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Cheraw football hoping to play rest of 2020 with no more scheduling issues

Cheraw – Heading into a Thursday night (Oct. 15) game against 3-0 North Central, Cheraw head football coach Andy Poole still has many questions about his 2020 Braves.

While Cheraw remains ranked as a top 10 team in Class AA, the jury is still out on this year’s team. Due to Covid-19, Cheraw already has had two games postponed this season. Cheraw opened the season in September with a win over Buford but had games with Central and Andrew Jackson pushed back when those two programs had virus issues.

So, while Poole thinks he might have a pretty good team, he isn’t sure.

“I think we have some good pieces to the puzzle but we are way behind in putting them all together,” Poole said. “We graduated 23 seniors from last year. We have a handful of returning starters but we have a lot of first-year guys out there. And having just one game, we’re are definitely still a work in progress. Maybe if this was our fourth game (North Central), we would know a lot more about what we have. Right now, we just want to play. Our kids are praying Thursday gets here and all is good.”

In adhering carefully to Covid protocols, Poole says full contact is limited to 15 minutes per day. He says remaining safe and healthy is the top priority but football is a contact sport and players need to acclimate to that aspect of the game.

“It’s very hard to get a lot done but we will do what’s best for the kids and hope it pays off with us getting to play our schedule,” the coach said.

Offensively, Cheraw has the veteran leadership and experience of senior quarterback Tyson Hall, who passed for nearly 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior. But, Hall is working with a new group of receivers and running backs this fall and the only returning lineman is senior tackle Nazae Williams.

Working to fill the void at running back is junior Damarion McCaskill, a returning starter at cornerback. McCaskill rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns in Cheraw’s only game this season. Sophomore Zay Brown shows a lot of potential as a running back as well. Brown gained 82 yards in the opener.

Other returners defensively include junior linebacker Jadon Scott, corner Trequan Freeman and junior safety Devin Gillespie. That Cheraw defense limited Buford to only 68 total yards.

“The defense has a chance to be good but we honestly have not played enough to know for sure,” Poole said.

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