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Orangeburg Prep High School

Orangeburg Prep finishes 2017 season with 6-4 record

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Orangeburg—The Orangeburg Prep football team recently finished its second year under head coach Andy Palmer. The Indians went 6-4 overall and 2-3 in conference play, defeating Cardinal Newman and Heathwood Hall, but narrowly missed out on a playoff berth.

With the season coming to an end, the team will say goodbye to several key seniors. Running back Bill Metts ended the campaign with 1,000 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns on 147 carries, and Andrew Brickle was the second-leading rusher with 649 yards and four scores on 106 attempts. Metts also had 43 tackles on defense.

Collin Bair will also depart after gaining 337 yards and 6 TDs on the ground. Parker Kuck, a wide receiver and defensive back, had 132 yards through the air while recording 46 tackles and two interceptions. Defensive lineman Matheson Wannamaker made 52 stops to go with three sacks, and left tackle William Garner will depart from the offensive line.

Still, the Indians will have a good amount of talent back in 2018. Offensively, quarterback Trace Furtick returns after passing for 665 yards, and Nick Pascoe will look to step into a more prominent role at running back after picking up 251 yards on 55 carries.

Will Summers (198 receiving yards) and Peyton McDougal (123 receiving yards) will be back on the perimeter with offensive/defensive linemen Braxton Wannamaker and Josh Hutto coming back in the trenches.

The top tacklers also return for OPS, including linebackers John Henry Reynolds and Wesley Wells. Reynolds notched 106 stops, 11 tackles for loss, and returned two fumbles for touchdowns. Wells ended the year with 84 tackles.

“They’re both inside linebackers so they have a nose for the football and they’re responsible for getting us lined up and in the right coverage. They’ve done a good job with that,” Palmer said of the duo earlier this season.

Summers had 60 stops, three sacks and three interceptions from his linebacker spot while defensive backs Hunter Shafer (49 tackles) and Grant Axson (45 tackles) will continue to anchor the secondary.

The OPS cross-country teams participated at the SCISA state championship meet, and both the boys and the girls were 11th in their respective divisions. Each squad had just one senior on the roster, so the future looks bright for the two programs.

Junior John Martin Reed paced the Indians with a time of 21:11 while senior Shrey Patel crossed the finish line 17 seconds later. Freshman Landon Toole (25:24) and sixth-grader John Wren Best (25:47) finished 23 seconds apart, and freshman Hammond Gladd rounded out the race at 27:40.

 Freshman Reagan Merritt was the top finisher for the girls, clocking in at the 23:54 mark. Senior Katie Holley ended her high school career with a 26:56, followed by eighth-grader Gabrielle McCoskey (27:10), juniors Tori Smith (29:28) and Mary Stack Summers (30:32), sophomore Emily Rutland (30:33), and eighth-grader Emma Fogle (31:29).

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