FORT MILL — A Fort Mill middle-school football coach was looking to snap a season-long losing streak and disappoint an old employer Wednesday as his eighth-grade Yellow Jackets took on the Bulldogs of Gold Hill in the second-to-last game of the 2013 season.
Frank Dickerson, now first-year head coach at Fort Mill, is hoping to channel a little Halloween spirit to “break the curse” of their seven consecutive losses when his Jackets take on Castle Heights Oct. 30 – on the eve of the spooky holiday. Dickerson calls it the “goose-egg curse,” because the team has been unable to put up a single point so far.
“We get to the 1-yard line and try to punch it in,” he said, “at least two weeks in a row and somehow we just miraculously lose the ball and never score. How can you not score from there?”
Wednesday, Fort Mill was down only 6-0 in the fourth quarter “and then the wheels came off,” Dickerson said, as the Jackets ended up losing 26-0.
That the Yellow Jackets have had any offensive firepower this year is an accomplishment in itself. Injuries have played Dickerson’s Fort Mill team in his inaugural season. After losing his starting quarterback in the summer, his top running back, wide receiver, corner, and linebackers have all fell foul of the injury bug.
Dickerson said earlier this week that this has led to some very trying and character-building moments in the locker room.
“I was like, ‘you gotta be kidding me,’” he said. “So I made up this curse, the ‘goose-egg curse,’ because we’ve had a zero on the scoreboard every game. I got the principal involved and they pushed it around the school, to try and get the team pumped up.”
Dickerson says the Gold Hill match-up will be personal for him. He coached the Bulldogs’ eighth-grade team last year, but left over the summer for the head spot on the Yellow Jackets’ roster.
“Kids are so angry that I left and came to Fort Mill and they’re wanting revenge on me,” he said.
They got it last night.
The head coach is taking solace in the recent Monday Night Football game, when the previously winless New York Giants defeated the Minnesota Vikings on national television. He figures that if all good things come to an end, “all bad things must come to an end, too.”
“Forget about winning, let’s just score,” Dickerson said, “so the kids will be happy. We want to be like the New York Giants on Monday night and break the curse on Wednesday night.”