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South Pointe High School
Rock Hill

South Pointe focusing on defense this summer

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Rock HillSouth Pointe was arguably the best football team in the state last season, regardless of classification.  The Stallions captured their fourth consecutive state championship, but lost several key players that were a major part of that run.

Head coach Strait Herron had mixed feelings about his team’s spring drills, where 75 varsity candidates participated.

“Offensively, I feel like this was as good a spring as we’ve ever had.  Defensively, we’ve got to make up some time because we’re behind.  Coach Anthony is a great coach and he’ll get them right before we get to camp.  I feel good about the offense, but I don’t think we got what we needed to get done on defense.  We’ve got some work to do there,” Herron said.

Tylik Steele will take over for Derion Kendrick at quarterback this season.  Steele was 27-of-47 passing for 311 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions.

Around him are returning starters in running backs Joe Ervin (1,275 yards, 16 TD) and Maurice Whitlock (777 yards, 11 TD; 199 receiving yards, 2 TD).  Whitlock will move to the slot in 2018.  Ty Good (519 yards, 9 TD) and Isaac Ross (379 yards, 3 TD) are back at receiver.

The Stallions are seasoned on the offensive line, with Jackson Chappell, Dorian Jamison and Tyrone Jackson returning.  Gavin Bennett will join that group while newcomer Quay Chambers will see action at running back.

Defensively, South Pointe brings back six starters, led by cornerback Jaylen Mahoney, who already has an offer from Vanderbilt.  Mahoney recorded 82 tackles, six tackles for loss, 13 pass breakups and three interceptions last fall.

Josh McClure is another veteran in the secondary after making 42 stops with a pair of interceptions and five pass breakups.  Sophomore Troy Frazier could be a newcomer to that unit.

At the second level is Dwayne Davis, an inside linebacker that made 132 tackles, including eight behind the line of scrimmage to go with three sacks.  Savion White is on the outside after posting 104 tackles and 16 tackles for loss.

Adam Foxx returns to the defensive line (61 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 sacks) and will be joined by Tyrese Weeks-Minton (33 tackles), who missed the end of the season after suffering an injury.  Projected to start alongside them is Dorian Manning (26 tackles, 4 sacks) and Jamarion Heath (35 tackles, 6 TFL).

With a new group of leaders, don’t expect South Pointe to get complacent and expect to cruise to another title.  They know there are doubters that are just waiting for them to fail, providing plenty of motivation during the offseason.

“The great thing about this group is that now we’re doing a leadership program.  They have great character and now’s the time to do it,” said Herron.  “Several of those guys have stepped up and I think they’re going to do some special things.  They’ve heard people saying that South Pointe won’t win a state championship this year, and they’re motivated to prove them wrong.”

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