Pigskin Peek: Tigers count on experience for success

confoot-13cnbExpect big things to come from Conway High football in 2016.

Those are the sentiments of Tigers coach Chuck Jordan, who is counting on leadership from his upperclassmen and a vastly improved defensive unit. The Conway defense brings back a great deal of experience, with senior linebacker Brad Booth, senior defensive end Tre’ Carroll, and junior defensive back DeAunte Sherman returning to anchor the unit and teach the newcomers.

“Most of the secondary is back. Most of the defensive line is back, and I expect them to play well for us, but they are not playing consistently yet,” Jordan said. “We try to build around experience. We don’t put a lot of emphasis in playing with young guys to start out the season.”

Two of the better offensive players in the state thrived at Conway under the Friday night lights a season ago, but both have moved on to the next level – wide receiver Bryan Edwards at South Carolina and running back Jah-Maine Martin at Coastal Carolina.

However, senior quarterback Peyton Derrick, who has committed to Appalachian State, returns to lead a team that boasts 15 members in its senior class. Conway also has a 25-member junior class.

“(Peyton) has two years of experience as a starter, so he will be called on to lead with his experience level,” Jordan said. “We have most of our offensive line back. At wide receiver we have got a group that is by committee. At running back we have three guys that we are depending on.”

Sherman, Booth, Daiquawn Clark, Lucas Partin, Hunter Smith, Ahmaad Huggins, Dakota Martin, and Markel Brantley had good showings at the CNB Kickoff Classic a week ago. Despite North Myrtle Beach taking the contest 20-0, Jordan still feels good about his team’s overall performance and chances going into the season.

“It is hard to say what is going to happen on Friday nights. We never know how much kids are going to react to game situations,” Jordan said of his team. “I like this team, and this team has more experience than last year.”

Conway hosts Georgetown on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Moving to Region 6-5A, Jordan feels his team’s tough, early non-region schedule will get them ready for region play late.

“We know that our region is going to be tough for us later on,” Jordan said of the competition. “We hope to play our best football later in the season. We have to learn about the team and what we do well.

“We are ready to fire (the season) up and ready for Friday nights,” Jordan said.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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