Originally created 08/15/97

Prep notes



Strom Thurmond coach Brian Smith says he has always been organized.

His daughter, Brianne, who was born June 12, is making sure her father stays that way. Brianne is the first child of Smith and wife, April.

"I don't know if the baby has changed me or not," said Smith, who is 25-4 with two region titles in his first two seasons at the Class AAA school. "She has made me organize myself a little bit better. I don't waste as much time as I used to because I have to change diapers."

Because of his duties as a father, Smith has to make out his practice schedule at school. When he's at home, it's Brianne's time.

Coach Smith says he wouldn't have it any other way.

"Being a dad has changed me," Smith said. "But I enjoy it. She makes sure I stay organized and get everything accomplished at school."

DYNAMIC DUO: Last season, Strom Thurmond defensive ends Chauncey Gilchrist and Asinia Knight were the area's best defensive end combination.

The Batesburg-Leesville duo of Darris Morris and Phillip Cannon are expected to pick up right where Gilchrist and Knight left off in 1996. Morris, a 6-foot-5, 220-pounder, and Cannon, a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder, are preseason Class AA All-State selections by The South Carolina High School Sports Report.

Morris and Cannon are two reasons Batesburg-Leesville is being picked to win the Class AA state title.

"(Airport coach Les) Evans was just raving about them in our scrimmage," Panthers coach Phil Strickland said. "Both of them are real good. Darris makes a lot of big play whereas Phillip is probably more consistent and knows the position really well."

AIKEN COUNTY JAMBOREE: The Aiken County Jamboree will be next Friday at 7 p.m. at Midland Valley High School. Admission is $4.

South Aiken will meet Class A No. 5 Ridge Spring-Monetta in the first quarter; Aiken will meet Wagner-Salley in the second; North Augusta will tangle with Class AA No. 3 Silver Bluff in the third; and Midland Valley will play Class A No. 1 Williston-Elko in the fourth.

Each quarter will be 18 minutes.

DEAN A TRANSFER: Barnwell kicker Tyler Dean is a transfer from Houston, Texas.

Dean a former soccer player, is from Deer Park High School. The most famous alumnus of the Houston school is New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte.

"I was sort of messing around playing on the football field and (Barnwell) coach (Mac) Wier saw me and told me that I should consider playing football," said Dean, a junior. "So I decided to give it a try."

Dean, a punter and placekicker, is now regarded as one of South Carolina's top 100 players. He finished second to former Aiken standout and current Virginia freshman Mike Abrams in area punting with an average of 40 yards a kick last season.

TIGERS PROGRESS: Allendale-Fairfax first-year coach Carlos Cave saw some positives in his team's scrimmage with Class A power Williston-Elko this week.

"We did OK, but we still have a long way to go," said Cave, of the scrimmage in which his team scored twice on offense and once on defense. "I saw some things that we have to be enthused about it."

Cave is trying to return the Tigers to the Class AA state championship game. The Tigers lost to Abbeville last season. Junior Derrick Bynum, junior Deshawn Garvin and freshman Alfred Joyner are vying for the starting quarterback job vacated when Brian Johnson graduated.

Cave said Joyner, a 5-foot-10, 175-pounder, is making a strong impression.

"He probably has the stronger arm of the three," Cave said. "He ran the offense effectively and he threw the ball well."