High School Football

Irmo’s star running back tackles distractions and targets big senior season

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Irmo coach Reggie Kennedy and running back Kendrell Flowers discuss their thoughts on upcoming season.
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Irmo coach Reggie Kennedy and running back Kendrell Flowers discuss their thoughts on upcoming season.

Kendrell Flowers hopes for a big senior season at Irmo High School, but you won’t find him talking about it on social media.

The running back and Wake Forest commit says he’s giving up Twitter to focus on his final season for the Yellow Jackets and hopes some of his teammates follow him in his decision.

“I want to do it individually, but me and (quarterback) John Ragin are getting together some team goals, and I was going to mention that,” Flowers said Tuesday at practice. “The less social media, the more focused we will be. I feel like if we are off social media, everybody will lock in, we will be around each other more, get to know each other more. The more you know each other, we will want to play for our brothers.”

With fewer distractions, Flowers hopes to build on a breakout junior season. Last year, he accounted for 1,219 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns. 247Sports lists him as the eighth-ranked prospect in the state and he committed to Wake Forest in the spring.

“He is a guy who can go the distance any time he touches it and he makes us go,” Irmo coach Reggie Kennedy said. “He is going to touch the ball 20 or 30 times on Friday nights.”

Flowers and Ragin are two of 12 starters back this season. It’s the first time Kennedy has had the same quarterback for back-to-back seasons.

The Yellow Jackets are coming off a 6-5 season, their most wins since 2013. But Irmo struggled down the stretch after a 4-0 start, and Kennedy said that was a point of emphasis going into the offseason workouts.

“We took a big step last year. We went 6-5,” Kennedy said. “Going into the offseason and spring, we talked about finishing. We felt we didn’t do a good job last year. We were up and down toward the end. It’s been a great offseason and summer camp. I think the kids set the goals a lot higher than just a winning season.”

Irmo opens against Lexington.

“This year is very important year for us,” Flowers said. “I see the talent getting better each and every year. The commitment level is getting better. We want to keep progress. This group works hard. Everyone believes we can win.”

About Irmo

Head coach: Reggie Kennedy (5th year)

Last year’s record: 6-5

Starters returning: 12

Key returning players: RB Kendrell Flowers, QB John Ragin, WR Omarion Dollison, OL Shamar Young, OL Jabari Avery, LB Julius Land, S Oka Emmanwori

Newcomers to watch: DE Amir Eurbank, DT Eric Vincent, RB Jansen McGahee

2018 schedule

Aug. 17: vs. Lexington

Aug. 24: vs. Keenan

Aug. 31: at Dutch Fork

Sept. 7: at Brookland-Cayce

Sept. 14: vs. River Bluff

Sept. 21: at Clover

Sept. 28: at Spring Valley

Oct. 5: at Blythewood

Oct. 12: vs. Lugoff-Elgin

Oct. 26: vs. Sumter