After often playing with only three linemen and sometimes five linebackers at Strom Thurmond, the senior had fresh surroundings as the South Carolina team’s Border Bowl practice started about two weeks ago.
“For me, I was just coming in learning the defense,” Dunbar said at Thursday’s practice at North Augusta High School. “It was hard for me to adapt to it, because it’s not what I usually run. But as practice has been going, it’s been getting better and everybody has connected.”
The adjustment to the 4-3 defense has gotten easier as more two-hour practice days have passed prior to Saturday’s inaugural Border Bowl. Communication will be key, especially on the defensive side, where both the Georgia and South Carolina teams have to try to slow down offenses that will look to play quick.
“The kids have adjusted real well,” said Wagener-Salley head coach Ken Tucker, who will assist coaching the South’s defensive line. “We got kids coming in from nine or 10 different schools, with nine or 10 different philosophies, and they’ve all kind of come together as one right now.”
North Augusta’s Kyle Saverance will also be there with Dunbar helping defensively. He is well aware this is the last time he will play competitive football as a Yellow Jacket. But that’s all the more reason why he wants to leave with a win.
Saverance added all the practice time has made it easier for all the players from different high schools to identify as one team for Saturday.
“We’ve grown together as a team,” Saverance said. “We work together now. In the beginning, we were kind of doing our own thing. Now we’re all going together, working together. The offense is doing good against us and we’re doing good against the offense to make each other better.