May River High School might have been the best two-win team in the state last season – and one of the most improved – but the Sharks hoped to see their progress make more of an impact in the win column as they entered their third year of existence.
Considering they needed only two games to match last year’s win total – including their first victory over crosstown rival Bluffton – the odds are looking good.
While the Sharks’ win total remained the same from year 1 to year 2, they were outscored 507-75 in their inaugural campaign compared to 210-196 last year, when seven of their eight losses came by 10 points or fewer, including a 12-10 defeat to Timberland in the Class 3A playoffs.
“We should take a bigger step than we took last year,” sophomore quarterback Ahmad Green said. “We already showed teams we can compete. We just need to finish games and win.”
They’ve already proved they can do that by pounding Georgia private-school power Memorial Day 34-6 in their opener and pulling away for a 35-21 win over the Bluffton Bobcats in Week 2. The early results show why the Sharks entered the season with high expectations, talking about region titles – and maybe even more.
“They’re confident,” coach Rodney Summers said. “We want them to have some confidence. I think last year helped with us being close, but obviously that’s not where we want to finish. We want to finish games. We want to leave no doubt this year. We don’t want to walk off the field wondering, ‘what if?'”
The Sharks returned eight starters on each side of the ball, including most of their offensive line and a dynamic dual-threat quarterback in Green, who accounted for almost 1,700 total yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman. He has a new backfield mate in junior Brandon Morales, who has been a workhorse early in the season and rushed for 215 yards and three touchdowns against the Bobcats.
Summers saw his former team, Westwood, make big strides in year 3, and he hopes for a repeat at May River.
“I expect us to go out there and win some games we’re maybe not supposed to win,” Summers said. “We’ve got to go out and keep competing like we did last year, but hopefully we can finish them.”
Justin Jarrett has been covering sports in the Lowcountry since 2005 and is the founder of LowcoSports.com.