High School Football

2013 Football Preview: Beaufort Academy hopes for better things under new coach

mmccombs@beaufortgazette.comAugust 17, 2013 

From left, Beaufort Academy's Reyn Robinson, Coach Brock Vaigneur and Brandon Massalon stand for a portrait on the football field on Wednesday at Beaufort Academy in Beaufort.

DELAYNA EARLEY — Staff photo Buy Photo

  • Team Information

    Stadium: Merritt Field

    Region: SCISAA 8-man Region 2

    Coach (years at school): Brock Vaigneur (first season)

    2012 results: 1-9

    Key losses: QB/LB Gibson Achurch (graduation), RB/DB Charlie Humphries (graduation), OL/DL Bryan Strawn (graduation), WR/DB Xavier Westergard, WR/DB Ashton Guest, OL/DL Gavin Palmer

    Top returning starters: OL/DL Brandon Massalon, RB/DL Clay Melville, QB/CB Reyn Robinson, WR/DE Tucker Trask

    Key newcomers: OL/DL William Gallant, WR/CB Charles Aimar, OL/DL Garrett Burr, OL/DL Jake Ingram, QB/DB Cain Richards, WR/LB Thomas Roddey



    2012 recap

    Date Opponent W/L Score

    Aug. 24 at Jefferson Davis L 40-6

    Aug. 31 RIDGE CHRISTIAN W 49-6

    Sept. 7 FAITH CHRISTIAN L 42-13

    Sept. 14 at Cathedral Academy L 56-14

    Sept. 21 CHARLESTON COLLEGIATE L 72-8

    Sept. 28 COASTAL CHRISTIAN L 44-8

    Oct. 5 at St. John's Christian L 60-0

    Oct. 12 ANDREW JACKSON L 20-12

    Oct. 19 at James Island Christian L 44-16

    Oct. 26 at Patrick Henry L 44-14

    HOME GAMES in CAPS *Playoff game



    2013 schedule

    Date Opponent TIme

    Aug. 23 at Twiggs Academy (Ga.) 7 p.m.

    Aug. 30 JEFFERSON DAVIS 7:30 p.m.

    Sept. 13 at Faith Christian* 7:30 p.m.

    Sept. 20 CATHEDRAL ACADEMY* 7:30 p.m.

    Sept. 27 at Charleston Collegiate* 7:30 p.m.

    Oct. 4 at Coastal Christian* 7:30 p.m.

    Oct. 11 ST. JOHN'S CHRISTIAN* 7:30 p.m.

    Oct. 18 at Andrew Jackson 7:30 p.m.

    Oct. 25 JAMES ISLAND CHRISTIAN* 7:30 p.m.

    Nov. 1 PATRICK HENRY* 7:30 p.m.

    HOME GAME in CAPS *Region opponent



    Players to watch

    Offense

    Reyn Robinson, RB

    Robinson was the Eagles' main offensive weapon in 2012, rushing for 992 yards and four touchdowns and catching 16 passes for 282 yards and five scores. He averaged a whopping 7.04 yards per carry. This season, he's expected to shoulder more of the load with five of the Eagles' top six rushers lost to graduation.

    Defense

    Brandon Massalon, DL

    The team's only senior, Massalon emerged as a key defender last season, making 47 tackles and leading the Eagles with five sacks, two fumble recoveries, two tackles for loss and two blocked punts. Massalon is expected to be the leader of the defense this season.



    Three keys to the season

  • Stay healthy: It sounds clichè, but it's true. In SCISAA in general, and especially in 8-man football, depth is a struggle. Staying healthy was a key last season and the Eagles couldn't do it. They got banged up and it showed during an eight-game losing streak to end the season that saw Beaufort Academy outscored 382-85.

  • Help Robinson: Reyn Robinson is the only one of the Eagles' top six rushers from last season who returns this year. If Vaigneur wants to keep Robinson healthy and give his chance to win, he's got to find several ball carriers who can take some of the load off Robinson.

  • Learn quickly: With a new coach, the Eagles will have to learn a new offense and defense in a hurry. And Vaigneur says his offense can be tough to learn, with 15 different formations and a lineman pulling on just about every play. Vaigneur said the Eagles don't run too many plays, but that every play can be run out of multiple formations. That's a tough assignment in short notice.



