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St. Johns Islanders High School
John's Island

St. John’s football rebuilding roster in 2018

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Johns Island—There were plenty of positives and negatives during Josh Harpe’s first season at the helm of the St. John’s football program.  Most of that team graduated, leaving a young group that recently completed spring practice.  Over 40 players went through the offseason drills.

“I’ve really been impressed with our young players.  They’ve worked hard in the weight room and during spring practice,” Harpe said.  “Knowing how young and inexperienced we’re going to be, we really pushed them hard and through a lot at them.  Not one time did they complain.  They came, busted their butts, did what we told them, and they all want to get better.  The future is going to be really bright because we’ve got a lot young kids that can play football.”

St. John’s has a handful of experienced players returning in 2018, led by running back Tyrus Richardson, who totaled over 1,300 all-purpose yards with 12 touchdowns a season ago.

“Tyrus has matured a lot.  He’s stopped dancing around and trying to bounce everything outside.  The game’s slowed down for him, and he’s seeing the holes and hitting the holes,” Harpe said.

Also back offensively is wide receiver Lavon Traeye and linemen LJ Nelson and Jacobe TaylorTyler Durham will take over at quarterback after serving as the backup last fall while running back Denzel Smiley and receiver Travis Waring are key newcomers.

Defensively, linebacker Tyrone Hicks returns after racking up 85 tackles.  Ends Antwayne Frazier and Ethan Guest have been the vocal leaders, and the duo combined for 10.5 sacks a year ago.  Jalen Jenkins is the veteran in the secondary after starting as a freshman.

Harpe has also been impressed by sophomore linebacker O’Neal Bernard, a transfer from James Island.  Shawn Lowry and Davonte Gaddist are two other linebackers to keep an eye on.

“I’m really excited about our front seven.  I don’t want to issue any challenges or give anybody bulletin board material, but it’s going to be tough to run on us this year.  When we get into the 1A schedule, those rush yards are going to be hard to come by,” Harpe said.

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