High School Football

2013 Football Preview: Battery Creek pushing itself for more success

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comAugust 30, 2013 

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Left to right, Battery Creek High School's Yuneek Crittendon, Jason Green, Ra'heem Cooper and Isaiah Sloan are among the leaders of this year's Dolphins squad.

SARAH WELLIVER — Sarah Welliver Buy Photo

Jason Green couldn't watch the march anymore and trotted down the sideline to bark in the ear of an assistant coach.

The Battery Creek High School linebacker wanted to return to the field during the Dolphins' scrimmage at Beaufort High School. He got his wish.

Later, Green yelled at Eagles tight end Stephen Baggett after the Beaufort High senior knocked down a defensive back blocking downfield.

"Come do it to me!" Green yelled at Baggett.

And when one of Green's teammates walked to the sideline, Green was on him, screaming for him to hustle off.

The vocal bursts aren't only a product of Green's senior status. He's been outspoken since his freshman season.

But maybe the words carry more weight as Green and his friends, fellow senior linebackers Isaiah Sloan and Yuneek Crittendon, try to keep the Dolphins fired up after their first playoff victory in a decade.

"I believe in pushing people," Green said. "Sometimes I might get out of hand because I love the game. And I'm very emotional and let my anger get the best of me sometimes. But still, even though I might mess up, I might walk over to the player and say, 'Hey, I'm sorry, I just want you to get better, I didn't mean anything by that.' And we go from there. That's what some of the seniors last year did to me. They stayed positive, stayed on me, and I got better each and every day."

Battery Creek's quest to follow up a 6-6 season, which included a first-round playoff victory over Waccamaw, started with a physical scrimmage at Class 4-A rival Beaufort High. The Eagles dominated the scoreboard, but in size and numbers Battery Creek appeared more evenly matched than it had in the final years before the schools stopped the long-running football series. (The teams could resume play in 2014, if Beaufort High drops to Class 3-A, as expected).

The Dolphins had their challenges during the offseason.

They lost five players to the grade-point-average requirement, coach Jim Shuman said. Starters from military families moved out of the area. Some key contributors graduated, creating turnover on the lines.

Heads are still high, Shuman said.

"Our school doesn't look at football anymore as, 'Oh, that's just the football team,' " he said. "There is a lot more pride in our team and our program. That's something all our guys are really building upon."

Among the 14 players who graduated are linemen Justin Frazier and Michael Harbin, receiver Teyvon Jennette and running back Deandre Johnson.

Michael Reyes and Jonathan Wright provide some returning experience on the line. Receiver David Frazier is the tenured returner at his position.

And those vocal linebackers will help tie everyone together.

"I expect great things out of this season, regardless of how things might look," Green said. "People might talk about us, but regardless, you can't count us out. Because when you step on the field, and you paired up with us, you can guarantee we're going to give you a run for your money."

Team Information

Stadium: Dolphin Stadium

Region: 6-AA

Coach: Jim Shuman (third year, 7-15)

2012 results: 6-6, 5-2 Region 6-AA, defeated Waccamaw in first round of Class 2-A playoffs, lost to Loris in Round 2.

Key losses: DE Willie Doe, OL/DL Justin Frazier, DL Michael Harbin, LB Caleb Harris, RB Deandre Johnson

Top returning starters: RB/LB Yuneek Crittendon, LB Jason Green, LB/TE Isaiah Sloan, OL Michael Reyes, QB Raekwon Smalls

Key newcomers: LB Alterell Chatman, QB Justin Cochran, OL/DL Minhnhat Dang Le

2012 recap

Date Opponent W/L Score

Aug. 24 ESTILL L 34-21

Aug. 31 at Whale Branch L 13-6

Sept. 7 HILTON HEAD HIGH L 52-24

Sept. 14 GARRETT ACADEMY TECH W 39-18

Sept. 21 at Ridgeland-Hardeeville W 26-18

Sept. 28 BISHOP ENGLAND L 42-21

Oct. 5 at Woodland L 47-6

Oct. 12 at North Charleston

  • W 43-0

  • Oct. 19 at Burke W 71-25

    Oct. 26 ACADEMIC MAGNET W 35-28

    Nov. 2 WACCAMAW

  • W 21-13

  • Nov. 9 at Loris L 56-0

    HOME GAMES in CAPS *Playoff game

    2013 schedule

    Note: All games at 7:30 p.m.

