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Collins wants to restore Bruins' football tradition

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New LHS football coach

By Robert Howey

 

New Lancaster High School head football coach Bobby Collins is adamant about reversing the LHS football fortunes.

“We will be better than 2-9,” said Collins when he addressed a group of LHS football fans and supporters during a community welcome  for the coach Monday, April 21 in the community room at Lancaster High School.

The Bruins have gone 2-9 in each of the last two seasons and Collins wants to bring winning football back to LHS. Lancaster hasn’t had a winning season since the 2011 campaign when it went 6-5 and fell in the opening round of the Class AAAA playoffs.

“Our goal is to restore the tradition,” Collins said. “I’m excited to be here. We like the idea of a one-high school town with two middle schools feeding the high school.”

Collins, named the Bruins’ head coach two months ago to replace Bennie McMurray who announced his retirement in December, greeted a host of supporters.

“When this job opened, we received about 59 applications and when we reviewed the applicants, it kept going back to coach Collins.

“We’ve been pleased with what we’ve heard from our student-athletes and folks in the community,” LHS principal Dr. Joe Keenan said. “We feel coach Collins will do well.”

Collins, a Sumter native who played college football at S.C. State, came to Lancaster High School from Hough High School in Cornelius, N.C.

He steadily built the Huskies into a winner, going 19-5 in his last two years, including back-to-back 6-1 finishes in conference play. The Huskies earned playoff bids in Collins final two seasons.

“I wanted to come to South Carolina because it’s a different kind of football,” he said.

N.C. doesn’t have spring football.

“We will try to teach the game of football,” Collins said. “We will teach our guys a lot of fundamentals.”

Collins stresses three areas – sound defense, strong special teams play and eliminating turnovers on offense.

In about a month, Collins will have a better assessment of his first Bruins’ team. The LHS spring football game is Saturday, May 24 at 6 p.m. in Memorial Stadium.

“We want the whole community to come out,” he said.

Lancaster opens its 2014 schedule Aug. 29 when the Bruins host county rival Andrew Jackson. The 2014 LHS season will mark the Bruins first in Class AAA football after competing as a Class AAAA school since the S.C. High School League revamped its schools classification system in the late 1960s.

2014 LHS schedule:

Aug. 29 Andrew Jackson

Sept: 5 at Richland Northeast, 12 Central, 19 at Camden, 26 at Lewisville

Oct. 3 at Chester, 10 Clinton, 17 South Pointe 24 at Union County, 31 at Broome