Not that long ago, Hunter Renfrow wasn’t even planning on playing quarterback.
After taking up the position two seasons ago, the Socastee junior made sure people remembered that he was under center.
Renfrow, the Toast of the Coast Offensive Football Player of the Year, propelled the Braves to a 12-0 start that included a pair of playoff victories for the first time in program history.
In the process, he added some flash to a triple-option offense that is often considered formulaic and less popular than the spread offenses seen most everywhere these days.
“Hunter’s been gifted,” his father and coach, Tim Renfrow, said. “He does some things naturally that some people can’t do.”
That much was apparent in 2012.
Hunter Renfrow finished the season with 1,418 yards and 19 touchdowns rushing and another 560 yards and eight scores passing. He also returned five punts for an average of 33.4 yards, returned nine kickoffs for a total of 176 yards, picked off two passes early in the season and handled punting duties.
But for all the diversity in his game – he was the lone area player named to both the Toast of the Coast offensive and defensive teams as a sophomore – it was his abilities in open space that made him so fun to watch.
Socastee fans knew he was a threat to score every time he had the ball in his hands, and it produced some star power around school and after games.
“You get used to it after a while,” he said. “But when you had a line like ours and players like ours, it’s fun to be a part of it. They make me better, and hopefully I make them better.”
None of his teammates have said anything rebutting that.
As teams focused more and more on the quarterback, it opened up opportunities for running backs Daquon Brown, Tommy Lazaroff and Delano Walters. Defensively, opponents focused so much on stopping Renfrow that they often forgot Socastee’s defense was developing into one of the better ones on the Grand Strand.
For all of the accolades, though, Renfrow continues to go back to what it all meant for his team. The Braves beat Myrtle Beach and Conway in the same season for the first time in more than a decade, proving early on that this season was going to be something special.
“It means a lot,” Hunter Renfrow said. “We worked hard to get it. Beating Myrtle Beach and Conway, those were the two key games we’ll remember the most. I hope we started something.”
Whether or not it was only the beginning will be the big question next season. And it could possibly be answered with Renfrow going back to a do-it-all offensive role that he held a sophomore.
Socastee has a pair of young quarterbacks who have the potential to allow Renfrow to play more running back and receiver, as well as in the defensive backfield.
Regardless, what he did from the quarterback position as a junior was unmistakable.
Contact IAN GUERIN at email@example.com.