  • 2013 roster (in numerical order)

    No. Name Position Class

    1 Zion Green RB/CB Fr.

    2 Charles Aimar WR/CB Soph.

    5 Alec Melville WR/DB Soph.

    7 Thomas Roddey WR/LB Soph.

    9 Tucker Trask WR/DE Jr.

    12 Clay Melville QB/DL Jr.

    15 William Gallant OL/DL Jr.

    20 Cain Richards QB/DB Soph.

    21 Reyn Robinson RB/CB Jr.

    23 Alex Alford RB/CB Soph.

    24 Charles Thompson RB/LB Jr.

    30 Todger Davis OL/DL Fr.

    42 Jake Ingram OL/DL Soph.

    50 Brandon Massalon OL/DL Sr.

    52 Macmillan Griffith RB/LB Soph.

    63 Kevin Williams WR/CB Fr.

    66 Michael Webb OL/DL Soph.

    67 Justin Massalon OL/DL Fr.

    70 Michael Bass OL/DL Jr.

    71 Garrett Burr OL/DL Soph.

    80 Christopher Boggs WR/CB Fr.

When Brock Vaigneur replaced Wheatley Alford as Beaufort Academy's head football coach in the spring, he wasn't very impressed.

"When I got here," Vaigneur said, "I looked at the record from last year -- I saw one game last year -- and I had low expectations."

But now that the former Abundant Life head coach and Thomas Heyward Academy assistant has had time on the field with his team, he's singing a different tune.

"I think we can make a run at the playoffs," he said.

Alford resigned April 23 due to health concerns after going 8-33 in four seasons, and Vaigneur, a Beaufort native, was hired in May.

Vaigneur brought eight-man experience to the Eagles. In three years (2009-2011) as the head coach at Abundant Life, he went 24-4, including a 10-0 season in 2011.

Despite his success, Vaigneur thinks his situation is better at Beaufort Academy than it was at Abundant Life.

"I had more challenges at my last school," Vaigneur said. "I did not have any help. I have a staff here. And I have more depth here than I had at my last school."

There are 21 players on the Eagles' roster for 2013 -- roughly the same as last year. While Vaigneur said you want as many kids as you can get, he thinks 21 is great for BA.

"Twenty-one or twenty-two is a very good number for eight-man football, if I can just keep it at that," said Vaigneur, who claims he doesn't even know how many players saw the field for Beaufort Academy last season.

On offense, Vaigneur said fans and opponents can expect a lot of eye-candy.

"We'll use a lot of different formations," Vaigneur said. "We're going to try to run a lot of misdirection, a lot of wrinkles. We'll give them some window dressing, try to confuse the defense and keep them off balance."

One thing that will not change, however, is the Eagles' reliance on Reyn Robinson, who accounted for 1,272 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns last season. The new coach has been impressed by Robinson's play, but said the junior running back can do more.

"I'm expecting a lot more," Vaigneur said. "But one thing I've got to do is make sure I don't run him every play and take some of the load off of him. But Reyn is going to be the workhorse, and then it's going to be running back by committee."

Robinson said life on offense under Vaigneur has been "totally different."

"He's really organized the offense, put people in the positions that they need to be in," Robinson said. "I'm really glad to be playing under him right now."

He isn't worried about his coach's high expectations.

"The pressure motivates me more than anything," Robinson said. "Any time you've got a bunch of guys looking at you to do something, that motivates you. Plus, I've got a lot of teammates looking to step up and help this year."

On defense, Vaigneur will run a 4-4, stunting and blitzing linebackers often. His goal is to win the turnover battle.

"We're going to try to cause turnovers," Vaigneur said. "And that's really all you can do in eight-man, because it's hard to stop people in eight-man. We're going to try to cause turnovers instead of forcing three-and-outs."

Vaigneur said the defense would rely heavily on the team's lone senior, Brandon Massalon, to anchor the line.

"I've been pretty impressed with him so far," Vaigneur said.

The goal for Vaigneur is for the Eagles to make the playoffs. He said a winning record would, of course, be nice, but the real goal is to improve each week, make the playoffs and survive as long as possible. That would be a successful season for Beaufort Academy.

"My expectations are very high for this football team," Vaigneur said. "I've only got one senior. We're not going to use that as an excuse. We are a young football team. A lot of these kids have played together for a while. If we get better every day, by the end of the year, we're going to be a pretty good football team. We're OK now. We're going to get better and better and better by the end of the year."

Robinson, who said injuries last year helped cover up the Eagles' talent, is in agreement with his coach.

"Watch and see," Robinson said. "I've no doubt in my mind that we're going to have a good season this year."

