BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (WMBF)
- This year began a bit differently than most others for Marlboro County and head coach Dean Boyd, and early on, replacing 17 starters wasn't even the most difficult task.
“We had 30 kids miss at least one game this year due to injury, and it was a unique year in that aspect,” Boyd said of this year.
What followed was a 1-5 start – something that no Bulldog member or fan was used to.
“I'm thinking I'm at Marlboro County, I've been there 18 years, you collect and accumulate a lot of stuff over that time, and I'm sitting here thinking how many boxes it's going to take to pack all this stuff up for when they get rid of me,” Boyd joked.
Though he and his staff didn't waver, and that started one of the biggest turnarounds that he has experienced in his career. And even though the injuries continued to pile up, the Bulldogs kept piling up the wins, tallying seven in a row, all the way through to the Lower State Finals.
“What people didn't realize is that from game seven on (this year), we didn't even have a running back,” said Boyd. “We had linebackers that we were trying out on offense, because all of our running backs were hurt.”
That win streak included getting an elusive win against Myrtle Beach in the third round of the playoffs, which got Boyd to the Lower State Finals for the fourth time in the last six years. While the road ended in a loss to Hartsville, the takeaway of 2014 is that Boyd and his teammates believe no task is too insurmountable.
“We came second in the region after a 1-5 start and made it to the Lower State Championship, Lower State runner ups, and I'm proud of our team,” said Boyd. “And in a few weeks we're going to get started and get ready for next year.”