The Red Devils are off to Greenwood on Saturday morning for their first scrimmage, at Emerald, and head football coach Andrew Webb said he and his players were anxious to play against someone other than themselves.
“Practices seem like they’re flying by,” Webb said. “Our guys have been real coachable. They’ve done what we’ve asked of them. Everybody is excited about lining up against someone else, but I’m very pleased with the efforts and attitudes.”
One break from the practice grind occurred on Wednesday when Webb, the coaching staff and 50 varsity players bused up to Greenville for a visit to the Shriners Hospital for Children. The field trip was the result of brainstorming by Webb while vacationing this summer.
“I was trying to come up with something special our team could do,” he said. “With regulations on our practices, we had some down time when we were in camp. I just called them up to see if they would have us, and they were more than happy for us to visit. The staff did a great job of letting our kids know what it is, how they work and all they do for those less fortunate than we are. It was a really cool opportunity to go see it.
“It was heartwarming, you know. It puts life and football in perspective. It made us realize how blessed we are. I think the trip up there definitely served its purpose. We met some fantastic people.”
The Red Devils are looking for a quarterback to emerge as a successor to Charlie Craven, who set most of the school records for passing last year. Konner Richardson, Cam Nichols and a freshman, Navil Watson, are all in the running.
“We’re fortunate that I think all three of them are capable of running our offense effectively,” Webb said. “They’ve all been working hard. They know that someone has to do that job.”
Clinton is off to Belton-Honea Path for another scrimmage on Tuesday, then visits Woodruff for a game-type session against Blue Ridge on Thursday. Clinton Game Night is on Friday at Wilder Stadium, with the Red Devils facing Strom Thurmond after Woodruff takes on Ben Lippen.
The surprise of camp has been sophomore cornerback Jeremiah Boyd.
“He’s the guy who has had the most impressive summer,” Webb said. “He’s gone from a guy we were trying to get some plays in seven-on-seven to a guy who really competes and needs to play more. He’s earned the right to go out there with the first-team defense. He has to earn the right to keep that spot, but he’s been really impressive.”
Not that it’s fresh on anyone’s mind, with a season bearing down, but Webb said he was happy with the realignment of Region 3-3A that will begin in 2018-19. The alignment is as appealing from a travel perspective as any in memory, what with Clinton paired with nearby schools Woodruff, Newberry, Mid-Carolina and newcomer Emerald. Chapman and Broome will leave the region at the end of the coming school year.
The only difficulty, Webb said, is that the four region games will include an open week, and where that falls won’t be known until the region schedule is announced. In other words, Clinton will have to schedule a non-region game, and it presently doesn’t know when it will fall.
At the moment, the matter is simmering away quietly on a back burner and likely will for quite a while.