The Georgetown High School Bulldogs are hungry this fall after tasting the football playoffs in 2018.
The team lost in the first round 33-7 to Gilbert High School and finished the year with a 4-5 record overall and 3-2 in Class 3A Region 8.
Head coach Jordan Ward resigned after only one season at the helm with one of his assistants, Brian Coleman, selected to be the interim coach for this year.
Coleman said the team is working hard to improve on last season’s finish.
“I think that is something we talked about all offseason long in the weight room,” Coleman said. “We don’t want to be a team or program that’s just satisfied getting to the playoffs. We want to be a program that is a threat in the playoffs. That’s one of our big goals this year is not just to qualify, but to advance, win our first round game and take our program one step further than we did last year.”
Coleman is starting his second year at Georgetown. He began his coaching career in Ohio back in 1999 and moved to the Georgetown area last June.
“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity,” Coleman said. “I’ve been coaching high school football for 20 years now. I’ve always wondered if I should move towards being a head football coach. The bulk of my coaching time has been spent as a strength coach. I ultimately chose that role over being a football coach because you get to work with the kids year-round. You can to have that every day relationship with the young person that I really value so I put most of my efforts into the strength coach role. For the opportunity to come make a big impact on our football team as head coach, I took the opportunity and ran with it.”
Coleman said that you can expect to see different offensive and defensive schemes on the field this year for the Bulldogs.
“We have changed the offense and defense pretty drastically from last year, “Coleman said. We decided to match up our schemes with our personnel. We have a quarterback that’s a run and throwing threat, so we wanted to give him an opportunity to have an offense that gives him as many options as possible.”
“On defense, we noticed that we had a lot of players that were what I would call a tweener, in-between a linebacker and defensive lineman,” Coleman said. Faster than your typical lineman but I would say smaller than your typical defensive lineman. We have tried to put out a defense that allows us to put our best athletes on the field on defense regardless of their size or weight. We just tried to get the best athletes we could and give them a defense which allow them to be aggressive and have fun.”
Junior quarterback Pep Jordan returns to lead the team and gives valuable experience on the one of the most important positions on the field.
“Pep is one best leaders in our school,” Coleman said. As a quarterback, you want that. He’s the type of kid that year-round has perfect attendance, he is an amazing student, and he is an amazing young person who is involved in so many church and charity organizations. He is a guy that is here every day. As a strength coach, I really value that because he is a hard worker in the weight room. Sometimes you get quarterbacks that don’t want to put big weight on the bars in the weight room, and Pep is one of the strongest kids pound for pound in the school. When the other kids see our quarterback attacking the weights like he does, it fires them up to do the same.”
According to Jordan, the offseason has brought optimism for the upcoming year.
“This whole summer we have been working hard,” said Jordan. “It is an honor to be the quarterback for this team. Last year we weren’t really locked in but so far this summer we have. I think we will be really good this year and ready to go. This whole team is based off of leadership. Everybody on this team is a leader, no one is a follower. “
Coleman said the running back duo of Ishmael Taylor and Malaki Johnson will give defensive coordinators fits on Friday nights.
“Both got playing time last year on both offense and defense,” Coleman said. Now they will be players that we really are going to focus on as a part of our offense. They are very threatening football players with their athleticism, power and strength. They are not just fast and shifty running backs; they will punish you when they hit you.”
Coleman said that he is committed to GHS and will make sure they succeed on the gridiron this fall.
“I’m extremely high-energy,” said Coleman. “I’m extremely enthusiastic. I’m a guy that wakes up and hits the weight room every morning, runs the track at the hottest point of the day, so I’m always able to give great energy levels to these kids.”
“I’m committed, which is something I think they have really needed here at Georgetown,” said Coleman. “Coming in to take this job, you could tell that you have to win the kids over. You have to build trust and credibility with them. My first few months on the job, I really had to earn the relationships I have with them. They know every single day, they can count on me to be here and be consistent with my approach. I care about them on and off the field. I live in Georgetown. They see me at the supermarket. They see me on the weekends driving around getting breakfast so the kids look at me as one of their own. I’m part of their family and I thank that has helped me to be able to push them even further than some of the other coaches before have.”
A lot of great players have graduated from last year’s playoff team and Coach Coleman will need everyone to step up.
“I think we are going to be a very young team,” Coleman said. “I think experience is going to be a big challenge for us. We are going to have a lot of players on the field that haven’t played much football, let alone varsity football. But with that youth, comes great hunger. The kids in this program are extremely committed and hungry to bring us a successful season back to Georgetown High. It’s something they want to give to this community because they know the community supports them. Strength training is a big focus to changing our culture here for Georgetown football. We have committed our kids to strength training like has never been done here before.”
Only time will how much success the team will have this season, but Coleman said the team is not going to wait around and search for it.
“We are going to do whatever it takes and go out there and seize success,” Coleman said. “Not expecting for it to be given to us, we are going to take it.”
8/30 AWAY Phillip Simmons
9/6 AWAY Carvers Bay
9/13 HOME Andrews
9/20 HOME St. James
9/27 AWAY Socastee
10/4 HOME Waccamaw
10/11 HOME Manning
10/18 AWAY Hanahan
10/25 AWAY Bishop England
11/1 HOME Academic Magnet