EASLEY – After three full seasons at the helm of the Green Wave, Head coach, Chad Smith has compiled a 29-9 record resulting in three consecutive playoff appearances.
“Our kids have done a wonderful job buying in to what we do and our coaches do a fabulous job of coaching them. The results speak for themselves, three playoff appearances in a row is an impressive feat especially considering the school’s 1-21 record in the two years prior to our staff’s arrival, “ Smith said. This is the first time in school history that the team has made it to the playoffs three years in a row and also in the last two years, the old scoring records have fallen twice.”
The year before Coach Smith’s arrival, the Easley squad went 1-10 which was an improvement over the previous year’s 0-11 record.
“Our coaching staff is second to none in the state, and I think we have the best coaching staff in the state of South Carolina. They do a wonderful job on a weekly basis of preparing our kids, our kids do a wonderful job of preparing, and our kids do a wonderful job in the weight room year round,” Smith said. “We are a lot stronger than we were four years ago and hopefully we will continue to improve. We want to be a consistent winner, we want to be something that Easley can be proud of, and we want to compete on a championship level.”
If there is one criticism of Coach Smith’s three years at Easley, it would be the run first mentality of his double wing offense.
“Number one, this offense may not be flashy, but we scored more points the last two years than any team in Easley High School history, and that’s including state championship teams. The second thing, I firmly believe that you have to hang your hat on something to be successful,” Smith said. “I believe football is a game of extremes, and I think the successful programs out there do that.”
Programs like Byrnes and Hartsville have enjoyed championship success with their styles of play.
“Hartsville won a state championship this year running the football 95 percent of the time and Byrnes wins state championships throwing it 95 percent of the time. You pick what you know how to do and you get so good at it that nobody can stop you. We are not there yet, but I am hard-headed and we will continue to do this as long as I am head coach and I hope people support that,” Smith said. “There are plenty of teams around that throw it, and we’ve beaten every one of them. I think our toughness pays off in the end. Sooner or later we will bring a state championship back.”
Smith will enter his fourth season with five returning starters on offense including rushing standout, C.J. Fuller, and five returning starters on defense with division one prospect, Quaven Ferguson.
“Going into next year, we lost some extremely talented seniors, but the group we’ve got coming up is an extremely special group and they are hard working. We may not be as deep as we have been in the last two years, but I think we will have more than enough fight in us to be competitive on a state level and I am really looking forward to it,” Smith said.