On Wednesday, Aug. 22, The Union Daily Times will present Friday Night Lights — a preview of the 2012 Union County football season. The following is an excerpt from the 28-page magazine.
Union County has a new region look for the 2012 season and it will be quite the mixed bag including a 2A powerhouse making the conversion to 3A, a young veteran team and a slew of new head coaches.
Every two years, the league undergoes realignment, a process of placing schools in regions based on proximity and size.
Union County High is a member of Region III-AAA, which will exchange a couple of schools this season. Both Greer and Blue Ridge have been moved to II-AAA while Chapin was sent to IV-AAA.
That leaves Union County, Clinton and Chapman. Add Chester, Woodruff and Broome to the club and we have our new realignment plan for the 2012 football season.
Since Yellow Jackets fans may not be as familiar with the playing styles of the three new additions, let’s take a closer look at the teams that will make up this year’s Region III-AAA.
Like our Yellow Jackets, Broome has also named a new head football coach, luring Jet Turner from Wilson Hall, where he led the independent school to a 13-1 record. Turner, who won a AAAA state title at Clover in 2007, has a formula for success that has been well proven. He employs a maddening offense that is remarkably effective, referred to by most as “the scrum.” The double, inverted wing is basically a mass of 11 tightly-aligned bodies surging in one direction. Since the offense is so seldom used, it creates problems for opposing teams and can be difficult to stop.
Woodruff will be making the transition from 2A to 3A under the leadership of Coach Brian Lane. The Wolverines are coming off a 2A State Championship appearance and are expected to make the transition to 3A with ease. Lane runs a pass-happy offense that has had solid results against 3 and 4A schools during the summer months.
Chester finished its 2011 campaign with a 5-5 record under coach Anthony Sterling. However, it would be ill advised to underestimate the Cyclones who were rebuilding last year. With so many freshmen and sophomores having played on the 2011 team, Chester will be both young and experienced this season, a combination not many teams have.
Chapman, Clinton and Union County are the final three components of Region III-AAA.
Like Union County, Chapman also has a new head coach, although he’s not as well known as our Steve Taneyhill. Mark Hodge was an assistant coach at Broome in 2005 when the team won a AA state title and had guided Carolina Acadamy to a rare eight-win season before getting the call from Chapman.
Clinton experienced a coaches shuffle after winning a state title in 2009 and the result was assistant coach Scott King taking the reigns as head coach. King enforces the same smash mouth playing style as his predecessor and Clinton continues to be a tough, scrappy football team.
As for Union County, it’s going to be fast paced and amped up.
This season promises to be extremely competitive and undeniably exciting. This is the new Region IIIAAA. Now, who wants that title?