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Marlboro County High School
Bennettsville

Marlboro County track athletes compete in region meet

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Bennettsville – Members of the Marlboro County High School track and field program competed in the region 7-AAAA track and field championships a month ago and the program produced a region champion.

Tyrese Quick proved to be the best of the best in the region in the long jump event, winning the gold medal and qualifying for the Class AAAA Lower State meet. Unfortunately, Quick was unable to jump well enough to qualify for the state finals, finishing 14th in the qualifier.

In the region meet, Quick also competed in the 400 meter dash, finishing eighth.

Thed Bostic had a solid day in the region meet as well, placing sixth in the 100-meter dash and eighth in the 200-meter dash.

On the girls team, Labriyah McRae had a good outing, finishing fifth in the 100-meter dash and sixth in the 200-meter dash.

Isheondra Powell also qualified in the sprints, placing fourth in the 200 and sixth in the 100.

Laqueasha Bridges qualified for the region finals in the 400-meter run and placed sixth overall.

Baseball players earn all-region honors

The young Marlboro County baseball team had a tough season overall but two players ended up earning all-region recognition by the region 7-AAAA coaches.

Harrison Bigham was a second-team all-region pick as an outfielder, while Bryant Parks earned honorable mention notice as a pitcher.

Boyd puts Bulldogs through spring drills

With the bad taste of a 3-7 record still lingering in the hearts and minds of the Marlboro County football program, the prospective 2018 Bulldogs are putting in the early work of spring practice this month.

Veteran head coach Dean Boyd reports about 72 players on average for the first week of drills. Those numbers overall are down from past years when Boyd would routinely have between 90 and 100 athletes participating.

Enrollment has dropped considerably at Marlboro County over the years, losing about 900 students overall in the last 20 years. When total numbers are down, the number of males decreases, which decreases the number of potential athletes.

“We don’t talk a lot about the decrease in numbers because it sounds like we are making excuses,” Boyd said. “It’s just a fact. The numbers are down from what we are accustomed to. We’re still okay with what we have but we have to do a really good job of identifying the best athletes and making sure we have those guys in the best position to help us win. Our depth overall is not where it used to be but we can make it work.”

Though down in overall numbers, Boyd has been pleased with the way his team has worked during the offseason. He says the good work ethic has carried over to spring drills.

“It’s a good group of kids and they are working hard,” Boyd said. “We feel like we have identified some leaders on both sides of the ball. We have some good newcomers that will make an impact. We have a good nucleus of returning veterans as well. We have the potential to be much improved this fall.”

Offensively, the Bulldogs will be in good hands as senior Elijah Blair returns as the starting quarterback. The 5-11, 202-pound Blair has been a workhorse in the weightroom, recently bench pressing 355 pounds while squatting 450 pounds. He also clocked a 4.59 in the 40-yard dash.

“He’s a special kind of athlete and as smart a kid as you will find,” Boyd said. “He’s second in his class right now and his goal is to be number one. That intelligence and maturity really helps him as our quarterback. We put a lot on him and we put a lot of trust in him.”

Blair has a solid core of receivers returning as well, led by Iyon Williams and Tyrek Eaddy. Boyd wants to use a high percentage passing attack with screens and short routes while allowing Blair to create offense with his feet as well.

Daniel Turner is one of the most experienced returning offensive linemen and Boyd says that will be an area of focus this spring.

The running back position will also be young but Boyd sees potential in the backfield with newcomer Demarcus Hicks expected to make an impact.

On defense, Scotland County transfer Dashawn Zimmerman (6-3, 225) will make an impact along the defensive front. He joins returning starters Marquez Johnson and Shamar Sprattling along the front. Johnson is moving from end to tackle this spring while Sprattling returns at nose.

Linebacker is void of significant experience but Boyd likes the potential in Davon Green and Ismael Sloan. Eaddy, Williams and Jameek Campbell return with significant experience in the secondary.

The defense will have a new look this fall as the Bulldogs move to a 4-3 alignment with more cover two packages. Josh Pierce is the new defensive coordinator.

“There’s a lot to learn but we are making progress,” says Boyd. “It’s going to be a good move for us. I feel like it suits us well and coach Pierce is doing a great job for us.”

Another area of strength will be on special teams where junior placekicker Zachary Rogers returns with good experience.

 

 

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