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Timberland High School
St. Stephen

Craig continuing to enjoy time at Timberland

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

St. StephenTimberland football coach Art Craig has guided the Wolves to a pair of state championships during his 17-year tenure at the rural Berkeley County school.  However, he has been surrounded by a solid group of coaches during that time, with most of them staying extended periods of time.

“It helps that several of these guys played for us here.  They know the expectations and that makes it easier.  You don’t have to start over every year with guys that don’t know what’s going on,” Craig said.

It has been an interesting journey since he took over in 2001.  The team was 1-9 that inaugural season before taking off to become one of the most consistent programs in the state.  That tradition has kept Craig in the Lowcountry year after year.

“After that first year, we were just hoping to survive, but you could see it turning.  Every time you think there may be something else out there, there’s something that draws you back here.  It makes it easier with this staff and how hard our players continue to play.  I don’t think any coach this day in age thinks about being somewhere for 20 years, but that’s kind of how it’s worked out,” Craig said.

Only one new coach was added to the staff this fall, but he has a familiar face.  Former assistant Chris Pond returned after a stint coaching football and baseball at Goose Creek.

“For someone who doesn’t really desire to be a head football coach, he’s one of the best assistants I’ve ever seen.  As soon as he came in for spring practice, the kids fell in love with him and liked his enthusiasm.  It was like he had never left before,” Craig said.

Offensive line coach Rick Taylor is the veteran on the sidelines, having joined Craig back in 2005.

“He’s been through the battles.  He’s our offensive line coach, so me and him are going to get into a few knockdown, drag outs during the year, but I know he’s going to be there,” Craig said.

Former Timberland standout Justin Scott will continue to serve as the defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach.  He has done well in his few seasons in charge of that unit.

“When (Bill) Boroff became defensive coordinator, Justin assumed more responsibilities.  At that time, I could tell he had a special knack of understanding X’s and O’s and putting people in the right place.  He’s been an important part of our success.  When Boroff left, there wasn’t really any discussion of who was going to be the defensive coordinator.  He’s taken it and run with it,” Craig said.

Other coaches this season include Ben Lailson (defensive line), Ryan Rhoades (offensive line), Allen Gethers (quarterbacks), Byron Addison (tight ends), Carson Carroll (running backs) and Terry Keller (outside linebackers).

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