Though he has been away from the program since 2010, Jerry Brown says he still has a special feeling when he returns to Berkeley High’s Bonner Stadium.
Brown is now the head coach at Wade Hampton High in Hampton and brought his Red Devils to Moncks Corner on Friday night for the Moncks Corner Lions Club football jamboree. Brown guided Berkeley to three state championships during his tenure, the last coming in 2009.
Amidst a lot of handshakes and hugs from people he grew to know as family over the years, Brown says Berkeley remains a special place for him.
Fort Dorchester, 60-8 since 2014, is No. 1 in The Post and Courier's preseason ranking of Charleston area high school football teams.
“This is home for me really,” says Brown, who enters 2019 with 267 career coaching victories and five state championships. “To be able to take a football team and change the entire community and athletic program like we did is something we are really proud of. This is a special place, a special town. It always will be.”
Brown mentioned that 2019 is the 25th anniversary of his first state title at Berkeley in 1994 and the 10th anniversary of his last title at Berkeley, 2009.
“Man, I wish I could relive those years again,” he said.
Brown’s Red Devils scrimmaged a quarter against Berkeley’s junior varsity team and a quarter against Goose Creek, winning both. But winning jamboree games is of little importance to a veteran coach.
“It’s just good to be able to come back here and our guys get to see some good competition before we get started,” said Brown, who led Wade Hampton to nine wins last season.
The night showcased several Berkeley County teams as well as Andrews and Colleton County from outside the area.
Colleton County provided several highlights in their 21-14 quarter win over Goose Creek. The Cougars connected on three long touchdown passes by Edward Stancil after falling behind 14-0.
Goose Creek got an interception return for a score by Devante Pryor.
Stratford and Colleton County battled scoreless in their quarter and Andrews beat Stratford, 20-7, in a quarter. Cane Bay beat Andrews 7-0 on a touchdown run by Leon Staley. Cane Bay and Hanahan were scoreless in their quarter and Berkeley beat Hanahan, 21-0, in the final quarter of the evening.
The football season officially kicks off next Friday night.