Replacing skill guys is key for Patriots

  • Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Roger Lee/Journal Scene Rising senior Rashad Palmer is looking to be an impact player for the Patriots’ offense this year.

The Patriot football team lacks experience at the skill positions but its supporting cast should be good to go.
Fort Dorchester opened practice for its 2013 campaign Friday knowing it has to replace its starting quarterback, two leading rushers and its leading receiver from last season.
However, the Patriots have a lot of experience up front with the return of linemen Tyese McDonald, Nick Tononi and Cody Meree. McDonald and Tononi are both rising seniors while Meree is a rising junior.
Rising senior Colt Davis and rising junior Coby Garrett are the frontrunners for the starting quarterback position. Rising senior Matt Murray will bring some experience at running back. He struggled with injury last season but hopes to remain healthy for his final year with the Pats.
At the receiver spot, DeMonte Bailey and Rashad Palmer return after combining for 22 receptions for more than 350 yards last season. The Patriots are looking for one of them, or perhaps returner Corey Rawlings, to move into the leading role for the position that T.J. Smith handled last season.
The Patriot defense faces having to replace secondary stars such as Josh Lightburn, Bryce Tapscott and Kenny Fenton-Griffith, but has experience elsewhere.
Rising seniors Kevyn Flores and David Govan return to their linebacker positions. Rising juniors Eurndraus Bryant and Myles White return to anchor a defensive line that wasn’t hit that hard by graduation.
Fort Dorchester is trying to improve on its 5-6 performance last season.
The Patriots open their 2013 season Aug. 30 by hosting Carolina Forest.
Prior to that the team has scrimmages against Camden at South Carolina State University at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 9, at Sumter at 6 p.m. Aug. 14 and at Woodland at 5 p.m. Aug. 20.
Fort Dorchester will also face Stall for a quarter Aug. 23 as part of this year’s Sertoma Classic to be held at Johnson Hagood Stadium.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or rlee@journalscene.com

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