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East Clarendon High School
Turbeville

 

Cook, Wolverines hope program has turned corner after late surge

By Justin Driggers

Consulting Editor

Turbeville – It’s been a few years now that the East Clarendon High School football team has been trying to “knock that wall down” as head coach Scott Cook put it.

“We were looking to change the Wolverine way,” he said. “We were looking for a win to do that, but it actually came in a loss.”

The loss was three weeks ago against Carvers Bay – a 28-7 defeat to an undefeated squad ranked in the top three in the state that eventually won the Region 7-AA title.

“Everybody thought we were going to go down there and get blown out,” Cook said. “But we got after them that night and we’ve turned things around ever since.”

ECHS, who was winless after the loss to the Bears, finished off the season with two straight region victories over Johnsonville (27-0) and Andrews (34-32) to finish the year 2-7 overall and 2-4 in region play.

“They gave me everything they had,” Cook said of his team’s effort. “They gave it all. I couldn’t be prouder of this group. I wish it (had been) enough to get into the playoffs.”

EC fell just short of a postseason berth, but Cook hopes the late-season turnaround will carry over into next season.

“We’ve been preaching, ‘Believe, believe, believe,’ and I think they’ve finally bought into that and they bought in to what we were trying to do these last few weeks,” he said.

The Wolverines are relatively young with just nine seniors on the roster – and lot of the younger players were counted on this year to fill starting roles or were placed in those roles because of injuries.

One example was sophomore Cameron Beard stepping in a left tackle against Andrews – despite just learning his responsibilities that day.

“And he was filling in for Steven Dickey – someone else who had switched to that position,” Cook said. “It was just that kind of team.”

The defensive line also featured a freshman and three sophomores while the offense itself was comprised of a lot of young talent as well.

Quarterback Cub Cook is just a sophomore and had 99 yards passing against Andrews to go along with one passing TD and two running scores. His top tailback, sophomore Marquese Webb, ran for more than 200 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns as well.

Wide receiver / defensive back Tyjhai Calvin is a junior and was one of the standout players on both sides this season. He had three touchdowns in the win against Johnsonville.

The senior class was strong, however, and will be missed. Garrick Powell was one of the Wolverines’ top options at running back and wide receiver while Lane Robinson played all over the field including quarterback.

Ashton Mixon was one of the leaders on defense at the linebacker position along with Gavin Gibbons and Hunter Green.

“We’ve taken a lot of punches these last three years, and we’ve been able to get back up,” Cook said.

 

ECHS volleyball wins region, has deep run in playoffs

By Justin Driggers

Consulting Editor

Turbeville – East Clarendon head volleyball coach Hope Baker admits she was a “little nervous” entering the season.

The Lady Wolverines had lost seven seniors from the year prior and on top of that were moving up to Class AA.

Turns out there was nothing to fear as EC went 15-1 in the regular season and captured the Region 7-AA title. The team also made all the way to the third round of the state playoffs.

“It was kind of unexpected in a way,” Baker said. “Just losing so many seniors and moving up to AA – but they pulled it out and did and awesome job. I couldn’t be prouder of our team this year.”

ECHS’ lone loss came against Johnsonville, a perennial region champ, but the Lady Wolverines earned a measure of revenge at home with a 3-1 victory that gave them the title.

“It was our ‘Pink Out’ game,” Baker said. “We were pumped to win and we did just that. They played awesome and it was probably one of their best (matches) they played all year.

“They were so excited afterward. We have a group message between all of the girls and the coaches and it went on so late that night I had to turn my phone off. They were so pumped still.”

That win propelled the Lady Wolverines into the AA playoffs. They defeated Burke in the opening round and Philip Simmons after that before falling to Gray Collegiate.

“That’s when they knew they were good enough to compete at that level,” Baker said of the region championship. “We told them that, but that was when they realized that they were a pretty good team.”

Baker pointed to EC’s two middle hitters as catalysts for the team all season – senior Britni Anderson and Rhamey Floyd. Junior Hannah Gowdy moved from libero to setter and performed well in her new role.

“They just stepped it up,” Baker said. “I don’t know if we could have done it without them. They were great and all of the players who came up from jayvee shined as well.”

Baker is also looking forward to continuing that winning vibe next year. ECHS loses Anderson and fellow senior Elly Floyd, but should still be a solid team.

“We’re going to miss them, but I have a lot of jayvee players who are excited to come up and play as well, so I think next year’s going to be a good one, too,” she said.

 

 

 

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