BLACKSVILLE — With just 32 kids on the roster, Clay-Battelle is far from the largest or the most physically intimidating team in Class A football.
However, the Cee-Bees long ago learned to work with whatever weapons they have on hand.
What C-B had Friday night proved to be enough – and then some – as they blanked Hundred 61-0 in the season opener for both schools.
“Let’s just say that we may not be the biggest and we may not be the strongest, but we’re one of the most dedicated, loyal units out here,” said Cee-Bee junior Jordan Herndon following the win. “We are truly one team, and not many other schools can say that.”
Herndon, who led the C-B shutout with eight tackles, was just one cog in an eleven-man machine which flocked to the ball with vigor and precision each and every play. The result was a stifled Hornets offense which tallied just 102 total yards in the contest.
“I think this group is working as a team. There are no individuals, no, ‘Hey, look at me’ guys. We all just get in there and do the job,” Cee-Bee coach Ryan Wilson said.
“We talk about bringing the tools to the job and then doing it — 32 people can dig a ditch better than one person can. I’d say they’re working great as a unit, and they’re only going to get better. I’m real pleased with that.”
Herndon attributes the team chemistry and cohesive play to the bonds that have been formed in the C-B locker room — members of the roster frequently refer to their teammates as siblings, and are always present to support each other through both the good times and the bad times.
“We’re all extremely close to each other; if something goes wrong we ask each other about it. We are a team and that’s what makes us so strong,” Herndon said.
“When one person makes a good play, we all go nuts. It doesn’t matter the yardage or the situation — we go cheer on our team. My teammates are my brothers, and when we cheer each other on, we pass on that mentality.”
On offense, it was a similar story for C-B – the first score for the hosts came just 17 seconds in, and by the end of the first quarter they had tacked 34 points on the board.
“We worked really well together as a team; we were communicating, everyone got in their spots, and we all just did a good job,” senior Nathan Swaniger said.
The story of the night offensively was the Cee-Bee run game, which tallied 296 of the team’s 435 total yards on the evening. Swaniger was the start of the show; touching the ball just three times, he advanced to the end zone with each carry on his way to a 122-yard performance.
“All my credit goes to my line. Without them blocking for me, none of this would happen. I’m just happy I got the carries I did, and it’s a good thing I got the touchdowns,” he said.
Junior Seth Casino paced the C-B passing game, converting all four of his passes for 98 yards, with two going for touchdowns. Junior Levi Carrico made good on his only pass attempt of the night, going for 41 yards and a touchdown, and also converted seven of nine extra point attempts. Junior Caden Skavinsky was the top receiver of the evening, hauling in three catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns.
C-B will travel to Meadown Bridge next week.