High school preview

Preview: New coach, system greets Hornets

Page fast-forwards his change to a single-back offense

ainelson@thestate.comAugust 6, 2012 

  • Diamond Hornets Coach: Darryl Page 2011 record: 3-7, 2-3 in Region 5-3A Region: 4-3A Key player: Senior quarterback Marcus Edmond Key game: at Dreher, where the Hornets likely will need to win if they want a playoff spot SCHEDULE 8/17 vs. Spring Valley 8/24 vs. Bam-Ehrhardt 8/31 at O’burg-Wilkinson 9/07 vs. Richland NE 9/14 at Airport 9/27 at Dreher 10/05 vs. Camden 10/12 at Chapin 10/19 vs. A.C. Flora 10/26 at Westwood
  • More information FOOTBALL PREVIEWS This is the sixth in a series of prep football previews on teams in the Midlands. Tuesday: Irmo

Talk about a hurry-up offense.

It has been four weeks since coach Darryl Page met his staff at Lower Richland, three weeks since he first met with his players.

Yet Page, a veteran coach arriving in Hopkins after 19 years at Wilson, is excited about what the Diamond Hornets can do with the offense he has installed in that time.

“It’s a challenge, but so far it’s been a lot better than it could have been,” Page said. “For my coaches, they are being asked to learn a new system and turn around and teach it. So we kept a lot of the same stuff, and we’re not trying to get to complicated for these athletes.”

The change is a move from the wing-T to a single-back offense.

“It won’t be that hard a task to tackle,” said senior quarterback Marcus Edmond, who has committed to N.C. State. “We’re learning and everything, but we had a scrimmage and we did OK. We’ve got some things to work on, but we are going to be good.”

Page said execution was the Diamond Hornets’ biggest problem up in their Aug. 3 scrimmage with Crestwood, Fort Mill and Andrew Jackson.

The important thing, he said, was that the squad has the capacity and the will to succeed.

“They put in all the effort, and at this point, that’s what I wanted to see, that we would work hard,” he said.

Page said talented athletes such as Edmond, who also plays defensive back, end Alonzo Gibson and athlete CJ Davis are crucial to Lower Richland’s game plan.

“Gibson is a great defensive end for us, and he will play some tight end, too. But then he’s athletic and fast enough that we can spread him out if we need to,” Page said. “And Marcus, the athleticism and intelligence that he brings to both sides of the ball are key for us.

“You don’t want to wear him out, but we need him on both sides of the ball.”

Page does not want to ask for too much, too soon.

“There is still a trust factor that has to be developed, and with these kids you really feel for them, because I’m the third coach of their high school career,” he said.

By contrast, “I’ve been at Wilson for so long, and in the spring, while the staff here was running spring practice, I wasn’t coaching a football team, I was just a teacher at Wilson High. So I’m really rejuvenated. I’m excited about the possibilities and where I think this team can go,” Page said.

Edmond said the enthusiasm from Page is infectious.

“He’s really pumped up for the season, and it helps because of how hard we have to work to be excited, too,” he said. “It’s going to be good to see what the future holds.”

Reach Nelson at (803) 771-8419

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