Stags take clean slate to Stratford
The best thing about the summer football scrimmage schedule is that the games don’t mean a thing. Win or lose, the slate is wiped clean come Labor Day weekend and teams start over 0-0.
Coach Jeff Cruce begins his third season at the helm of Berkeley Stags football, and this is the team he said he’s been waiting for since he replaced Jerry Brown in 2011.
“I’ve got the team I want and the players in place to do good things this year,” he said. “We expect good things to happen this fall.”
Berkeley fell to Goose Creek 36-20 in their two-quarter Sertoma Classic scrimmage Friday, but the contest was just that, a scrimmage. The real games begin this week and for the Stags, their focus is on this Friday and Stratford and what to do with the rocket arm of Knight quarterback Jacob Park.
“Park is going to get his numbers but we have to minimize the big plays and answer with our own plays,” Cruce said. “We have to make the plays to put ourselves in position to win the game.”
The Stags have one of the toughest pre-region schedules in the area, kicking off the season with the Knights and following with Summerville, Cane Bay, Manning and Timberland.
“I’ll stack my preseason schedule up against anybody,” Cruce said. “Three AAAA schools then Manning and Timberland. These are five very good football teams. We’ll be ready for our region schedule come October.”
Berkeley gets little relief when October arrives with a much-improved James Island and Hanahan leading off the region slate on Oct. 4 and Oct. 11, respectively.
“We are so far above where we were this time last year,” Cruce said. “We’ve been able to work on a lot of things over the summer besides teach these kids how to run an offense and defense.”
Kickoff at Stratford is at 7:30 p.m.