Despite producing some Division I quarterbacks in recent years, the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets have relied heavily on either their ground game or air attack to move their offense, but never a 50-50 mixture of both.
With new head coach Rob McNeely on the job now, that offense that lead Fort Mill maybe looking different in the coming years. Last year’s team led by then junior quarterback JT Marr as the team passed for 2,230 yards with Marr contributing 2,128 of them. The passing game made up roughly 64 percent of the Jackets’ offense.
McNeely is hoping this year’s team will be more evenly centered.
“We want to be balanced,” McNeely said.
“We want to be as balanced as we possibly can. But we are also going to take what the defense gives us and be smart. With the way our offense is designed, we try to get the ball in our playmakers hands as much as possible. We want to be a balanced attack. At the end of the year, when we look back we want to be in the 50s (percentage), the 60s (percentage) run pass. If you can stay in front of the chains and take care of business on first and second downs you kind of keep the defense on their toes, you won’t be as predictable.”
The Jackets have been working on establishing a new offense since McNeely came on the scene. It is built around a spread type formation. That being said, McNeely doesn’t feel like he will be surprising any teams out of the gate just because he’s the new guy in the region.
“I think ball is ball,” he said. “I think it comes down to being physical up front and being able to run when you want to and being able to stop the run. I don’t think it is anything that nobody hasn’t seen before.”
So, will Marr, now a senior, or junior Dylan Helms be leading the offense for Fort Mill under center in the first game against River Bluff? McNeely isn’t saying and probably won’t divulge that information before one of them goes under center to open the season.
“We have two varsity quarterbacks and it’s going to be one of them,” he joked. “Both those guys bring different things to the table. They are great teammates. They are both really good leaders. They work hard and are great in the locker room. Both of them bring different skill sets to the offense.”
McNeely said either quarterback could thrive within his offense. Sometimes, both at the same time, he hinted.
“Our offense is very quarterback friendly,” he said. “But both of those guys can do different things. I wouldn’t be surprised to see both of them, maybe on the field at that same time.”
Fort Mill will open the season at River Buff Aug. 17, before hosting their first home game Aug. 24 against Chester.