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Lake View High School

 

Wild Gators get back to football after big scare from hurricane

By David Shelton
Senior Writer

Lake View – It wasn’t great, but it could have been a lot worse for the area around Lake View High School when Hurricane Florence left her mark on the Grand Strand and Pee Dee areas of the state.
Lake View’s 2018 football season, like many others in the area, was put on hold for a few weeks as flood waters moved into certain areas. Lake View itself was spared major issues, according to head coach Daryl King. The students missed two days of school but returned the Monday following the storm. Others were not so lucky, especially in the Grand Strand where schools were out for three weeks.
“We certainly are thankful that we didn’t have the issues that some others have had,” King said. “We had some roads closed and such, making it difficult for some people to get to work for a while but as far as our school and such, we did okay.”
Essentially, Lake View missed one game, against Marion, which could be made up at the end of the season. A game with Lamar also was postponed but with both teams having a bye week on the same day, the teams will play on October 5th in Lamar. Several teams have missed three games and will resume play on the weekend of October 5-6.
Missing football games, says King, is not a big deal.
“We really weren’t concerned with football at that point,” King said. “Football is a game. We had people whose lives were turned upside down. We were willing to wait as long as we had to. The biggest thing for us was making sure everyone was safe and taken care of. A lot of people in some of those areas had it really tough. Other things take precedence in a disaster.”
Lake View returned to the game field on September 28th, beating McBee, 47-10, to improve to 3-2 on the season. The Wild Gators lost their season opener back in late August to Hannah-Pamplico and also lost to Dillon the Friday before the Hurricane arrived.
King says it was good to be back on the field for a game but the Wild Gators showed a bit of rust.
“You could tell in the first half we had not played in a few weeks but we put together a better second half and ended up playing pretty well overall,” King said. “We weren’t real sharp mentally and we didn’t execute great early in the game. We challenged them at halftie and they responded pretty well. It was good to win again.”
After the game with Lamar, the coach says focus will turn to region play.
“We’re still worried more about ourselves,” King said. “It’s hard to say where we are right now but we are working hard to get where we need to be.”
In Lamar, the Wild Gators are playing the defending Class A state champions, off to a 4-1 start this season. The Silver Foxes are coming off their first loss, to Gray Collegiate, in the last Friday of September.
“They’re a good football team with great athletes and great coaches, and they are probably mad after losing,” King said. “We know we’re facing a very good team. They have team speed all over the field and their kids play hard, especially at their place. It’s a great challenge but also a great time for us to measure where we are as we get ready for region play.”
King says sophomore quarterback Addarion Dawkins continues to make solid progress as a first-year starter. He threw three touchdown passes in the win over McBee and has more than 600 total yards, rushing and passing, through five games.
The favored target in Lake View’s passing game is 6-3 senior Dionte Roberts, who caught a touchdown pass in the opener and had two scores against McBee. Roberts also starts at outside linebacker on defense.
“He’s a player, a big-time player on both sides of the ball,” King said.
The other receiver is senior Fred Reaves. The primary ball-carrier in the ground game is senior Benjy Kelly, a returning starter from last season. Kelly had two rushing touchdowns against McBee and is averaging nearly 100 yards rushing per game.
The offensive line is led by a pair of senior tackles – Elijah Fleming and Nick Evans, both returning starters. Senior Alex Huggins is starting at left guard and is a first-year starter. 
Sophomore Julius Corbett, the starter at right guard, suffered a broken leg in game three and is out. Junior Noah Sweat is the starting center.
“It’s unfortunate to lose a sophomore but it’s an opportunity for someone else to step up,” King said. “We’ll get him back at some point. Being a sophomore he has more football left to play but we hate to lose a guy. The line was starting to play pretty well and they will continue to grow. We’re not looking back.”
Senior linebacker Tieray Blue continues to anchor the Lake View defense. Senior Jordan King starts at middle linebacker and Roberts also works on the outside.
Senior Shyon Gilchrist is the lone returning starter along the defensive front. Junior Bryson Grimsley, and sophomores Artavius Benjamin and Tyson Monroe are the other starters along the line.
In the secondary, King starts senior Tatha Nesmith and sophomore Michael McInnis at safety. Senior Keshawn Hanford is a returning starter at one corner while seniors Willie Wheeler and Shamar Horne are splitting time at the other corner.

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