Head Coach: Ashley Harden (2nd season, 6-4)
Last Season: 6-4, 3-2 (3rd place, Region 3A-A)
2012 Postseason: None
Key Losses: Zovondric Shingleton, WR/S; Donnie Gay, RB/LB
Key Returners: Ira Hendrix, QB; Tyler Lyles, LB; Martese Parris, WR/DB
Johnson County L 0-14
Emanuel County Institute L 15-42
Wheeler County W 45-26
Montgomery County W 60-0
Portal W 28-6
Savannah Country Day W 32-16
Calvary Day L 12-48
Savannah Christian L 12-42
Claxton W 19-14
Johnson County W 22-18
Aug. 30 @ Johnson County
Sept. 6 BYE
Sept. 13 ECI
Sept. 20 Wheeler County
Sept. 27 @ Montgomery County
Oct. 4 Portal
Oct. 11 @ Savannah Country Day
Oct. 18 @ Calvary Day*
Oct. 25 @ Savannah Christian*
Nov. 1 Claxton*
Nov. 8 Region 3-A Play-In
Jenkins County was turned in one of the biggest improvements last season, going from just 1-9 in 2011 to a 6-4 record that brought the Eagles to the brink of the state playoffs.
Armed with one of its most talented rosters in years, Jenkins County rode a high-scoring attack to its first winning season since 1999.
For first-year coach Ashley Harden – who had engineered a similar turnaround at his previous gig with Butler of Augusta – got the Eagles back on the right track. Since the final whistle of the 2012 season blew, he and the rest of the team have been making sure that things only improve from here.
“We were pleased with what we did last season, but we can never be satisfied,” Harden said. “We want to be more than just a good team. Each day, we tell our guys to be uncommon men.”
One of the most impressive facets of the Eagles’ quick improvement is that they were able to do so with one of the smaller rosters around. Jenkins County plays in GHSA’s smallest classification, but in the always talented Region 3-A perennial powers like Savannah Christian and Emanuel County institute typically have the roster size of Class AAA and Class AAAA schools.
The Eagles shook off their lack of numbers and made the most of things. With that success has come some more interest and participation in the program – a big help as Jenkins tries to replace some talented departed seniors.
“We’ve had good turnout throughout the summer,” Harden said. “Our numbers are up over 35 and into the forties for a lot of our workouts. Having success is going to bring a few more people out and we have a solid group of freshmen that are coming in this season.”
When the Eagles aren’t in the weight room, they’ve been on fields all around the region. Jenkins County has participated with Screven County in 7-on-7 drills and just completed a full team camp at Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C.