The Ashley Ridge Football team has another spring training out of the way and is now on to its summer activities.
“Spring practice went pretty well,” said Swamp Fox coach Kenny Walker. “We focused mostly on fundamental stuff and trying to slow things down so the kids understand the things we are trying to do. We are slowly incorporating some of the younger players and the guys we are asking to handle cross-over duties are doing a good job.”
The Swamp Foxes lost some key starters to graduation. Ashley Ridge coaches are attempting to create better depth this off season by having some athletes play on both sides of the ball and having others workout at multiple positions on one side.
“We are hoping it will help us, particularly up front,” Walker said. “However, we will still have some young guys at least having quality reps on Friday nights. Our linebacker corps is young, but most of the guys are at least familiar with our terminology.”
The Swamp Fox skills athletes will gain some valuable experience in June, when the team will do most of its 7 on 7 activities. Ashley Ridge is scheduled to host James Island for a passing competition at 10 a.m. June 13 and host West Ashley for a 7 on 7 at 10 a.m. June 19. The team will also travel to the University of South Carolina’s 7 on 7 competition June 4 and to Spartanburg June 21 for a competition.
In July, the Swamp Foxes will participate in one final 7 on 7 event scheduled tentatively for July 10. That event will also include other local teams.
Of course, the team will lift weights and condition throughout the summer.
Graduation left spots to fill in the Swamp Fox receiving corps, but the team does return its quarterback.
Rising senior Matt Duncan is back after completing 150 passes for more than 2,300 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior. One of the top targets for the Temple commit next season will likely be fellow rising senior Jaylen Perry, who had 41 grabs for more than 700 yards and five TDs last season.
Perry is one of a handful of other Swamp Fox players receiving a lot of interest from college scouts.
The team lost a running back who tallied more than 1,600 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards last season, but rising senior Josh Sharo is looking to have more touches this season. Last year, the fullback/tight end had 13 catches for 220 yards.
Rising senior Kamyrn Petrick also returns after grading out at 75 percent on the offensive front last season.
He had 34 pancake blocks in 2018.
Rising senior Anthony Jackson will be looked to for leadership on the defensive line. Last year, he had 53 tackles including two sacks.
Linebacker Delray Ford returns with a lot of varsity experience on the second level of the defense and defensive backs Latrelle Jefferson-York and Jerren Strickland will be looked to for leadership on the third level.
Ashley Ridge lost some key special teams skill players, but does return punter Blaise Dampier, who averaged 30.2 yards per punt in 2018 and landed 11 punts inside the 20-yard line.
Rising junior Austin Smith and rising sophomore Will McCune are the front runners for the place kicker position coming out of spring practice and Chase Peterson is the front runner for the long snapper position.