High School Football | Commentary

BAXTER: Lower Richland working to improve

June 11, 2014 

THE LOWER Richland Diamond Hornets have begun the summer and are underway with 7-on-7 passing leagues, giving coach Daryl Page something to look forward to.

“We had a good spring,” Page said, “and we threw for the first time already, against Brookland-Cayce. And I was pleased with how we performed the first time out.”

Depth is a concern for Page, but he’s pleased with his starters.

On offense, there are holes to fill at skill positions and on the line. Quarterback Howard Henderson will be the starting signal caller and has some weapons to complement him.

De’Andre Smith returns at running back, and he was the leading rusher in 2013 with 860 yards and five touchdowns. Out wide will be one of the state’s top prospects for 2016 – Larry Collins. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound receiver already has offers from SEC and ACC schools.

The offensive line has some holes to fill and will be anchored by Samuel Sabb, who will move to center this year, and Lateef Robinson, who played some tight end last season but will lock down at tackle this year.

The strength of the team, according to Page, will be on defense. Up front, Devonte’ Hinton and Donnell Ellison will anchor the interior line. Ellison was the most improved player in the spring, according to Page. Rashawn Thomas will line up at defensive end.

Damien Smith, who was all-region in 2013, returns at linebacker. He was the Hornets’ leading tackler last season.

The secondary is loaded with talent, including Reo Robinson, a two-year starter at safety. He will be joined by Darius Reese and Collins.

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