HSFB: Dolphins ready to usher in new era under Ashe

Terrance Ashe says he has spent his coaching career being a “fly on the wall,” learning from the coaching staff at Clemson before working under veteran coaches coming up as a young assistant. Now, he’s the wall, and he hopes to pass along what he has picked up along the way as he begins a new era for Battery Creek football. 

It certainly was a difficult year to transition into a new program, as Ashe had to contend with installing his system and building camaraderie during an offseason unlike any before it amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This season won’t necessarily be measured by wins and losses, especially with a condensed schedule that cuts out the non-region fat and the move to a region that is stacked with top-10 caliber teams. Ashe is just hoping to build a foundation for a brighter future for Battery Creek football, and his arrival has upped the energy and enthusiasm surrounding the program. 

Now it’s time to put that into action on the field, and the Dolphins have a manageable opener with Academic Magnet coming to town Friday night. If they can get off to a positive start and build confidence, perhaps they can finish in the top half of the region and give Ashe something to build upon.

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BATTERY CREEK DOLPHINS FOOTBALL

Coach: Terrance Ashe

Record at BCHS: 0-0 (1st season) 

2019 record: 3-6 overall, 2-2 region, 1st round of Class 3A playoffs

Top returners: Justin Smalls, Jaeon Allen, Lukas Kinsey, Malachi Wilson

Notable losses: Brandon Wilson, Obie Wilson, Carlos Jones

Breakout candidates: Jeremiah Dilbert, Jacove Anderson 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

• Jacove Anderson, QB: Anderson has been a mainstay in the Dolphins’ backfield for three years now, starting under center before moving to tailback last season. He’s back in the saddle this season with a developing offensive line in front of him and a stable of promising backs behind him. Anderson is a powerful runner whose field vision continues to improve, and he is developing into a better passer. If the line can give him enough time, he could be a breakout star in 2020.

• Jaeon Allen, OLB/DB/RB: Allen won’t have to go both ways all the time, but he’ll be an impact player on both sides of the ball. His primary role will be anchoring the defense in a hybrid linebacker/secondary role, but he’s also an explosive back who can give the Dolphins a change of pace on offense to give Jeremiah Dilbert a break.

BURNING QUESTION

Can the Dolphins avoid self-inflicted mistakes? 

Battery Creek always has its share of impressive athletes, and Ashe has them fired up for a new era, but they’ve often been derailed by their own unforced errors. Ashe and his staff are prioritizing discipline as they look to change the culture, and that includes limiting penalties and taking care of the ball, which can turn close losses into wins.

REGION AND BEYOND

The Dolphins’ new region is stacked with talent, topped by Oceanside Collegiate, Bishop England, and Hanahan, who figure to be the top three contenders for two playoff spots. Battery Creek’s best matchups are likely the bookends against Academic Magnet and North Charleston at home, but even with wins there, they’ll need to knock off two of the big three to make the playoffs. That might be too much to ask in 2020, but the Dolphins can still start building toward a playoff run next season.

SCHEDULE

9/25 — vs. Academic Magnet*
10/2 — at Hanahan*
10/9 — vs. Bishop England*
10/16 — at Oceanside Collegiate*
10/23 — vs. North Charleston*
10/30 — at Whale Branch
*region opponent 

Written by Justin Jarrett

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