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First Baptist High School
Charleston

Hurricanes enter 2017 with eyes on repeat

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Charleston – Not satisfied with winning only one state title, the 2017 First Baptist School football team is setting their sights on winning another this season.

First Baptist won the SCISA Class AA state championship last fall, the first in school history. The Hurricanes came from winless in 2014 to 11 wins last season and coach Johnny Waters wants more.

“We don’t want to be a one-hit wonder,” he said. “We are trying to build a program here. Our goal is to be a state contender every year and to win multiple championships. We’re at the top of the mountain right now and we welcome that position. But we want to stay on top. We want to be a consistent winner. That first taste of success tasted good but we want another bite.”

The Hurricanes return enough key personnel, with some additions, that should put them in the title chase once again. Leading the list of returning stars is junior running back Michel Dukes. The 5-11, 190-pound Duke rushed for more than 2,200 yards and 40 touchdowns last season. He is sitting with scholarship offers from Wake Forest, South Carolina and Georgia State as the season begins.

Junior Tremez Brown will take over at quarterback. Brown transferred from Fort Dorchester where he backed up USC commitment Dakereon Joyner.

The receiving corps is led by junior Eddie Simmons, with key production expected from Tylan Major, Kenneth Brown and McKay Wilson.

Starting the season along the offensive line are center Matt Harleston, guards Chip Becude and Jason Jeffcoat, and tackles Patrick Gilliam and Xavion Washington. K’von Washington will soon return to the line, allowing Washington to play solely on defense. Sophomore Logan Stone will see time as well.

The defense should be a stout unit, especially at linebacker where all-staters Timmy Campbell and Jackson Watson return. Campbell led the team in tackles last year with 144 total stops. Andrew Murphy also returns at linebacker.

 Working along the front are Xavion Washington, Devin Ray, Junior Garbade and Ross Greenhill.

Back in the secondary as starters are Mark White, Chas Urashima and Don McNeil.

“We have a lot of experience back on defense and we have high expectations for them as a group,” Waters said. “We’re still a young team overall. We only have four seniors. We are still developing in a lot of areas. This team has a great attitude. They have worked hard to prepare for the season.”

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