Hawks expect to contend for region title
The Hanahan Hawks were moved up to Class AAA in the most recent realignment but it comes at an OK time for the football team.
Coach Charlie Patterson expects his squad to be able to go toe-to-toe with everybody on its schedule.
“I think that it comes at a good time for us,” said Patterson, whose team won region championships in Class AA each of the last two seasons. “I think we’ve got the kids that can compete at this level. If there is one thing that concerns me, though, it’s our depth. We’re not very deep.”
The Hawks join a region with Berkeley, James Island, Orangeburg-Wilkinson, Hilton Head and Stall.
“If we can stay healthy, I think we’ve got a chance to compete for a region championship,” Patterson said.
The Hawks won region titles in their last two seasons at Class AA.
On offense, the Hawks lean heavily on senior quarterback Anthony Smalls. As a junior, the lefty combined for over 3,300 yards passing and rushing and was in on 42 touchdowns, 28 of them passing. He threw 11 interceptions.
“Everything starts with him,” Patterson said. “He’s looked pretty good over the summer.”
Two of his top 2011 targets are back this season in wide receiver Mario Gates and inside receiver Sammy Richardson. Gates had 31 grabs for 507 yards and four scores last season, while Richardson made 23 catches for 221 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Terrell Green, at 6 feet, 6 inches is a sizable target downfield and figures to be a mismatch for cornerbacks. Mason Schwerzler, also the backup quarterback, is another inside receiver and Sam Denmark will get some time at receiver too along with Martinez Finney.
Running back Octavious Hayes had 453 yards rushing and six scores out of the backfield and returns. Quan Wade and Haven Horlback are the other running backs.
On the offensive line, right tackle Roger Flathman and center Aaron Clark are the anchors. Gerad Richardson, Deondre Brown and Jacob Billings are the other starters up front and Josh Greenbaum provides depth.
On defense, the top two tacklers return in free safety Marlon Washington and outside linebacker Lyndon Young. Washington made 100 stops last fall, while Young was in on 97 total tackles.
The Hawks return four players with starting experience up front defensively in defensive tackle Jacob Garibay, defensive end Dominique Lucas, defensive end Corbin Heyward and Vontrell Grant. Grant, who made over 60 stops last season, moves up to defensive tackle from linebacker.
In addition to Young on the second level, Quan Wade is a returning starter at linebacker. He’ll play outside, while Ronald England and Donte Richardson are slated to start at inside linebacker. Marquis Mack figures to play a bunch at linebacker too, while Avery Drake provides depth at the position.
In the secondary, Washington and cornerback Brian Ford are returning starters and Andrew Conyers got plenty of time at the other corner spot in 2011.
Kyle Spigner, who made 51 of 57 extra points and a 24-yard field goal last season, is back to handle all kicking duties. He averaged 30.8 yards per punt too.