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Northwood Academy High School
North Charleston

 

Young Chargers squad continues to fight for success

By David Shelton
Senior Writer

Summerville – Before the 2018 season ever began, Northwood Academy’s first-year head coach Ryan Leaver knew his program would experience plenty of growing pains this fall.
The Chargers have a young roster and very little returning experience this season and the early results have been somewhat expected. Most of the starting lineup this season consists of underclassmen and even the upperclassmen are hampered somewhat by a lack of playing experience.
Northwood lost their first six games of the season, getting out-scored 245-31 in the process. There have been solid stretches where the Chargers have been competitive. In their season-opening loss to Academic Magnet, Northwood was tied at seven at halftime before losing 35-7. Their loss to Colleton Prep was by a 14-6 count.
But scoring points has been an issue all season. Senior quarterback Matt Lewis is the most veteran player and has been solid. Lewis has passed for 224 yards and two touchdowns this season. Leaver also gets playing time at quarterback for several underclassmen, including junior Alex Garris, sophomore Sheldon Watkins and freshman Gabe Johnson.
Junior Tyler Gadsden has shown some signs of developing as a running back. He leads the Chargers in rushing with 227 yards. Junior Tyvon Berry and sophomore Desmond Dwight also get carries and gain experience.
Watkins and senior Rick Newman are the top pass-catchers. Newman has eight catches for 128 yards while Watkins has seven grabs for 107 yards.
Newman also has been solid as a punter, averaging 38.6 yards per attempt this season.
Leaver has been pleased with the development of junior Ben O’Brien, junior Jacob Vicars and sophomore Drayton Huffman.
Junior Clayton Stancil has been a leader defensively with 24 tackles. Lewis has 22 tackles from the secondary and O’Brien has 21 tackles. Sophomore Zach Heffner has 18 total tackles while Vicars and Johnson each have 15 total hits.
After an October 5th game at John Paul II, the Chargers wrap up the regular season against Pinewood Prep, Hilton Head Prep and Orangeburg Prep.
Northwood Academy’s cross country program is off and running as a young group of harriers look to mature into competitive team.
The top four performers for the boys team this fall have been Alec Schreier, Ciaran Murphy, Anthony Palmer and Paul Schwartz. All have run under 23 minutes in the 5K.
Emma Graham, Grace Stanton and Victoria Powell have been the top runners on the girls team.

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