The way Brian Smith sees it, Greenbrier High School's football team will play two seasons in 2010.
The Wolfpack's first "season" is their nonregion schedule, the third-year head coach said. The second is their slate in a new region, 2B-AAAA, along with local rivals Evans and Lakeside.
Neither the first part of the schedule nor the second is as daunting as the past two seasons for Greenbrier.
Playing in the state's highest classification, AAAAA, the Wolfpack went 2-8 in 2008. Last season, after losing roughly 400 students to Grovetown High School, they went 3-7.
"We ended up the year on a win," Smith said of the 2009 season. "We're pretty excited about coming back to AAAA. I think the parity will be a little better."
Smith said his team will know right out of the gate how good it is after a challenging nonregion schedule. Greenbrier opens at Grovetown on Friday, followed by home games against Richmond Academy and Hephzibah. Finally, the Wolfpack travel to Lincoln County on Sept. 17.
"Lincoln County is a great football team regardless of classification," Smith said.
He said one key this year could be a more balanced offense than in years past.
Senior Scott Reeder returns at quarterback, and he'll be targeting a group of receivers Smith said is solid at every spot.
The difference this season is that the Wolfpack feature a stronger, more well-rounded running game, Smith said. Senior Trey Lawhorn will be the primary tailback, while junior Jahvon Hardrick provides a change-up as a bigger back.
"Because we've got a stronger running game, we're not going to have to throw" in certain situations, Smith said. "When we want to throw, we'll throw."
Defensively, Smith will rely on standout free safety Thomas Brown, who already has impressed despite just now entering his junior year.
In the middle, Graham Lowry and Daniel Horuzsko anchor the linebacker corps.
"Our linebackers have had a great spring and summer practice and preseason," Smith said. "They've been consistent. They have a real nose for the football."
Smith said he always hopes to stay relatively injury-free, though it's more important this season because the team lacks depth.
"The guys backing up (the starters) are just young," he said. "We'd hate to put a sophomore out there if we don't have to. They're good players, but the speed is a little different."
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