In addition to being one of the most electrifying players in the area, Claxton’s Zach Grant has dealt with a bit more adversity than the average high school senior.
Grant made a name for himself as a bit player on Claxton’s 2011 squad before earning a role as the Tigers’ main running option in his sophomore year.
Last season, Grant transferred to Statesboro. Despite being new on the scene and competing with plenty of proven SHS backs, Grant used his shifty moves and open field speed to lead the Blue Devils in rushing.
This season, Grant is back in Claxton. Despite not playing with the Tigers in 2013, he doesn’t seem to have missed a beat.
“It’s definitely great to have him back,” Claxton coach Rodrick Williams said. “I think he’s comfortable and fitting right in. He’s back playing with the same guys he’s been teammates with his whole life.”
Grant had his biggest impact on his new (or old) team two weeks ago. He was handed the ball 20 times and exploded for 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Tigers’ upset win over Emanuel County Institute.
This Friday, Claxton takes on Portal. Grant should be happy to see the Panthers as he eclipsed the 200 yard mark against them in his last go-round with the Tigers.
Helping to start a program in its infancy is a tough enough job.
Leading a team to the second round of the state playoffs is even tougher.
Southeast Bulloch’s Cierra Jordan has done both, and she’s still just a sophomore.
SEB started its volleyball program in 2012 with just enough members to play a junior varsity schedule. Last season, Jordan moved to Brooklet — along with her previous middle school and club team experience — and paid immediate dividends for the Lady Yellow Jackets.
“I’m really excited to be a part of this team,” Jordan said. “Our coaches are great and have helped us out a lot. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
Jordan was a freshman on last year’s team that made a run through its area and won a first-round state playoff match in its first year of eligibility. More challenging foes have made SEB’s area schedule a bit more of a struggle this season, but the Jackets are still in position to make a return trip to state.
“Things have gotten a little harder this year,” Jordan said. “The key is for us to stay focused and not let up. When we play our best, I feel like we’re a really good team. The best part is that we don’t have any seniors, so we’ll all be back next season.”