high school sports | commentary

Baxter: Move to Class 3A should help Richland Northeast

June 8, 2014 

RNE and Logoff Football

Richland Northeast football coach Jay Frye will have a young team in 2014.

FILE PHOTOGRAPH — the state

AS ATTENDANCE continues to shrink at Richland Northeast, the Cavaliers find themselves moving to Region 4-3A for 2014 and 2015.

It couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Cavs struggled in Class 4A in recent seasons because of attrition. But, a good spring practice gives hope for improvement to coach Jay Frye’s team.

The Cavs will return six starters to their offense, including their leading scorer from 2013, quarterback Simeon Kelly. Unfortunately for Kelly, there are no returning starters at the wide receiver position. They will be young, with a strong group of sophomores who might be called on for varsity snaps.

Quinton Burrell returns to lead the ground game. Blocking for him will be De’Vonta Hardy and Norman Wallace.

Defensively, where the Cavs struggled in 2013, they return five starters. Up front, they will be young and looking for players to fill gaps. Hardy will play defense, as well, up front. Sophomore Michael Quattlebaum will anchor the inside with Hardy. On the ends, Trayvon Amaker and Aaron Cook look to be the leaders.

The strongest part of the defense will be the linebacker group, which returns four starters. Junior T.J. Brunson is one of the rising stars at this position in the Midlands. He is joined by Ken Furtick, Tyler Sims and Corey Benjamin.

The Cavs return Aaron Joyner at free safety but will be young in the secondary otherwise.

With a solid spring practice behind them, the Cavaliers will begin working with passing leagues, participating on Thursdays at Westwood. They also will attend the FCA Passing League at Blythewood and participate in the Newberry College 7 on 7 Tournament in July.

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