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Johnsonville High School

Cribb getting more comfortable at Johnsonville

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Johnsonville—New Johnsonville football coach Ken Cribb is feeling comfortable in his new surroundings.  The former Georgetown and Hemingway head coach went through spring practice with the Flashes and has continued to see improvement during summer workouts.

“I’m right at home.  The people have been amazing and given me a lot of support.  There’s nothing like that small town feel in athletics.  Everybody wants us to do well.  We just have to get to work and try to get a little better every day,” Cribb said.

Johnsonville has also been doing some new team-building activities during the last month as the players and coaches try to jell and get on the same page.

“Right now we’re up at FCA camp in Spartanburg, and that’s the first time the school’s ever been.  We’ve also done passing league this year for the first time in the history of the school.  The kids have worked really hard.  We’re a couple years behind where we should be, but most of them have bought in and are working hard.  They’ll be alright,” Cribb said.

While the players have had to get to know their new coach, the other assistants on the staff have also had a learning curve, even though their paths may have crossed from time to time in the past.

“They’re hard-working guys, and first and foremost, they’re good men.  That’s more important to me, but they’re also good coaches.  Character is big on my list and they set good examples for these kids.  We’re blessed to have them,” Cribb said.

Cribb will call the plays as offensive coordinator, but has just five assistants alongside him, one of which he has a direct connection. 

Longtime Johnsonville coach Harris Avant will continue to serve as defensive coordinator and work with linebackers and running backs.  His brother, Marty, was Cribb’s defensive coordinator at Hemingway.

Brian Welch returns to mentor the quarterbacks while Quentin Davis is in charge of the wide receivers and defensive backs.  Walter Clark works with the tight ends and defensive linemen while coordinating special teams as well.

The only new assistant joining the fold is offensive line coach Matt Rhoades, who came in from South Florence High.

“We all get along real good.  We have a brand new system on both sides of the ball and the coaches have been very receptive.  We’re learning as we go, but I’ve been excited about the job they’ve done,” Cribb said.  “We just go to work and do what needs to be done.  We leave our egos at the door and try to do what’s best for Johnsonville football.  If we do that, I think we’ll be fine.”

In the rest of the athletic department, many of the same head coaches in other sports will be returning for the 2018-19 academic year. 

Welch (boys golf), Avant (boys basketball) and Davis (baseball) have double duty while Nell Alston (volleyball), Kaitlin Eriksen (softball) and Lee Floyd (boys and girls track) return are back for another season.

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