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Marlboro County High School
Bennettsville

Pierce picked to head up Marlboro County baseball

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Bennettsville – When faced with finding a new head baseball coach for the Marlboro County High program, athletic director Dean Boyd did not look far.

Boyd named Ryan Pierce as the successor to Philip Blue earlier this summer, promoting the five-year assistant to Blue to the top spot. It is the first head coaching job for the Laurinburg, North Carolina native.

“It was a no-brainer for me,” Boyd said. “Ryan is a young coach but he is a talented coach. He knows the game and he can teach the game. He’s had offers to go elsewhere so I am glad we were able to keep him. He has the knowledge, the desire and the energy that it takes to build a program. We’re pretty young right now but I expect big things from Ryan. He will do well.”

Pierce feels he has learned a lot under Blue over the last five years and is excited to take the next step in his coaching career at a place he knows well.

“Definitely, being here the last five years is going to help me,” the coach said. “We had a down season this year but we were very young. I was here during some really good seasons too. Two years in a row we set a school record for wins and we won playoff games. I know it can be done if we put our heads down and work hard.”

Pierce says one of his major goals is to create excitement for the baseball program by reaching out more to the community.

“We want to get our fans excited about Marlboro County baseball and get more out to the games,” said the Scotland County High graduate. “We want folks to come out and see our kids play and we want our players to be a big part of this community as well.”

With a relatively young roster returning, Pierce realizes he has to be patient as the youth develops. But he feels they can win next spring.

“We have a good core group coming back and we had a good summer (legion),” Pierce said. “We have some work to do, we know that. We just have to put in the work. Our goal is to compete every night, win or lose. If we bring great effort, we can win more than we lose.”

 

Boyd reshuffles football staff for 2018

In an effort to rebound from last year’s 3-7 record, Marlboro County head football coach Dean Boyd has revamped his coaching staff for the 2018 season.

“I advertised nationally, not just locally, but all across America because I wanted to bring in the very best coaches I could find,” Boyd said. “We had to make some changes. We had to get fresh ideas in here. It’s not a personal thing. We just can’t accept 3-7 at Marlboro County.”

Boyd’s nationwide search for coaches landed two coaches from South Dakota on the new coaching staff. Ronnie Jorgenson will coach defensive ends while Aaron Gronwald will coach defensive backs. Both are South Dakota State graduates.

Taking over as the defensive coordinator is Josh Pierce, who worked as the defensive line coach last season.

“He’s been here a few years and I’ve been grooming him to be the coordinator.” Boyd said. “Now is his time.”

Boyd said the defense will operate out of a 4-3 alignment, a different look than in previous years.

Two new linebacker coaches also join the staff. Sam Grooms, who played at Marlboro County, will coach inside linebackers. Adam Jefferson, who was a student assistant at Ole Miss last year, will coach the inside backers.

On offense, Jacob Shumate will coach the quarterbacks this fall. He coached the receivers the last few years. Taking over as the receivers coach is Charlie Brown, who played with the Washington Redskins and has coached at several schools. Robert Woods will coach tight ends and Hayden Wilkes is the new offensive line coach.

There are changes on the junior varsity staff as well. Ryan Pierce will be the head coach. Pat Williams is a new coach along the defensive line. Jason Cook will coach quarterbacks.

 Two new hires are Martez Brayboy in the secondary and Alex Gaston as the running backs coach. Gaston was an all-state running back at Cheraw.

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