lose one game or the season is over.”
The Yellow Jackets secured their third-seed spot in Region III-3A when they defeated the Chester Cyclones 24-7 last Friday.
James said that the winner of next Friday’s game will play either Greer or Pickens, adding that not only does she hope the Yellow Jackets wins, but that Greer wins as well. She said this will set the stage for a rematch with Greer which narrowly beat UCHS earlier this season.
“The winner between Belton-Honea Path and Union will play the winner of Greer and Pickens,” James said. “We barely lost to Greer this season. It went down to the wire. So we’d love to have a rematch with them.”
The UCHS and Greer teams are both called the Yellow Jackets and they last met on Friday, Sept. 11 in the Yellow Jacket Bowl. The game was a close one with Union County managing to tie the score 28-28 in the final minutes of the fourth quarter only to see Greer come back at the very end to score and get the 35-28 win.
In addition to talking about the importance of next Friday’s game to UCHS remaining in the playoffs, James also spoke about the changes the team will be experiencing next season.
“We’re moving into a different conference and classification, we’re moving from 3A to 4A,” James said. “The change is being made because they’ve added a bigger classification — 5A. The change is being made to reduce the number of state championships from two to one per conference so that there will only be five state championships.”
James said that UCHS will also be in a new region beginning in the 2016 season. She said UCHS will be in Region 2 along with Blue Ridge, Eastside, Greer, and Travelers Rest.
“The new region is based on distance,” James said. “They are trying to put schools in the closest group by miles.”
James also spoke about some of the other athletic programs at UCHS and their upcoming seasons.
“Our basketball team should do well this season,” James said. “We have got a good many returning starters.
“The girls basketball team is a young team that consists of a lot of underclassmen,” she said. “This will be a rebuilding year.”
James also spoke about the wrestling team which has a new head coach, Jon Langenfeld. She said that Lagenfeld has reported that he’s had 37 wrestlers come our for varsity wrestling. James said that Langenfeld stated that some of the wrestlers coming out for the team this year are coming back from last year. She said that Langenfeld stated that he feels good about the upcoming season.
During her address, James also spoke about the prospects of some of the UCHS football players beyond high school.
James said that receiver Shi Smith, a junior, has been offered scholarships by USC, Clemson, NC State, UNC, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Auburn. She said that receiver Roscoe Johnson, a senior, has already committed to North Carolina. Defensive lineman Deshawn Thompson, also a senior, is being looked at by Newberry, Western Carolina, Georgia Southern, and UNC-Charlotte.
Rotarian Beth Belue (second from right) welcomed Michelle James (second from left), Mallory McGee (left), and Dylan Boyd (right) to the Union Rotary Club this Tuesday. Michelle, the Assistant Director of CATES Program and Union County Athletic Director, spoke to the club about the different sports programs. Mallory and Dylan, members of the “Crunk Crew,” explained what the Crew is and all the spirit they bring to games!
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.