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Wade Hampton High School
Varnville

Wade Hampton football primed for future success

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Varnville—It was a memorable first season for Wade Hampton football coach Jerry Brown. After a slow start, the Red Devils finished the season with a 7-4 overall record. They captured a region championship before falling to Brookland-Cayce in the second round of the playoffs.

“You never know how everyone will respond to a new situation. The coaches responded well and so did the players. Everybody seemed to make a good adjustment to what was required of them,” Brown said.

The senior class helped lay a solid foundation for the future. Offensively, Wade Hampton will bid farewell to slot back Myles Murdaugh, who rushed for 693 yards and six touchdowns on 87 carries.

North-South all-star offensive/defensive lineman Tre Phoenix, strong safety Chris Orr, and offensive/defensive linemen Collin Padgett and Chris Rennow are other key players departing the program.

 “This is only the second time a senior class has won the conference in my first year. The other was Berkeley High School in 1993. We didn’t have many seniors, but they bought into what we were doing and contributed a lot,” Brown said.

Looking ahead to next season, Wade Hampton will have plenty of talent returning to hopefully take the next step. The leader of that group is fullback Pernell Maxwell, who had 225 attempts for 2,133 yards and 25 touchdowns. He will also see time at linebacker.

“The guy was unbelievable for his first time being in the backfield. He’s only going to get better and better,” Brown said.

Also returning in the backfield is DeShareoh Williams, who picked up over 400 yards with six scores on just 49 rushes.

Defensively, Matt Smith will be back after leading the Red Devils in tackles this fall. Joshua Brown and defensive back Jaylin Loadholt are other top performers returning in 2018.

There may also be a battle at quarterback, as Adam Creswell opened as the starter before being lost to injury in the third game of the season. Quayshon Williams took over full-time from there.

“We’ll have to see who does the best job in the offseason, as far as leadership in the weight room and being committed to what we’re doing. Spring practice will tell a lot and that’s what scrimmages are for too,” Brown said.

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