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Jefferson Davis High School

 

JDA football one win away from playing for another 8-man state championship

By Justin Driggers

Consulting Editor

Blackville – Jefferson Davis Academy’s football team has seeming been on a mission since the start of the season – to get back to the SCISA 8-man championship game and win it this time.

The Raiders now find themselves one win away from having an opportunity to do that.

JDA capped off a 10-1 regular season with a 7-0 mark in Region II after winning a de-facto title game against Clarendon Hall 32-20.

“All of that was great, but it really doesn’t matter anymore,” head coach Michael Tindall said. “That’s all out the window now and we’ve got to continue to work. We’ve got to continue to do the right things and correct the wrong things.”

So far, so good on that front as the Raiders opening the playoffs with a convincing 62-46 victory over Palmetto Christian Academy. JDA has outscored opponents 580-317 this season and only once has it failed to score under 30 points in a game.

The Raiders will face Beaufort Academy on Nov. 9. The Eagles (8-2) are the No. 2 seed from Region I and have outscored opponents 552-250 so far.

“It’s not going to be easy by any means,” Tindall said. “I told our kids I think the road is much tougher this year. But we’ll continue to practice hard and try to play well on Fridays.”

The Raiders were a little banged up after a tough matchup against Andrew Jackson Academy earlier in the year, but for the most part, the team is healthy moving forward, Tindall said.

“Everyone’s got guys who are a little banged up at this point,” he said. “But I do think we’re better health-wise this year than we were last year.”

Two big names back are OL/DL Tyler Renew and Donte Payne who is used at multiple positions. Renew has been back for a little while and Payne is still dealing with some nagging injuries.

“It’s kind of hit or miss,” Tindall said. “We still hold him out sometimes, but for the most part when it’s time to go, those two are ready to go.”

The offensive catalyst is running back Jimmy Bozard, who was three yards shy of 2,500 rushing yards at the end of the regular season. He had already scored 33 touchdowns as well.

Trent Jamison was next 684 yards and eight scores while St. Angelo Davis, Mitchell Webster, Nick Darnell and Seth Davis have all rushed for more than 300 yards.

Defensively, Jamison and Darnell are among the team leaders in tackles Renew still leading the pack in sacks. Jeremy Davis leads the secondary with four interceptions.

“We were able to move some guys around against Clarendon Hall and force some turnovers,” Tindall said. “I think that depth was something we didn’t really have against Andrew Jackson.

 

JDA girls sporting clays team looks to rebuild following consecutive state titles

By Justin Driggers

Consulting Editor

Blackville – Jefferson Davis Academy sporting clays coach Brad Aull knows that the upcoming season is likely going to be a bit of a rebuild.

“We’ve got a few new kids who have signed up from sixth through eighth grades,” he said. “By the time they get in the tenth grade though, they’ll be lights out.

“It’s all about the kids learning.”

They’ve learned quite well the last few seasons, and the Lady Raiders squad is actually coming off of back-to-back state championships for the young JDA program.

“To see where we started from – when they didn’t even know how to load a gun – to where we ended was kind of the biggest thrill for me,” Aull said. “It could be 30 degrees and raining and they still wanted to shoot all day. Even when practice was canceled, they’d call me and ask if they shoot.

“That’s the biggest thing is just putting the time in. A lot of the teams have shooters that can practice year-round, so for us, getting in as much time as we can is important.”

Junior Caroline Robinson is the lone returner from those two title teams as both Bethany Stokes and Anna Beth Morgan have graduated.

“Carolina really should have been on a jayvee team to begin with, but we’re a small school and we needed her to shoot on varsity and she’s helped us,” Aull said. “We’ve had a lot of interest with some girls who’d like to come out and shoot, but I won’t know how many for sure until practice begins.”

The boys side will have about half of its shooters from last year returning, Aull said. Carson Wiles will be back along with Lance Ray and Seth Ray, although Lance is recovering from a knee injury but should still be able to shoot at some point, Aull said.

“We’re still going to be kind of young with a lot of first-year shooters,” Aull said. “But kind of like the girls, when they start shooting and start practicing, they’ll be pretty good in a few years.”

 

 

 

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