Inside the Swarm: Broome

By: Paul Davis

Pre-game devotional. After challenging the team to get mentally ready for the game, former Jacket player Brad Valentine was introduced to give the devotional.

“It is an honor to be here,” began Valentine. “I once sat in those chairs just like you are now. I remember these meetings. I played under Coach Dula in 1992 and I hope I can come close to filling his shoes in terms of a devotion.

“I thought he was going to use my theme last week but he didn’t. I want to read to you from I Corinthians 12:12-31 which is similar to what he said.”

After reading from the scripture, Valentine asked the players to think about how God designed his spiritual body. “The coaches put together a team based on the talents of each player. And there are many members to this team. No one person IS the team. There’s no ‘I’ in team. Coach Dula mentioned the importance of the scout team. All are important. Kick-off, long snappers, all are important. Each position is important.

“Paul asked what kind of body it would be if it were only the eye. What kind to success would you have if everyone played offense? Could the offense stop Broome? Each position on the team needs the other positions. Coach Dula used to say that we should be so close to our teammates that if someone got hurt, someone else did the bleeding. Know our role. Play it with all you have.”

Valentine then read the poem, The Builder, which described some men tearing down a building. When asked if they were skilled, the foreman replied that he only needed the most common laborers to tear down what it took skilled builders years to build. The theme of the poem was asked the question: ‘Am I the one who is tearing down or who is building with care to make the world better?’ “I hope you want to be a builder,” he continued, “not one who goes about tearing down.”

“I know your first victory felt good,” he continued. “You never quit. But the last four weeks mean nothing. Put yourself in God’s hand. I hope you get a ring like I did. I was part of the practice squad but that didn’t faze me a bit. Good luck tonight.”

Coach Lipsey then congratulated the punt team on their performance as well as the defense’s. “Every play is important but we don’t know which one will be the big one. This is game five. Eight weeks practice. Five games. Then we enter region play.”

Offense.  “Week five and still no respect,” said the words on the chalk board. Coach Dave Maness began by paraphrasing the old E. F. Hutton commercial: “We make it (money) the old fashioned way, we earn it” he continued, “and you have to earn your respect with your pads. Big game. It can give us momentum into the region. Take the game early. We have got to finish the game. We had a good start but didn’t get the ball into the end zone. We stopped the drive, not the Laurens defense. Our mistakes.

Defense. “Are we ready?” asked defensive coordinator Chip Bailey. “Some of you all aren’t dressed. Some still have your ear rings in. You must play to your capabilities. The varsity might do some of the same things we saw in the JV game. Ends, watch for a wide split on their tackles; they want their fullback to get the ball a lot. You have got to account for number three (quarterback). Watch for the option. Strong safety, make them make a decision. Make sure you have number three. Understand who will have the ball. Their quarterback is the one who can hurt us the most.”

Gym. “Last week our special teams were better than theirs,” said special teams coach Caleb Clark, “for the first time this year. Was this a fluke or is it for real. Give our next opponent something to worry about. Win the special teams battle tonight.”

Coach Lipsey continued that theme by congratulating the special teams for their play last week. “Let’s concentrate on the game. Keep your cell phones off. Go get that feeling you had after the game last week. Broome wants that same feeling. Go get it. You will have a lifetime to remember what you did this weekend. Have a good trip up. Go four quarters. Go get it. They want it. We want it. Go get it.”

Before. Coach Lipsey explained to the team the delay caused by the lightning. After 90 minutes the game was about to start. “They want it. You want it. Seniors, you will never have a chance to play this team again. Go get it. Go get it.”

Half. “Not a good half of football,” began an emotional Lipsey. “They out-played you. They are brining the fight to you. You are on your heels. Things will not better unless you change. We have to change our approach. Your heads are down. We are not aggressive. Broome is attacking. They have outplayed us. We only have two quarters of non-region play left. You can do it. Quit looking for excuses. Who makes plays the second half wins the game. You have worked too hard to play like you did the first half. That’s not us. You have to do it. Man up. It’s time to man up. They made just two plays. They don’t have what we have up front. Man up.”

After. “Way to play,” shouted Lipsey. “You did it. You did man up. Now you have to do it the rest of the season. You got a bad call. You held them to three and out. Then you took advantage of your opportunity. Now you know, ahead or behind, you can do it. Great job. Now Monday, we get ready for region play.”

Quick hitters. Part of the Jacket Team are the student trainers who do everything from taping to preparing the Gator Aid. The senior member is long-time trainer Porsha Gilliam, now in her second year at USC-U. Gilliam is head athletic trainer Doc Lipsey’s right-hand person who provide leadership and direction to the other trainers. A trainer since her sophomore year in high school, she is dedicated to her job, particularly the volleyball team, according to Lipsey…Mesha Duckett is a third-year trainer who only works with football. She helps organize the training room and handles injury reporting. “A hard working person behind the scene,” noted Doc Lipsey…Brandon Frost got a lot of notice for his hard work on the JV and practice squad … hard running Mike Mebane got his first TD of the season…after Coach Lipsey had finished talking to the team at the end of the game, a Broome wide receiver came over to the team and congratulated them on their performance, a working definition of a class act… Keiston Smith’s work on the JV and practice squads caught the coaches’ attention…Addition: In the JV game, Demarcus Stewart made two key interceptions…overheard at our Wal-mart: “I know for a fact that Byrnes played the Miami Dolphins this summer and beat them 48-6,” said one of the local Byrnes “insiders”…Neil Washington had six solo tackles and two assists…the film of Mike Mebane’s phantom TD was inconclusive but it did look like he scored, just like the two closest officials to the play said… coaches were pleased with Calvin Williams’ performance on punt returns… the PAT and FG teams didn’t allow any penetration by Broome… Nick Monroe had his best night passing… “They competed hard the second half,” said one of the the end of the game, everyone was trying to find. Desmond Floyd to shake his hand… Nick Monroe’s punts continue to keep the other team in poor field position to include one downed at the six-inch line…Alex Tucker kicked two kick-offs into the end zone… coaches were very high on the defense which shut out Broome the second half, held Broom to three and out, thus giving the offense the ball with enough time to score…Nick Jackson had five tackles plus three tackles for loss…the JV offensive line – Tyler Roark, Stacey Peake, Robert Sims, Dusty Rhinehart and Jacob Painter - got noticed for their great effort on the practice squad.

The journey continues. Jacket Bowl XXXXI (18-18, 4T). Be here.


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