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Woodland High School

Woodland ready to defend region V championship

By Neill Kirkpatrick

Staff Writer

St. George – The Woodland Wolverines had an outstanding year in 2018/19 going 18-9 overall and 8-0 to win the region V AA. They advanced into the third round of the AA playoffs for the first time in school history where they fell to Oceanside Collegiate.

“It is always good to do something no team has down before but that was last year. We challenged them this year to make what was accomplished last season the standard at Woodland,” said head coach Leon Wheaton. “We are not as deep as we were last year, but we do play a lot of guys. We challenge them every day and tell them how they practice determines playing time.”

Coach Wheaton continued, “we expect our guys to compete every day and to hold each other accountable. That was one thing last season’s team did and we need that mind set every year to get the right culture established.”

The Wolverines currently sit at 6-8 overall and 1-1 in the region after running away from Bamberg-Ehrhardt 84-58 Tuesday. The win snapped a six-game losing streak. They dropped their opening region contest to Whale Branch in the final game of coach Wheaton’s two game suspension.

The Wolverines only return one starter from last seasons team in All-State point guard Manny Shuler. The 5-10 junior has been battling nagging injuries to his knee and ankle but is finally health and he should his ultra-quick self against AAAA power Orangeburg Wilkinson.

O-W went to a box and one to try and keep him in check. He was still able to hit some key shots on the overtime loss.

“Manny is what makes us go. When he is healthy, he is as good as anyone in the state. He has played for us since he was in the eighth grade,” said coach Wheaton.

The Wolverines have several players that have started at one time or another. Returning junior forward Carlos Pelzer saw plenty of minutes off the bench last season and made an easy transition into the starting lineup.

Senior Chris Williams is healthy this season after battling injuries last season and he brings leadership to the Wolverines.

“Chris fought through a lot last season, so we are happy he is healthy. He has been a steadying influence for us at times, “coach Wheaton said.

Some newcomers that have been solid all year are senior Tony Glover. He brings speed and quickness to the floor.

Coming over from Berkeley is Keyuan Johnson. He has outstanding court presence and can play outside or mix it up inside. He threw for over 3000 yards and 30 touchdowns this past football season.

Joining him from the football team is one of the best junior wide outs in the state in Jevon Walker. Walker is athletic and brings another player with speed to the court.

Sophomore Cortez Pringle moved up from last seasons JV team and has played solid minutes.

Jerrod Jones has moved up from this years JV and is seeing minutes with the varsity.

“We still have all of our goals in front us, but we have to be more mentally tough and play with a purpose each night to achieve those goals,” said Wheaton



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