08/16/12 — FOOTBALL TAB -- Greene Central: Grantham says young Rams must mature quickly

View Archive

FOOTBALL TAB -- Greene Central: Grantham says young Rams must mature quickly

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 16, 2012 1:48 PM

A large portion of Greene Central's roster is composed of underclassmen.

In fact, just five experienced players -- three on offense and two on defense -- return this season.

There is plenty of exuberance and excitement in the rural Snow Hill community, and fourth-year head coach Ken Grantham likes the close-knit stance the Rams have achieved in preseason workouts.

"We're going to have to make steps each week, get better each week," Grantham said. "We're going to have to be versatile in what we do, have to try multiple things until we find our true identity. With a young group like this, you're not real sure.

"We're going to get out there, just go and see what happens."

Grantham is going to look for leadership from three returnees -- Akeem Bynum, Jordan Williams and Austin Batchelor. Bynum (5-foot-7, 157 pounds) is the Rams' jack of all trades who can play any position on the field.

An all-Eastern Plains 2-A pick last season, Williams (6-3, 290) will anchor the offensive line. Batchelor, a second-year player, has been taking most of the quarterback snaps in practice and could be called upon to air out the ball a little bit more this season.

The Rams lost lineman Jarron Ormond, who moved to Raleigh in the offseason. Davis Wilson (5-8, 240) could possibly fill the void left by the 270-pound Ormond.

Greene Central's coaching staff dabbled in three-man defensive fronts over the past couple of seasons, and will employ that scheme this fall. Grantham said it will enable him to put more athletes on the field and hopefully confuse opposing offensive coordinators.

"We just have a lack of linemen," Grantham said. "We're figuring out things ... completely new folks out there with two sophomores starting in the secondary."

Offensively, the Braswell siblings -- Curtis and Curtez -- will work in the backfield along with Bynum. Jordan and Davis will handle the line duties, and help guide the JV players each day in practice and on Friday nights.

Grantham doesn't anticipate a huge drop-off, however, since the JV squad runs the same offensive and defensive schemes.

"Wow, we are young," exclaimed Grantham.

Greene Central logged a 1-10 worksheet last season and ended up winless in EPC play. The Rams haven't experienced a winning campaign since 2007 when they went 8-4 and finished runners-up to former EPC member Goldsboro High.

Grantham's team opens the season Friday at home against backyard rival North Lenoir. The Rams venture into conference play in mid-September.

"I'm excited about this group of kids," Grantham said. "They're a good group and are working hard. We're going to have to grow up fast. You don't want to go into the league that we have with this much inexperience.

"But we've got some real good things for the future. Who knows, we might slip up and surprise a few folks along the way."