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Jordan aims to take next step in 2017

Anthony Barbour

Aug, 4 2017, 4:50 PM

After finishing last season with only one win, there’s nowhere but up for Jordan.

Anthony Barbour enters his second season as head coach at Jordan, and the Garner great is confident his Falcons are ready to fly.

Last season was a humbling one for Barbour, who relieved himself of calling the offense after the team struggled to score.

“The first thing I did in the offseason was fire myself and bring some offensive help in,” Barbour said.

Barbour hired former Southern Durham assistant coach Anthony Creecy to run the offense this year.

Creecy brought along several comrades, including quarterbacks coach Vic Bullock, running backs coach Tony Gill, and Jason Staples, who will guide the wide receivers group.

Former Southern Durham defensive line coach William Jennette also joins Jordan’s coaching staff this season.

Eight of Jordan’s 12 coaches have been part of a state championship.

Jordan’s new blood on the coaching staff, and the Falcons’ underrated talent, have Barbour excited for his second season with the program.

“I feel good about our coaching staff, and I always felt like we had pretty good talent,” Barbour said. “I think our kids are realizing that they do have talent; they’re coming together.”

When Barbour took over the program at Jordan, the Falcons hadn’t posted a winning record in five years. The count is now six after posting only one win in his first year.

Barbour found success at his previous three stops as head coach — Southern Durham, Middle Creek and Smithfield-Selma — and feels he can do the same eventually at Jordan, a program that is itching for success.

“It’s easy to coach at programs where you can go in there and win where other coaches have,” Barbour said. “Jordan hasn’t won in a while, since coach [Mike] Briggs was the coach. I’ve coached against coach Briggs.

“I know the potential at Jordan is there, so I want to see if I can get it going again.”

Briggs was the last coach to lead a Jordan team to a winning record, posting a 7-5 finish in 2010. Jordan has won no more than three games per season since.

Jordan returns its starting quarterback from last season, junior Ben Miller, who broke the all-time single season passing record with 1,652 yards last season, along with nine touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

Miller is second all-time in passing yards behind former Jordan quarterback Andrew Blaylock.

The junior quarterback missed significant time participating with the team due to his involvement with baseball, but Barbour said he encourages his squad to play multiple sports in high school.

Miller’s absence paved the way for sophomore quarterback Joaquin Davis to receive more snaps with the first-team offense during 7-on-7 action.

Along with Miller, the Falcons will look for another big year from running back Sincere Parker, who quietly put together a productive season in his junior campaign.

Parker tallied 1,034 all-purpose yards for the Falcons in nine games last season; he garnered 758 yards rushing and seven touchdowns on 102 carries, and 19 catches for 276 receiving yards.

“He’s [Parker] got great talent, great hands,” Barbour said. “I’m hoping he’s going to do a lot for us. We’ve got to do a better job of getting the ball in his hands in space, and I think you’ll see a lot more of of him this year.”

Jordan also has the challenge this season of joining a new conference after offseason realignment.

The Falcons move from the PAC 6 Conference into the Triangle 6 Conference, along with Athens Drive, Cary, Green Hope, Panther Creek and Riverside-Durham.

Jordan went 0-3 against Green Hope, Riverside and Panther Creek last season. The Falcons nearly beat Riverside, but untimely mistakes resulted in a six-point loss on homecoming.

“I tell the kids all the time that I think this group has the most talent, but we’re probably playing in the toughest league,” he said. “But I think we can get it done.”

Jordan opens its 2017 slate on the road against North Mecklenburg in Charlotte on Aug. 18 at 7 p.m.

web_editor : Jon Stout