Phone: 800-489-0649 - Email: hsreport@aol.com
Across South Carolina 20 Different High School Teams Seeking State Title Appearances With Wins Tonight

Across South Carolina 20 Different High School Teams Seeking State Title Appearances With Wins Tonight  

By Billy G. Baker

Publisher

Wagener—Wagener-Salley (12-0) head  football coach Willie Fox is all smiles as the HSSR walks into his class room during final moments of his honors World History class on Tuesday of this week and rest assured it is more about making local history for Coach Fox and his Class A  War Eagles as they prepare for a  Class A lower state title battle with region foe Ridge-Spring Monetta (9-4) tonight.

The War Eagles have never won a state title and they have only played in the gold medal round once, back in 1986, and that was not a positive outcome.  School Principal Chris Earl is busy getting extra bleachers brought in for the huge crowd expected for the game Friday night. Just 24 hours later, five miles away in Salley over 15,000 people will gather for the annual Chitins Strut. Fans around the state can take in the game tonight and delve in the delight of some chitins before going on to the Clemson-USC game at noon. (Sounds like a plan).

“We may have beat them (RSM) 40-6 during the regular season but they were missing their quarterback in that game and he is back and playing really well,” said Coach Fox. “We also played them in August at a jamboree and we currently have the Aiken County 1-A championship trophy and that is something we take a lot of pride in.”

W-S has out-scored teams 568-90 this season and they will put the top defense in Class A on the field tonight. The stop troops are led by co-captain and four-year starter Westin Williams. the second leading tackler on the team. Westin has 99 tackles, an eye popping 56 TFL, seven sacks, 8 forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. The top tackler on the team with 101 is Nigel Brown and he has 32 TFL. South Carolina is the first power five offer for junior defensive end Elijah Davis (6-4, 260) and the big guy has 92 tackles and 27 TFL including a team leading 9 sacks. Jhuatieg Davis has been solid with 94 tackles including 46 TFL along with Than Stroman with 88 tackles.

The W-S defense has held teams to just 625 yards rushing all year. They have forced 23 fumbles, 17 interceptions, and they gang tackle on about every play.

The offense is led by first time playing senior quarterback Gaige Starnes who has completed 37 of 73 passes for 882 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for 261 yards on 31 carries and four rushing touchdowns. “I had spent the previous two years trying to get Gaige to try out for the football team because he is an excellent athlete in other sports,” said Coach Fox. “We had two other quarterbacks from last year’s team get kicked out of school so I went to him with one final plea and he came out foe the team and we really didn’t know where he might end up starting. He has done an outstanding job at quarterback for us.”

The team’s permanent captain wears number one in senior Kaleb Shaw a running back/defensive back averaging 14 jobs a carry for the war eagles. Shaw has 502 yards and seven touchdowns in the single wing offense. The top rusher on the team is Kevin Jackson who has 1,164 yards on 119 carries and 14 touchdowns. Stroman has chipped in with 463 yards on 61 carries and he has 8 touchdowns. Jhutieg Davis is at 305 yards and six touchdowns. In total 13 different players have rushed the ball at W-S this season.

Among the receiving corps AJ Swedenburg has 25 catches for 624 yards and 11 touchdowns.  Elijah Davis has caught four passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns.

“We have been waiting a long time for a chance to compete and win a championship so I feel like we will leave it all on the field against our rival (RSM) tonight,” said Coach Fox. “Over the past four years we are 38-7 and these guys have bought into what we are trying to accomplish and that would be winning a state title.

“Our community is 100 per cent behind us and we have had some huge home crowds, especially in the playoffs,” said Coach Fox. “To play well enough to win tonight and then to go on and win a state title next week would be really special. It would be great to come back to town after winning it all and greeting our fans and celebrating like the one big family we are. “

(Note: On our way out of town we stopped to say hello to W-S Super Booster Doug Busbee who employs four W-S players at his trucking repair business near the school. He introduced this writer to one of the players. He employs Tyquan Jerry, Philip Poole who is out with an ACL injury, Jhuatieg Davis and Jakobe Schofield. Mr. Busbee said he has never seen so much excitement in the community for the W-S football team. He also employs W-S offensive line coach Colt Bedenbaugh and he looks like he could start at left tackle for the Carolina Panthers this Sunday!)

In the lower state Class, A title game Green Sea Floyds (10-1) will host region rival Lake View (9-4) tonight. The Trojans are led by junior running back prospect Jaquan Dixon who has well over 1,000 yards rushing this season.  

In other action tonight Dutch Fork (12-0-1) will be seeking their fourth straight AAAAA title appearance and the Silver Foxes of Tom Knotts have won three straight AAAAA titles and they are heavily favored to defeat a Mason Garcia led Carolina Forest (11-1) team tonight. Dutch Fork has defeated teams 603-108 this season.  

In upper state AAAA action Dorman (13-0) should get a stern test from Gaffney (10-3) at home tonight. Dorman has defeated teams 578-127 while Gaffney has a 487-240 advantage over 2019 opponents. Gaffney lost at Dorman 34-10 back in October.

