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Wade Hampton High School
Varnville

Red Devils claim first region crown since 2004

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Varnville—It didn’t take Dr. Jerry Brown long to turn the Wade Hampton football team into a winner. The Red Devils completed the regular season 6-4 overall, but went 4-0 in conference play and captured the Region 8-AAA championship. The school’s last region title came in 2004.

“We had to overcome a lot with injuries, and our third quarterback did a good job for us. We played some awfully good people early and those were three of our losses. I’m proud of our guys for overcoming all the adversity. They had to learn a completely new offense and a somewhat new defense. It was a big challenge,” Brown said.

Wade Hampton is currently ranked No. 12 in the latest HSSR Class AAA poll as the playoffs are set to begin. They face a familiar opponent in Manning, who defeated the Red Devils, 39-33, in triple overtime in the season opener.

“It’s been 13 years since Wade Hampton won the region, so now they have to deal with a whole new level of success,” Brown said. “We’ll see how they respond. They still have to be committed each week and have a good week of practice. Otherwise, you’re out.

“It could go either way, depending on how the guys respond. We’ll see what they’ve learned throughout the year. Hopefully we can continue to build this program.”

The ground attack has been the driving force behind the team’s success. Through nine games, Wade Hampton has thrown the ball less than four times per contest.

 Pernell Maxwell leads the way with 1,693 yards and 23 touchdowns on 166 carries. Myles Murdaugh (612 yards, 6 TD) and DeShareoh Williams (344 yards, 5 TD) are the other main runners while Quayshon Williams runs the show at quarterback.

Defensively, Matt Smith is the top tackler with 100 stops and three forced fumbles. Joshua Brown and Chris Orr have 56 and 54 tackles, respectively, and Jaylin Loadholt anchors the secondary with 49 hits. Up front, Trey Phoenix was recently named to the North-South all-star game.

“When we got to region play, we knew it was like to be hit, and that helped,” Brown said. “They’ve gotten better as we’ve gone along. We’ve won five in a row and every week we’ve gotten a little bit better.”

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