Greenwood coach Dan Pippin feels like he’s been “coaching in a sauna.”
With the start of October, the weather has remained unseasonably warm, but Pippin hopes that changes soon.
The Eagles could use a fresh start as the fall season kicks in, too. Greenwood (2-3, 0-2 Region 1-5A) enters tonight’s matchup with T.L. Hanna (4-0, 2-0 Region 1-5A) still looking for a satisfying showing on offense.
“We just got to keep moving forward and keep working hard,” Pippin said. “They’re working hard, so we’re going to try to do different things.”
Pippin added that the team will return a few players who have sat out injured the past few weeks. Those players are on track to return to full strength in the next week or two, Pippin said.
Running back Tamaje Aiken, who suffered an injury on the first play from scrimmage of the season, is one of the players the team hopes to return in the next week or two.
“I hate even talking about it, because then something will happen,” Pippin said about injuries that have hurt the team’s performance greatly in the past two games.
Greenwood is set to make a few changes on offense after last Friday’s lackluster showing in the fourth quarter of a 21-7 loss to Laurens.
The team played with two tight ends and ran the ball with Jyrea Martin on one of its best drives of the night in the Laurens game. Pippin said he’s looking to stick with that setup more alongside the spread.
The plan for tonight’s game remains to continue getting the ball to junior playmaker Jaylin Tolbert. Tolbert has played wide receiver each game this season, but may switch to running back or quarterback.
T.L. Hanna enters the matchup coming off a 20-14 region win against crosstown rival Westside. Running back Preston Pettway was one of the Anderson Independent Mail’s Player of the Week candidates with 70 rushing yards and a touchdown. On defense, Pettway had four tackles and an interception returned 80 yards for a touchdown.
Hanna offensive lineman Johnathan Brown also contributes to the team’s formidable running game. Brown is ranked 61st by 247Sports.com among South Carolina prospects.
The Yellow Jackets were state runners-up in Class 5A last year and is undefeated so far this season, even after losing the state’s top prospect Zacch Pickens, who is now a freshman defensive end at South Carolina.
Jason Tone is in his first year as T.L. Hanna’s coach, having taken over for Jeff Herron.
“Coach Herron retired in the summer and we texted each other. He texted me when I retired. There’s a lot of mutual respect between us,” Pippin said. “His offensive coordinator took over and you don’t see much drop off, if any drop off, between the team they had last year and the team they have this year.”