Laurens District High School’s Chris Liner likes what he saw this spring. After the Raiders’ spring football game at K.C. Hanna Stadium on Tuesday night, he told his players so.
“We’ve had no drama,” he said. “Our coaches are working their butts off.
“A lot of glorified 7-on-7s go on at some places in the spring, and ours has been football practice.”
Entering his sixth season as head coach, Liner proclaimed this the finest spring of his tenure at LDHS. Laurens lost to Rock Hill in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs last year after going 4-6 in the regular season.
“We tried to make it as competitive as we could,” Liner said after the Green defeated the White by a score of 14-7. “We’re actually in a little bit different situation right now. We’re actually deeper in our front seven than we are on the back half. We’ve got some really good skilled guys, but we’re not real deep at the skilled positions. We wanted to create that battle up front.”
Liner was reluctant to single out individuals afterward, but said, “Jeremiah Fuller is as good a kid as we’ve got in our program, and I thought he really stood out. He is a committed young man and as fine a representative as we have in Laurens. Kind of a great poster child for the rest of our team. … He has really shined this spring.”
Turnovers hurt the Raiders early in each of the past two seasons. Liner hopes a good spring will put his team a little ahead of the game when August arrives.
“We had a couple snafus, but we were much more efficient in just lining up right, making the right reads. In the second year in this offense, that helps, and this is the first year in this defense, the 4-2-5. Our offense (descended from a wing-T, wingbone and various triple options) is very difficult to start with, and, in our defense’s defense, it’s really difficult to stop, too,” he said.
Laurens football left the school year with renewed confidence that seemed reflected in both coaches’ and players’ faces as they trudged off the field.