The football season for the Dark Horses junior varsity started a little rocky, but ended with a dominant winning streak and a conference title.
Not only did the young Horses win the title beating undefeated East Duplin on their own home field, 8-6, they also capped the season off on a seven-game winning streak.
“I’m really proud of the guys — they worked hard,” said JV head coach Scott Lewis. “We started off a little slow taking those two early losses, especially the one to Northside due to weather. Then we really started clicking after that and finished the season 8-2. I can’t be proud enough of their work ethic.”
Their work ethic surely showed as they dominated one team after another, scoring 336 points while only allowing 108 all year. They averaged a whopping 33.6 points per game, scoring 60 against Southern Lee alone. Their leadership, thanks to the return of some players, really paved the way for the JV team.
“We ended up getting some guys back that were on varsity at the start of the season,” said Lewis. “They came in and were real leaders for us. They really helped the freshman come along which worked out great for us in the end.”
All this led to winning a conference championship, something that held special meaning for the JV Horses head coach.
“It was nice to win the conference championship on the road at East Duplin on their home turf,” replied Lewis. “It was definitely special to me because I was at East Duplin for 10 years, so I know most of those guys over there. So, to win the championship against them was a good way to cap off the season.”
Clinton’s defense was solid all year, culminating with just 6 points given up in that tight season finale against East Duplin, their offense was unmatched all year, particularly the running game.
“Our running backs played good all year long; they blocked well for us out of the backfield, too, which helped us out a lot,” Lewis stated. “Running back Ja’Melle Williams did a solid job for us along with J’Daques Wallace, who ran the ball for the first time this year and he did extremely well.”
Lewis will be likely be losing those players to varsity next year, and Lewis knows it’s a waiting game for his future players.
“There is always uncertainty because you never know what you’ll get with the incoming freshman next year,” the JV coach remarked. “It’s a wait-and-see kind of situation. I always say I never count on having players because of the new freshman and the potential to lose guys to varsity that get moved up.”
Lewis lauded his coaches, who are crucial to the process.
“We have a great coaching staff,” he said. “We get along well together, plus they went above and beyond this year, which made this season a pleasure and fun for both the players and coaches.”
Reach Michael Hardison at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.