High School Sports

Swansea coach brings in reinforcements

SWANSEA HIGH’S football team could be a lot tougher to beat this year with head coach Van Lewis’s new reinforcements.

Lewis, who became the fourth head coach in the school’s more than 50-year history last year, hired former Indiana State University coaches Blair Hrovat and Tim Smith during the off-season.

Hrovat, who has more than 20 years experience coaching college and high school teams, will coach quarterbacks and running backs and will be the offensive coordinator for the Tigers.

Smith will coach defensive backs.

Lewis also hired Len Frederick to coach wide receivers. Frederick is a former assistant coach for Orangeburg Preparatory School and played football at Furman University.

“Obviously, I have goals as a coach and ultimately, if they aren’t to win state, you’re in it for the wrong reasons,” Lewis said.

He doesn’t necessarily expect to win a state championship this year, but Lewis hopes the Tigers will pull together a winning record.

With a new line of coaches and 11 returning starters, the team could make it happen.

Lewis, who has coached football for 17 years, four of those as a head coach, considers Swansea to have one of the best high school football traditions and tobe the ideal place to coach.

Swansea has “six state championships,” Lewis said. “And at times, I’m not going to say I’m intimidated, but it does make you think, it motivates you to carry on what they did and get back to that level.”

After a 3-7 record in 2007, Lewis has something to prove, if only to himself.

Lewis said he has control over only one thing with his team — how hard it works.

He’s willing to put in the time and effort and expects his players to as well.

With new coaches and fresh ideas, Swansea has a chance to get back to a winning record.

The motivation of Lewis doesn’t hurt either.