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Barnwell High School

Barnwell preparing for another deep playoff run

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Barnwell—Once again the Barnwell football team put together a solid regular season, going 9-1 (4-1) overall to finish second in Region 5-AA. And for the second straight year, the only black mark on the resume was a loss to Bamberg-Ehrhardt.

“They were physically better than we were, but we’d love to get another shot at them. If we play them again, it would be in the Lower State championship. But our kids bounced back and played well against Silver Bluff,” head coach Dwayne Garrick said.

Now the No. 6-rated Warhorses ready themselves for another deep postseason run. They have a bye in the first round and will likely travel to Andrews in round two.

“The promising part is that the bye will allow us to heal up some guys that got banged up and give us some time to continue to work on what we do. Hopefully we can make a little run,” Garrick said. “From a mental standpoint, where we play doesn’t bother our kids. We played at Andrews a couple years ago.”

One of the top performers for Barnwell this season is running back Mykal Lee, who was recently selected to the North-South all-star game. The senior has gained 985 yards and scored 14 touchdowns on 137 carries.

“It’s not just a Mykal Lee award. It’s a Barnwell football award. I’m happy for him. He’s a good player and has done a great job for us. His teammates and coaches are proud of him and we’ll be cheering him on. It gives some of those younger kids something to look up to,” Garrick said.

Brandon Harvey is another capable back with 963 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, and quarterback Pete Elmore has thrown for 605 yards with six passing TDs. His top target is tight end Julius Arnold, who has 189 yards receiving.

Defensively, sophomore outside linebacker Deshawn Watson leads the team with 59 tackles, nine stops for loss, four sacks and four caused fumbles.

“If he continues at the rate he’s going, he’ll be a Division-I player. He’s got a knack for the ball and is very physical,” Garrick said.

Jackson Carter (53 tackles, 5 TFL) and Michael Guty (45 tackles) have also been solid at linebacker, with Arnold (42 tackles, 4 sacks) and Ernest Smith (40 tackles, 3 sacks) performing well on the defensive line.

The secondary has been paced by Cole Kearse (42 tackles), Markell Corley (39 tackles) and Dylan Walker (32 tackles, 6 TFL, 4 sacks).

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