Irmo coach Reggie Kennedy wants his team to be playing its best football when region play starts in two weeks.
And the Yellow Jackets’ 21-20 win over Spring Valley might help his team do that. The win was Irmo’s first of the year and helped eased the sting of letting a big lead slip away the week before against Ridge View.
Now, the Yellow Jackets look to equal their win total from last season when they take on Blythewood on Friday.
“I think it was important for us to bounce back with a win to help the kid’s confidence level back and get a win in the winning column,” Kennedy said. “I see a difference in the kids’ attitude and the effort in practice now, mentally in tune and been big a boost.”
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Irmo went 2-9 in Kennedy’s first season last year, its lowest win total since winning two games in 1994. Things didn’t look promising at the beginning of the season after giving up total of 104 points in losing the first two games to York and Northwestern.
But Kennedy said things started turning around a couple weeks ago and cited the play of both his offensive and defensive line.
The Yellow Jackets also made a switch at quarterback with Mason Smith taking over for Ronnie Jamison. Kennedy said Smith gave the team more of a better passing threat. The switch opened up Jamison to play both receiver and running back.
Irmo also has gotten a boost from junior receiver James Tharp, who also sees his share of carries running the ball. Tharp had the go-ahead score last week in the win over Spring Valley and a big run to set up another score.
“Overall, I am pleased with the progress we have been making. If we can start playing our best football midseason, we could be a team to compete with down the end of the season,” Kennedy said. “We got two more tune-ups before region play. That is one thing we kept stressing to the kids is to keep their eyes on the big picture and region play. The win last week helped us refocus on the big picture.”