Union Daily Times

Great competition this season

UNION COUNTY — High school football season is now less than two weeks away. The Union County High School Yellow Jackets will kick off the 2018 season on August 17 when they host the defending 3A Upper State Champion Chapman Panthers.

The game will be Union County’s first game back in class 3A after a controversial realignment that saw the Jackets moved from 4A back to 3A. The battle over whether Union County should be in 3A is still not officially over as there is still a lawsuit pending against the district and the South Carolina High School League, but with less than two weeks to kickoff all signs point to things staying as they are for the football season.

Union County’s first three games this season will be held in the friendly confines of Union County Stadium, which has undergone a fairly extensive face lift in the off season. Things have been added to make the experience easier and more enjoyable for fans as well as a field house for players to use as locker rooms for both teams to keep players from having to dress under tents and give players a place to go in case of bad weather.

This past week Spartanburg High School hosted the very first area high school football media day. Teams from Spartanburg County, Cherokee County and Union County participated in the event. Players and coaches had the opportunity to address the media before making their rounds and doing individual interviews with different media outlets. Union County was represented by new head coach Brian Thompson, T.T. Kershaw, and Cedrikus Neal.

Thompson spoke to the media about his short time in Union and what he has done to install his system and get ready for the season. Thompson was named the new head coach at Union County in early May and has been hard at work putting a staff together and getting to know the players. Thompson says he believes the players will be ready when August 17 rolls around and the Yellow Jackets take the field.

Kershaw, the team’s running back said that he, “is excited for the season, and is ready to prove himself on the field.”

Neal, a safety, stated that one of the team’s major goals is to make the playoffs this season and to advance in the playoffs.

Getting in the playoffs will be a little tougher for the Jackets than it has been the last couple of years when they only had to beat out Blue Ridge and Travelers Rest to get in. No offense to either program but that was not a real tough feat to accomplish in the last two seasons. Now the Jackets will have to contend with a little better competition in the region.

Region opponents this year will be Woodruff, Emerald, Clinton, Newberry, and Mid Carolina. This is a little tougher region that will see great competition between teams most weeks. This region schedule paired with a tough non-region schedule that includes Gaffney and Greer should make for a fun season

Photo by Jessica Clary Union County High Yellow Jackets Safety Cedrickus Neal speaks during the area high school media day this past week at Spartanburg High School. The Yellow Jackets kickoff the 2018 football season with a game against the Chapman Panthers at the Union County Stadium on Aug. 17.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_Cedrickus-Neal-1.jpgPhoto by Jessica Clary Union County High Yellow Jackets Safety Cedrickus Neal speaks during the area high school media day this past week at Spartanburg High School. The Yellow Jackets kickoff the 2018 football season with a game against the Chapman Panthers at the Union County Stadium on Aug. 17.
Photo by Jessica Clary Union County High School Head Football Coach Brian Thompson is interviewed by Tyler Shugart and Alex Smith of Fox Sports Spartanburg during the the area high school media day this past week at Spartanburg High School. Also taking part in the interview were Yellow Jackets T.T. Kershaw (running back) and Cedrikus Neal (safety). The Yellow Jackets kickoff the 2018 football season with a game against the Chapman Panthers at the Union County Stadium on Aug. 17.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_Tyler-1.jpgPhoto by Jessica Clary Union County High School Head Football Coach Brian Thompson is interviewed by Tyler Shugart and Alex Smith of Fox Sports Spartanburg during the the area high school media day this past week at Spartanburg High School. Also taking part in the interview were Yellow Jackets T.T. Kershaw (running back) and Cedrikus Neal (safety). The Yellow Jackets kickoff the 2018 football season with a game against the Chapman Panthers at the Union County Stadium on Aug. 17.
Yellow Jackets take to the field Aug. 17

By Tyler Shugart

Special to The Union Times

Tyler Shugart is the host of “Bump and Run” from 7-9 a.m. on Fox Sports 1400 AM 98.3 FM in Spartanburg. He can be reached at tylers1400@gmail.com.