Team Information

Stadium: Merritt Field

Region: SCISAA 8-man Region 2

Coach (years at school): Brock Vaigneur (first season)

2012 results: 1-9

Key losses: QB/LB Gibson Achurch (graduation), RB/DB Charlie Humphries (graduation), OL/DL Bryan Strawn (graduation), WR/DB Xavier Westergard, WR/DB Ashton Guest, OL/DL Gavin Palmer

Top returning starters: OL/DL Brandon Massalon, RB/DL Clay Melville, QB/CB Reyn Robinson, WR/DE Tucker Trask

Key newcomers: OL/DL William Gallant, WR/CB Charles Aimar, OL/DL Garrett Burr, OL/DL Jake Ingram, QB/DB Cain Richards, WR/LB Thomas Roddey

2012 recap

Date Opponent W/L Score

Aug. 24 at Jefferson Davis L 40-6

Aug. 31 RIDGE CHRISTIAN W 49-6

Sept. 7 FAITH CHRISTIAN L 42-13

Sept. 14 at Cathedral Academy L 56-14

Sept. 21 CHARLESTON COLLEGIATE L 72-8

Sept. 28 COASTAL CHRISTIAN L 44-8

Oct. 5 at St. John's Christian L 60-0

Oct. 12 ANDREW JACKSON L 20-12

Oct. 19 at James Island Christian L 44-16

Oct. 26 at Patrick Henry L 44-14

HOME GAMES in CAPS *Playoff game

2013 schedule

Date Opponent TIme

Aug. 23 at Twiggs Academy (Ga.) 7 p.m.

Aug. 30 JEFFERSON DAVIS 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 13 at Faith Christian* 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 20 CATHEDRAL ACADEMY* 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Charleston Collegiate* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Coastal Christian* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 11 ST. JOHN'S CHRISTIAN* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 at Andrew Jackson 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 25 JAMES ISLAND CHRISTIAN* 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 1 PATRICK HENRY* 7:30 p.m.

HOME GAME in CAPS *Region opponent

Players to watch

Offense

Reyn Robinson, RB

Robinson was the Eagles' main offensive weapon in 2012, rushing for 992 yards and four touchdowns and catching 16 passes for 282 yards and five scores. He averaged a whopping 7.04 yards per carry. This season, he's expected to shoulder more of the load with five of the Eagles' top six rushers lost to graduation.

Defense

Brandon Massalon, DL

The team's only senior, Massalon emerged as a key defender last season, making 47 tackles and leading the Eagles with five sacks, two fumble recoveries, two tackles for loss and two blocked punts. Massalon is expected to be the leader of the defense this season.

Three keys to the season

  • Stay healthy: It sounds clichè, but it's true. In SCISAA in general, and especially in 8-man football, depth is a struggle. Staying healthy was a key last season and the Eagles couldn't do it. They got banged up and it showed during an eight-game losing streak to end the season that saw Beaufort Academy outscored 382-85.

  • Help Robinson: Reyn Robinson is the only one of the Eagles' top six rushers from last season who returns this year. If Vaigneur wants to keep Robinson healthy and give his chance to win, he's got to find several ball carriers who can take some of the load off Robinson.

  • Learn quickly: With a new coach, the Eagles will have to learn a new offense and defense in a hurry. And Vaigneur says his offense can be tough to learn, with 15 different formations and a lineman pulling on just about every play. Vaigneur said the Eagles don't run too many plays, but that every play can be run out of multiple formations. That's a tough assignment in short notice.

  • 2013 roster (in numerical order)

    No. Name Position Class

    1 Zion Green RB/CB Fr.

    2 Charles Aimar WR/CB Soph.

    5 Alec Melville WR/DB Soph.

    7 Thomas Roddey WR/LB Soph.

    9 Tucker Trask WR/DE Jr.

    12 Clay Melville QB/DL Jr.

    15 William Gallant OL/DL Jr.

    20 Cain Richards QB/DB Soph.

    21 Reyn Robinson RB/CB Jr.

    23 Alex Alford RB/CB Soph.

    24 Charles Thompson RB/LB Jr.

    30 Todger Davis OL/DL Fr.

    42 Jake Ingram OL/DL Soph.

    50 Brandon Massalon OL/DL Sr.

    52 Macmillan Griffith RB/LB Soph.

    63 Kevin Williams WR/CB Fr.

    66 Michael Webb OL/DL Soph.

    67 Justin Massalon OL/DL Fr.

    70 Michael Bass OL/DL Jr.

    71 Garrett Burr OL/DL Soph.

    80 Christopher Boggs WR/CB Fr.

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