Last year’s squad finished 3-8, marking the seventh straight year that Wren has finished the football season with either three or four wins.
There’s no common ground on the pattern. Some years have featured the Hurricanes losing both games to nearby rivals Easley, yet Wren still found a way to win at least three games. Other years, such as last year, featured the Hurricanes winning both games against Easley, yet Wren was unable to reach the magic number of five wins.
The last time Wren won more than four games in a season was in 1996, when the team finished the year with a 6-5 record.
The problem is that, now on the AAAA level and using a complicated points system, most years five wins is enough to send a team into the AAAA Division II playoffs. But Wren seems to keep barely missing.
Wren will begin its attempt to break the cycle of three- and four- win teams Aug. 21 when the Hurricanes begin their season at Southside.
Last year Southside visited Wren during what is known as “Week Zero” (when some schools begin their seasons a week earlier than the official starting day in order to smooth out some scheduling problems). The Tigers surprised Wren 40-7 when Southside came to Wren for the season opener for both teams.
Southside finished the 2008 regular season 6-4. The Tigers defeated Emerald in the first round of the AA playoffs, but lost to Strom Thurmond in the second round.
By the way, Southside scored 292 points during the regular season, despite its 6-4 record. The Tigers tallied up 101 points in their two playoff games.
A week later, Wren has its home opener against Anderson District One rival Palmetto. Last year Wren topped the Mustangs 54-35. Palmetto finished the year 6-4 with wins over AAA level schools Belton-Honea Path and Woodmont, but somehow the Mustangs missed the playoffs.
Wren will travel to Boiling Springs Sept.4 to face the Bulldogs. Last year Boiling Springs defeated Wren 62-28. The Bulldogs, who usually make the playoffs simply because all Big 16 Schools receive automatic playoff spots, finished the season with an 8-3 regular season record, with wins over traditional powers such as Spartanburg and Fort Mill. Still, in the power-laden Big 16, Boiling Springs received the 11th seed in the playoff brackets and lost to Sumter in the first round.
Wren will then host Woodmont Sept. 11 in a battle of the two schools with Piedmont addresses.
Last year Woodmont, enjoying one of its best seasons in years, topped the Hurricanes 28-21. The Wildcats ended up placing second in the tough Western AAA region and even defeated Union County in the first round of the state playoffs.
Wren will then travel to Easley Sept. 25 for the first of two annual match-ups with the Green Wave. Wren won both last year, by a 54-19 score in the mid-season game and by 21-12 in the season finale that counted in the Region-1AAAA standings.
Easley finished the year 0-11.
Wren will take a week off before starting it Region 1-AAAA play at home Oct. 9 against Laurens. Laurens defeated the Hurricanes last season. Laurens was 4-1 in Region 1-AAAA play, losing only to conference champions Greenwood, and 7-4 overall in the regular season.
The Raiders were the final Region 1-AAAA team alive in the playoffs, making it to the state quarterfinals before losing to eventual state champions South Pointe.
Wren then will travel to Westside to face the Rams Oct. 16. Last season Westside defeated the Hurricanes 38-21. Westside finished the season 4-7 and missed the state AAAA Division II playoffs.
Wren hosts Hanna Oct. 23. Last season the Yellow Jackets topped the Hurricanes 36-21.
The Yellow Jackets finished the regular season 5-6, but still managed to earn a spot in the AAAA Division II playoffs, where they lost to Goose Creek in the first round.
The Hurricanes’ final road trip of the regular season will be a long one as Wren travels to defending Region 1-AAAA champions Greenwood Oct. 30. Last season Greenwood defeated the Hurricanes 34-14.
Wren ends its 2009 regular season at home against rival Easley Nov. 6.
Aug. 21 at Southside
Aug. 28 PALMETTO
Sept. 4 at Boiling Springs
Sept. 11 WOODMONT
Sept. 18 BHP
Sept. 25 at Easley
Oct. 9 LAURENS
Oct. 16 at Westside
Oct. 23 HANNA
Oct. 30 at Greenwood
Nov. 6 EASLEY