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Andrew Jackson High School


AJA streak on the line vs. Beaufort Academy

By Billy G. Baker

Ehrhardt—There is a popular song by Kenny Loggins called “This Is It” and some of the words to this song could relate to any high school team with a 41 game win streak, like Andrew Jackson Academy (5-0),  about to host a talented opponent like Beaufort Academy (4-1), and you just know that they would love to be the team who knocks you off the mountain of SCISA 8-man football in South Carolina. 
Whether it happens remains to be seen. The top-rated Andrew Jackson Confederates are well-coached by veteran state championship coach Allen Sitterle who is known for getting his team ready to run through brick walls for the honor of the team.  “Football is a simple game and most of the time the team with the best players wins so we’ll see this week what happens because both of these teams have good players,” he said. “It comes down to blocking and tackling and mot making silly mistakes at the worst possible time.” 
Some of the words to the song “This Is It” goes like this:
“There’s been times in my life, I’ve been wonderin why…. Still, somehow, I believed we’d always survive Now, I’m not so sure.  You’re waiting here, one good reason to try… But what more can I say? What’s left to provide? (You think that’s maybe it’s over Only If You Want It to Be) Are you going to wait for a sign, your miracle? Stand up and fight”
In many ways these words could also relate to the huge SCISA 8-man game to be hosted by Andrew Jackson Academy this Friday (October 5th) when the top ranked Confederates play host to 4-1 Beaufort Academy. The Andrew Jackson Academy fans from Jamie Barnes to Gene Sease don’t ever want the streak to end but at some point, it will. What a ride it has been whenever it does happen. Three straight state titles make for a lot of memories. 
This game might be a “This Is It” moment in different ways. Last week in AJA’s a 61- point win over Palmetto Christian Eagle fans went home saying, thank God “This Is It” and hopefully AJA will move up to SCISA 11 man, so we don’t have to endure this anymore.  
Coach Sitterle is a master mind head coach who has won state championships, played college football at N.C. State, and he even got some looks from the NFL. To beat AJA you will need superior talent because his teams are going to be ready to play. 
“This game is really important this week because the winner probably wins our region and gets a good seeding in the playoffs,” said Coach Sitterle.  “Not being able to play St. Johns Christian I do not know how that would affect the region standings. We just hope that our hard work and preparation results in a win. 
“In all honesty our weak schedule we have played has killed us in terms of getting us ready to play a talented team like Beaufort Academy this week and this fact is one of my biggest concerns, “said Coach Sitterle earlier this week after watching some film on BA.  “We were hoping to play St. Johns Christian a couple weeks ago, but the Hurricane messed that up. 
“I know that Beaufort Academy is well-coached, and they have a solid running back and a very good quarterback, and they probably have better athletes then we do,” said Sitterle.  “The game will come down to which team executes the best and makes the fewest mistakes. In the game of football, the team with the best players, well- coached, usually comes out on top. 
“We are at full strength now and have most of our players back and we have worked hard as we always do,” he said. “In all honesty we are only starting two seniors’ players (Nick Faile and Banks Wallace) and I have both of them for quite a while,” said Coach Sitterle. “In some ways we are a young team still developing form week to week.”
Junior quarterback Colyn Peek (who had missed some time with an injury) shared time with freshman Bug Brunson last week at quarterback against Palmetto Christian. Brunson and newcomer Bryce Hughes are the team;s leading rushers right now. 
Coach Sitterle said the defensive tackle leaders are probably Faile and freshman Jon Schaffer.  Faile starts as an offensive guard on offense and doubles up as a defensive tackle. Schaffer plays some fullback, but he is also a middle linebacker or defensive end depending on whether AJA is in a three- or four-man front.  Junior Bryce Waltz and Hughes flip from ends on offense to defensive ends on defense. Junior Drake Mathias is seeing action as both a defensive end and a tight end. 
Sophomore Kevin Barnes and freshman Mikey Templeton share time in the offensive line. Sophomore Tucker Cook sees action as a nose on defense and a fullback on offense. Junior Trey Pulaski missed some time earlier with an injury and he is back playing mainly as a corner back on defense but is can run the ball if called upon.  Also, senior Connor Gleaton (6-4, 200) returned to the team last week after being cleared to play after hip surgery in the Spring.  


The Andrew Jackson Academy volleyball team has seen vast improvement under first year head coach Tammie Welch with a 5-11 record through 16 games. 
Last season the team won only one game.
“We are still experiencing growing pains and working hard to develop the volleyball program at Andrew Jackson,” said Coach Welch. “The team has been working really hard.”  
The team is currently carrying a 10-player roster consisting of five freshmen, three seniors, one junior and one sophomore. “Most of the time our starting line-up consists of four first year varsity performers,” said Coach Welch. “All 10 of our players contribute each and every game.” 
The team is led by 2017 HSSR all-rookie performer Kaley Carter who plays the sport in AAU as well.  
The roster consists of freshmen Hannah Scharber, Carter, Laney Standfield, and Avery Peek who start along with seniors Neeley Hackney and Kaitlin Rentz. Juniors Brianna Templeton and sophmore Savannah Lee are usually first off, the bench. Morgan Walling and Hannah Hightower, a freshman and senior, respectively, round out the team.  




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