EASLEY—Easley High is coming off an 11-2 season on the gridiron in 2011 and is facing lofty expectations this year.
Head Coach Chad Smith set the bar high going into his third season as head football coach of the Green Wave, but is confident with his team and program.
“We’re at the point with our program now, it being our third year, where our schemes are in place. The kids understand our offense and defense, so now it’s more about plugging them into the right situation to allow them to be successful,” said Smith.
The team will have 15 returning starters, nine on offense and six on defense.
All 15 returning starters are seniors.
“Our overall defense is pretty strong, middle linebacker, Sam Houston, is a college recruit and so is defensive tackle, Quaven Ferguson, and safety, Troy McGowens,” said Smith. “Our offensive line is a major strength this year, they’re big, they’re strong, and they’re experienced.”
Easley runs the double-wing offense.
The double-wing features two tight-ends and two wings, and is based on steady offensive gains through the running game in order to wear the opponent down.
“Byrnes and teams like that train their programs on speed. We train ours on strength and toughness,” said Smith. “There is more than one way to skin a cat, but we are trying to wear you down and milk the clock.”
With the double-wing, Coach Smith’s team outscored their opponents 435 to 196 last year and outgained the opposition by nearly 2,000 yards.
The team will open the regular season Friday, August 17th at Pickens.
“Opening night at Pickens will be an intense situation. If our kids can weather the emotional storm, we should be able to compete” said Smith.
Coach Smith played his High School Football for the Blue Flame in Pickens where he graduated in 1997. During his senior year, current head football coach Chad Seaborn, served as a defensive backs coach.
“I have a lot of respect for Chad Seaborn. He is a great man, and most of the guys on that staff I grew up with or they grew up coaching me. It’s a special relationship there and you try to go into it as a friendly rivalry as much as you can because you don’t want to lose friendships over a game, but at the same time, my responsibility is the city of Easley and to do everything we can to win, so that’s what we are going to do,” said Smith.
Coach Smith believes that hard work will lead to steady improvement.
“ Get better every day, compete every game, and if you do that, you will be a pretty good football team,” said Smith.