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Clarendon Hall High School
Summerton

Cobras aiming for progress as season rolls on

 

By Rob Gantt

Special to The HSSR

 

SUMMERVILLE – The Cane Bay High School football team has a proven offense but quite the opposite situation on the other side of the ball.

The Cobras return some of the Lowcountry’s most potent weapons in quarterback RJ Roderick, running back Kris Copeland and receiver T.J. Johnson. All three players are seniors and had big seasons in 2016.

Roderick, committed to University of South Carolina as a defensive back, rushed for 1,778 yards and 23 touchdowns and passed for 613 yards and five more scores. Copeland rushed for 1,002 yards and 14 scores. Johnson caught five touchdown passes.

Deandre Dingle, Deantre Walker and Mack Dudley – two seniors and a junior – will get their share of touches in the run game. Dingle and Walker combined for more than 330 yards and five scores in 2016.

Two veteran linemen are back in seniors Aaron Witherspoon and Damon Price.

“Defensively, we’ve got a lot of young guys and only repetitions can help them get experience,” Cane Bay coach Russell Zehr said. “They need to get adjusted to game speed. I feel like our defense has the ability to be really good but they’re probably going to struggle early on until everybody gets their feet under them.”

The lone returning starter on defense is senior linebacker Caine Hartnett. One specialist returns in punter Aaron Winn, who will also play on defense. Winn averaged 33 yards per punt.

The Cobras opened the season on Aug. 18 at home against Ashley Ridge and travel to Goose Creek on Aug. 25 before hosting Stratford on Sept. 1. They have an open date on Sept. 8 before traveling to Timberland on Sept. 15 and hosting Hanahan on Sept. 22.

Cane Bay is in Region 8-AAAA with Colleton County, Hilton Head, Stall, Beaufort and Berkeley. Zehr and the Cobras went 10-2 last fall.

“As much as we’d like to improve on 10 wins, that was a special group of kids,” Zehr said. “It would be hard for anybody to improve on that. We’re focused more on taking it one game at a time and developing some leadership as the season goes on.”

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