In AAAA Myrtle Beach (12-0) will host region foe Hartsville (9-3) in the lower state finals tonight. Star QB and USC pledge Luke Doty has missed the last two playoff wins with a hand injury for the Seahawks and he is not expected to play. However, he is recovering nicely, and if he does not play tonight, some observers feel like he could play in the state finals next week at his new home next season.  Last year in this game Doty made himself a Top 100 Player nationally by completing 291 yards in passing and five touchdowns. With his feet he rushed for another 229 yards and two touchdowns accounting for 520 net yards and seven scores! Hartsville has been coming on strong in the playoffs and this game will be closer then the pundits predict. Could Doty come out of the half-time locker room ready to rally the troops should the Seahawks get down in the first half?

In the upper state AAAA game tonight Wren (11-2) will host Ridge View (9-4). Wren has the number two scoring offense in the SCHSL as the team comes into the game tonight having scored 712 points. 

In AAA action all eyes will be pointed to traditional power Dillon (11-1) going on the road to May River (10-2) and if Dillon can slow down the rushing attack of their opponent, they will be playing for their 8th state title under hall of fame head coach Jackie Hayes. The Wildcats are led on offense by senior quarterback Jay Lester, running backs Nemo Squire and Nigel George along with highly rated receiver Ahmari Bruce-Huggins who enters the game with 12 major college offers.  

In the upper state AAA finals (where this reporter will be) look for a real high scoring game between home team Chapman (13-0) and the panthers lead the state in scoring offense at 740 points. Head coach Mark Hodge has seen his team balanced on offense led by Georgia State pledge Mikele Colasurdo (6-1, 200) who has completed 133 of 192 passes for 2,590 yards and 32 touchdowns. The team also has a 1,582-yard rusher in senior Dante Smith and a 1.076-yard receptions leader in senior Dashun Mitchell. How many teams in high school football have a 2,000-yard passer, a 1,500-yard rusher, and a 1,000-yard reception leader on the same team?  Camden counters with a 2,000-yard junior rusher in hard charging junior Willis Lane. 221-2,154 yards and 22 TD’s along with dual threat junior quarterback Jaffari Pearson (6-2, 200) who has thrown for 1,740 yards and 17 TD’s this season. On defense both teams have talented players but watch for the 110 per cent effort of Camden defensive end John Copley who comes into the game with 15 TFL and six sacks. Linebacker Marcellus Juggins and top rated junior defensive back Joseph Byrnes hope to play at a high level as well.

In AA Abbeville (13-0) has been on a “Drive for Five” mission all season seeking to become the first team in state history to win five straight state titles. Standing their way will be the pass happy and region foe Saluda Tigers (10-3) led by southpaw QB Noah Bell. It was just six weeks ago Abbeville won 48-20 at home with two interceptions inside the red zone. Abbeville has play makers all over the field and they are the among the best coached teams in the state and they should pull out a win, but the score will be much closer this time.

In AA lower state Barnwell (13-0) has been on a mission to avenge their loss to Abbeville in the finals last season. The Warhorses will host Oceanside Collegiate who had to forfeit four games due to the use of jayvee players at various game during the season. O-C will be playing with a chip on their shoulders for sure. However, senior leaders like Barnwell QB Craig Pender, Shrine Bowl OL Briggs Kearse, and Shrine Bowl defensive performer Deshawn Watson will likely not let the upset happen.

Prep football fans are urged to attend a playoff game tonight and cheer on your local teams.

The SCHSL has announced 10 a.m. press conference in the Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium Monday where a press conference will be conducted for all five title games being contested on December 6-7. On Friday night the Class A and AA state titles are being decided at Benedict College at 5 and 8 p.m. while the AAA, AAAA, 7 AAAAA teams play at USC on Saturday starting at noon.

The HSSR will once produce full color souvenir programs on behalf of the SCHSL for all the state title games next week. For information how to support your favorite team, player, coach or cheer leader in this game please call the Sports Report office starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at 843-553-0264. You can also reach Publisher Billy G. Baker at 843-200-9555.

   
         
         
       
         
         
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
         
         
         
       
         
         
         
       
         
         
         
       
         
         
         
         
         

 

 

Prep football fans are urged to attend a playoff game tonight and cheer on your local teams.

The SCHSL has announced 10 a.m. press conference in the Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium Monday where a press conference will be conducted for all five title games being contested on December 6-7. On Friday night the Class A and AA state titles are being decided at Benedict College at 5 and 8 p.m. while the AAA, AAAA, 7 AAAAA teams play at USC on Saturday starting at noon.

The HSSR will once produce full color souvenir programs on behalf of the SCHSL for all the state title games next week. For information how to support your favorite team, player, coach or cheer leader in this game please call the Sports Report office starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at 843-553-0264. You can also reach Publisher Billy G. Baker at 843-200-9555.


© 2019-2020 High School Sports Report

Scroll To Top