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Dillon High School

Dillon Football Coaches Working With 100 Varsity Candidates During Spring Drills

By Billy G. Baker

Publisher

DillonHall of Fame coach Jackie Hayes (291-52) begins his 26th season as the head football coach in Dillon, and after four days of Spring drills in the books, he and his staff have been working with 100 varsity candidates who hope to contribute to the team when the season begins at Lumberton on August, 18.

“Our goal with spring football is to work on the fundamentals and develop the team concept within our players,” said Coach Hayes. “As with every year, our goal is to compete for a state championship. The majority of our players already know about our high expectations and spring drills is a good opportunity for some of the younger players to learn about what our program is all about.”

With the transfer of rising quarterback Brayden Hawkins, due to a family medical situation to Myers Park in Charlotte, the Wildcats have been working sophomore quarterback J. Lester and senior Zareon Hayes (6-2, 235) into the mix. Hayes is a “Wildcat type” quarterback with a good arm and Lester is a dual threat who started on the jayvee team the past two years. “We’ll be okay at quarterback and both of them know our system and they have been in our program a long time,” said Coach Hayes.

Hayes has been offered by Georgia State, Elon and U-Conn to date, and he is expected to play quarterback, H- back, and also play be a key leader along the defensive as well.

On offense, starters returning include rising senior receiver/defensive back Ty’Quan Porter who had five picks from the secondary last year. Running back Jalen Williams is back for his senior year after rushing for over 750 yards last season. Rising senior Jackson Hayes is back at tight end and three year starter Dawson Dove (6-2, 290) is back at center and rising junior Khalil Bethea (6-3, 250) is back at left tackle.

On defense, the Nasty Cats return all three linebackers in rising juniors Dray Thompson and Jadarius McDaniel along with rising senior Tramele McCoy. Hayes will be back to anchor the defensive front after leading the team with over 100 tackles last year. Junior Shamar McCollum is back at one defensive end along with rising senior defensive tackle Joe Burns (5-11, 230) and end Rock Owens. Rogers will pull double duty in the secondary.

The big question mark right now is finding a kicker/punter replacement for the graduated Drew Covington. “I have to get in the hallway and recruit somebody,” said Coach Hayes. “This is a big question mark for us right now.”

In early June, Dillon will conduct seven-on-seven passing drills on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s for most of the month with between 10 and 16 schools participating each session. The Wildcats will scrimmage Hartsville, Scotland County and Lamar in August before starting the season on the road at Lumberton, NC the third Friday in August.

“All our coaches have remained the same and we are a very stable football program focused on winning state championships,” said Coach Hayes who should become the fastest coach in state history to win 300 games in a career during the latter part of the 2017 season.

 

Dillon Defeats Aynor Behind 14 Hit Barrage To Advance to Lower State Finals Against Hanahan

By Billy G. Baker

Publisher

Dillon—With their backs against the wall the Dillon Wildcats (21-5) softball team pounded out 14 hits in a 11-7 win over region rival Aynor May, 10 to advance to the AAA Lower State finals against top ranked Hanahan on Friday, May, 12.

“I am proud of the way we played today against a region rival that has beat us twice this season by one run and it kind of gave us our edge back over them,” said head Dillon coach Kelvin Roller. “Out bats came alive tonight and we hit the ball much better.

“We know it will be tough to go to Hanahan and win twice Friday but if we can play them like we played Aynor tonight I would not count us completely out. We had several players with multiple hits tonight and this was a complete team effort.

“Our goal every year is to going to be to compete for a state title so we are right where we had hoped to be,” said Coach Roller. “This win tonight should help our confidence going back to Hanahan on Friday.”

After a 7-1 loss at Hanahan on Monday Dillon Coach Roller said this after that game, “I told my crowd that the most talented team doesn’t always win, and if you are going to beat a number one ranked team like Hanahan you have to do the little things right, like out-hustle them, keep up with the batting count, don’t swing at balls out of the strike zone, and just keep your head in the game and stay mentally alert,” said Coach Roller. “We have won our fair share of games ourselves but when you play a team like Hanahan you have to do all the little things right and we didn’t play one of our better games tonight at all. This game was not a true reflection of who we are.

“That’s okay, and we are not out of it, and this is why we have a double elimination playoff and we just have to come back strong at home against Aynor on Wednesday,” said Coach Roller. “It will be an intense game I am sure. Both teams are very familiar with each other. You live for games like this so hopefully we can come out on top.”

In Monday’s game at Hanahan, Dillon loaded the bases in the 5th inning on a single by shortstop Johnna Rogers and then Emilee Price was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Two batters later A’Dosha Graves singled to load the bases but a ground-out ended the scoring threat.

Dillon got on the board in the 7th inning with a never say die effort. Ashley Phillips led off with a single and two batters alter Price drew a walk. AuhkieriaLeftySmiling crushed a double to the fence that scored Phillips to avoid the shut-out. 

Coming into the Friday game with Hanahan seven Wildcat players are hitting .326 or better and the team batting average is .336. Tops on the hit index is Auh’Kiera “Lefty” Smiling at .412 with 16 RBI’s and Ashley Phillips is next with a .408 average including 22 RBI’s. Brittany Miller is contributing with a .407 average including 14 RBI’s. Senior leader and shortstop Johnna Rogers is batting .362 and she has 20 RBI’s Skyler McCoy has a team leading 25 RBI’s and she is batting .326 with senior pitcher Tori Grimsley hitting .360 with 17 RBI’s and Taylor Blackmon is hitting .329 with 16 RBVI’s.

In the circle Grimsley is 21-5 and has 140 strike-outs in 160 innings of work with a 1.48 ERA.      

 

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