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Lake City High School

 Young Panthers to be ‘thrown in the fire quick’

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Lake City—It was an outstanding season in 2016 for the Lake City football team, going 9-3 and winning a first-round playoff game. However, several key pieces from that group graduated and the Panthers have had to get some younger players ready in a hurry.

They begin the regular season at Hartsville in Week Zero. The Red Foxes were Class AAAA runners-up a year ago.

“We’ve got a lot of inexperienced guys…They’re going to get thrown in the fire quick. That’s the best thing for them. We’ve just got to try to compete and keep fighting. There’s going to be adversity. Our best game of the year is not going to be against Hartsville. Our goal is to just keep getting better,” said head coach Terrell Fleming.

There are some talented players back this fall, including senior quarterback Chris Burnett, who threw for 2.851 yards and 35 touchdowns last season.

“He’s a conductor, a coach on the field. Half the time I don’t know what he’s running out there because he’s calling it. He’s just that comfortable and we give him free reign. He knows the offense. He’s a great kid with great grades so hopefully somebody will give him a chance (in college),” Fleming said.

Marquese Butler will take over at running back while Nick Jones, Shakel Washington, PJ Simmons and JiTravious Sherrils are the wide receivers.

The offensive line features Natorious Darby, Josh Jones, Tyrese McCray, Kavonte Edwin and Clint Caldwell.

“I wish we had an extra week to prepare, but we’ve just got to get better up front. We’ll be a better team as that front five gets better. We lost a lot of guys but that’s no excuse. The front five on offense and the front four on defense have to get better for us to be a good football team,” Fleming said.

The secondary should be the strength of the defense, as Nigel Gaskin, DreQuan Scott, Deandre Henneghan and Melvon Cooper all have experience.

Darby will also see time on the defensive line as well along with Tyree Butler, Khalil Fulton, Arkus Sabb and Saquan Wahab. Savion Player, Darien Fulton and Shane McKenzie are the linebackers.

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