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Batesburg-Leesville High School

Batesburg-Leesville Opens Region Play With Big Win Over Allendale-Fairfax

By Jay Hendrix

Special Writer

 

Batesburg--The Batesburg-Leesville varsity football team opened Region 5-AA play with a 50-0 win over Allendale-Fairfax last week to improve to 3-3 overall and 1-0 in region play.

The Panthers host Barnwell (Oct. 6) and Bamberg-Ehrhardt (Oct. 13) in key region contests with the other unbeaten teams in the region.

 

First year head coach Gary Adams, when asked about the 3-3 start stated, “I told the kids we’ve lost three games this season to three really good teams. Two are undefeated (Gilbert and Newberry) and one has one loss (Saluda). They have a combined record of 17-1. Obviously we wanted to be more competitive but we have to learn lessons and prevent the mistakes from those loses from happening in the future.”

 

The Panthers took a big blow in the road loss at Saluda in mid-September when senior quarterback Bishop Cannon suffered an injury to his throwing arm on the second play from scrimmage. Cannon missed the rest of the game but came back two weeks later after a bye and played wide receiver and scored two touchdowns in only three touches (punt return and reception). Adams stated, “It is not a major injury but something we are closely watching and we want to put him in the best position possible. We are putting him in the best place to help the team and not further injury his arm.”

He has been limited in throwing recently but is expected to continue to contribute to the Panthers. Cannon leads the team with ten total touchdowns and had passed for 477 yards and rushed for 342 as a true dual threat.

 

The Panthers’ leading rusher is junior Tay Wilson with 425 yards and three touchdowns. Adams stated, “I think as time is going on Tay is learning to run behind his pads. He is getting more comfortable. He has even run scout team running back to help give the defense a better look. He is definitely becoming a team player and running a lot harder behind his pads.”

 

The Panthers benefited from the off week in late September as they were able to get healthy after a brutal non-conference slate. Adams stated, “Defensively we are finally starting to get healthy. We are able to rotate a little more with Cameron Peterson being back and now we are able to go two deep. The two weeks off helped a lot.”

 

Adams also pointed out the play of senior linebackers Tabias Butler and Tristan Wheeler. Adams stated, “It has been good to have their leadership as they kind of direct traffic and make sure everybody is in the right spot and doing the right thing.” Adams also pointed out the play of freshman Marvin Gantt who has stepped into a starting role early in his career.

“I didn’t want to say anything too soon but Marvin has stepped up and helped us a lot. Like Keshoun (Williams) last year coming up and making plays. Also Jaewon Williams has been coming off the bench and fitting in where is necessary. He is a role player and playing a huge role in certain packages.” Williams leads the Panthers with five interceptions on the season.

 

In other fall sports the girl’s tennis team claimed the Region 5-AA championship with a recent sweep of Barnwell. The Panthers are coached by Christyann English and led by top five seeds Hannah Derrick, Reynolds Rawls, Caroline Bedenbaugh, Magan Hook and Beth Ann Puryear. The Panthers won the region last season as well and at 7-2 on the season are looking strong as they head towards the playoffs.

 

The varsity volleyball team is also in line to claim the Region 5-AA championship. The Panthers finished second to Silver Bluff last season and are undefeated in region play this season and will square off with the Bulldogs twice in the final week of action with the conference championship on the line. Head coach Courtney Ingle is in her second season at the helm of the program and has All-State selection Lay Gates back from last season to lead the way along with a collection of seasoned players such as Zoe Jackson, Kiara Quattlebaum, Jaylah Barr and Roxi Rikard.

 The Panthers are also looking strong in cross country as the Panthers have a total of 30 runners on the two teams as head coach Kim Hendrix has recruited a talented group of runners. The girl’s team has been paced by Mina Shull, Cheyenne Lee and Liza Rios all season while the boys have been led by Justin Castro, Carlos Nolasco-Madrid and Dominic Bledsoe. The Panthers will host the Region 5-AA championship on October 18th with Barnwell and Bamberg-Ehrhradt being the top challengers.

 

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