Sunday, September 1, 2013
The Green Wave football team returns several starters, has some top-notch talent and is poised to make some noise this season.
Summerville had a slow start in 2012 but finished strong to claim another region championship. Along the way, younger players developed and a veteran coaching staff ironed out some kinks so the Wave enters its 2013 campaign with fewer question marks.
“The kids are working hard and we had a good preseason,” Summerville coach John McKissick said. “I feel like we will be better, but everybody we play might be better. I’m excited about the athletes we have coming back, but I’m a little worried about inexperience at certain positions.”
Last season Sawyer Bridges stepped into the team’s quarterback position as a freshman and started every game. He completed more than 100 passes for more than 1,300 yards and seven touchdowns. He also averaged 3.5 yards per rush.
In other words, he isn’t a rookie anymore.
“Sawyer is a good quarterback,” McKissick said. “He throws the ball well. He runs well and he has a good head on his shoulders. There are two or three other quarterbacks in the area getting all the recognition, but Sawyer is as good as they are.”
Summerville has several other players with QB experience, but sophomore Krishaon Jackson is expected to claim the second-string role.
They should have decent protection as Summerville has good size and experience on the offensive line.
Anchoring the line will be Division-1 prospect Zack Bailey and fellow returning starter Jonathan James. Senior Sean Smith returns to the tight end position. All three have peeked the interest of college recruiters.
Other projected starters up front include senior Vincent Brown, junior William McArn and sophomore Chandler Farrell.
“We should be ok on the offensive line, but we don’t have the depth we would like to have,” McKissick said. “We will be ok with our backfield and receivers.”
The Wave took a blow when their leading rusher from last season moved out of state. It’s hard to replace a tailback like Davon Anderson who rushed for more than 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns, but Summerville isn’t without talent at the position.
Senior Jacerie Ponder, who split time between the offensive and defensive backfields last year, has been tagged as the starter for running back position. Junior Darrell Ford and senior Darin Smalls are also likely to see action in the offensive backfield.
Smalls, who has verbally committed to South Carolina, has been a starter in the defensive secondary for the past two seasons. However, this year coaches are considering using him more either in the offensive backfield or as a receiver. A number of other players may also see time at running back.
Summerville should be able to move the ball through the air. Smith and fellow senior and returning starter William Luck make good targets. Others likely to see action as a receiver include senior Johnston McCurry, junior Julian Gibbs, sophomore Chris Felder and Donnell Bryant, who transferred after playing at Pinewood Prep last season.
Summerville also has some experienced and talented players on the defensive side of the ball.
Anchoring the defense are five returning starters – Smalls and fellow DB Kevin Dickinson, linemen Kawuan Cox and Matt Powell, and linebacker Mac McCurry. Smalls and Dickinson are seniors while the other three are juniors.
As a middle linebacker last year McCurry led the team in tackles with 175, including 10 sacks. Cox and Powell both finished last season with more than 90 tackles and Cox had a team-high 13.5 sacks.
“On defense we need to develop some experience at nose guard and tackle, but we will be ok on that side if we manage to get pressure on the quarterback,” McKissick said.
Senior Darell Smalls has been moved from linebacker to tackle in an effort to help create that pressure. Other projected starters on the defensive front include sophomore Hundley McCurry and senior Travis Bryant.
Seniors Chad Wood and Tean Becoate will see a lot of time at linebacker and senior Daniel Smith will see a lot of time in the secondary.
Senior David Kennedy returns after handling a good bit of the Wave’s kicking duties last year. This season he may also do much of the punting.
“I think Kennedy might be a D-1 player,” McKissick said. “He has good hang time on his punts and last year he put a lot of kickoffs into the end zone.”
Johnston McCurry, Smalls and Bryant are slated to be the team’s primary kick returners.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org