    Aug. 30 at Estill

    Sept. 6 WHALE BRANCH

    Sept. 13 at Hilton Head High

    Sept. 20 at Garrett Academy Tech*

    Sept. 26 RIDGELAND-HARDEEVILLE*

    Oct. 4 at Bishop England*

    Oct. 11 WOODLAND*

    Oct. 18 NORTH CHARLESTON*

    Oct. 25 BURKE*

    Nov. 1 at Academic Magnet*

    HOME GAME in CAPS *Region opponent

    Players to watch

    Offense

    Yuneek Crittendon, RB

    The do-it-all senior is also a hard-hitting hybrid linebacker on defense and a dangerous return man. Crittendon averaged 8.1 yards per carry as a junior and rushed for nine touchdowns. During a victory over Garrett Academy last September, Crittendon ran for a touchdown, caught a touchdown pass and returned a kickoff 95 yards for another score.

    Defense

    Jason Green, LB

    Green returns as the Dolphins' leading tackler from last season, with 112. He also led the way with five sacks. The outspoken senior and friend Isaiah Sloan make for a productive tandem at linebacker.

    Three keys to the season

  • Hold the line: Justin Frazier, Michael Harbin and Willie Doe -- veterans of Battery Creek's lines on both sides -- are gone. The Dolphins will count on sophomores Minhnhat Dang Le and Paul Sanchez, while senior Jonathan Wright and returning starter Michael Reyes will provide some leadership. Reyes surprised teammates in the weight room during the summer and should be ready for a breakout season.

  • Rocky II: Quarterback Raekwon "Rocky" Smalls has a year in the Dolphins' option offense. He knows the reads and should be able to better lead Battery Creek during his second year as starter. The junior showed his toughness by returning to play a preseason scrimmage at Beaufort High with a swollen hand and after taking a brutal shot over the middle.

  • Beat the Whale: It might be tough to place much importance on a Week 2 game against a team from a smaller classification, but a win against rival Whale Branch Early College High School at home could go a long way in setting the tone for the Dolphins' season. Battery Creek lost a close one on the road in the inaugural meeting. Dolphins' coaches and players would like to have the hardware in their trophy case.

  • 2013 roster (in numerical order)

    No. Name Position Height Weight Class

    4 David Frazier WR/DB 5-10 165 Jr.

    5 Justin Cochran QB/OLB 5-9 150 Fr.

    6 Darrin Peeks RB/DB 5-7 155 Sr.

    7 Raekwon Smalls QB/ILB 5-6 160 Jr.

    8 De'Marquis Gadsen RB/OLB 5-8 150 Soph.

    9 Tyrone Dilbert RB/LB 5-8 140 Soph.

    10 Malik Morgan QB/DB 5-10 160 Soph.

    14 Eric Freeman TE/DE 6-5 165 Jr.

    15 Juan Carlos Negron RB/DB/K 5-9 150 Sr.

    23 Johnathan Davis WR/OLB 5-10 150 Soph.

    24 Alterell Chatman RB/ILB 6-0 190 Fr.

    32 Robert Bowles WR/DB 5-8 140 Jr.

    34 Andrew Woodley WR/DB 6-0 165 Jr.

    43 Jason Green RB/ILB 5-10 170 Sr.

    45 William Thompson TE/LB 5-11 160 Soph.

    50 Matthew Caton OL/TE/ILB 5-10 190 Fr.

    51 Cooper Kaminsky OL/DL 5-10 205 Fr.

    54 Alex Nelson OL/DL 6-0 205 Jr.

    57 Jay Jenkins OL/DL 6-1 170 Jr.

    58 Michael Reyes OL/DL 5-7 260 Jr.

    69 Minhnhat Dang Le OL/DL 5-8 160 Soph.

    71 Brandon Robinson OL/DL 6-4 210 Jr.

    73 Johnathan Wright OL/DL 6-0 285 Sr.

    76 Paul Sanchez OL/DL6-4 275 Soph.

    81 Chris Daigle WR/ILB 5-8 150 Sr.

    84 Tarey Jennette WR/DB 5-10 160 Jr.

    85 Isaiah Sloan TE/ILB 6-0 220 Sr.

    87 Yuneek Crittendon RB/LB 5-10 165 Sr.

    89 Rhaheem Cooper RB/DB 5-10 145 Sr.

    99 Tyler Cochran TE/DE 6-4 220 Jr.

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