Baxter: Youngsters will have to step up for White Knoll

06/25/2014 11:21 PM

06/25/2014 11:21 PM

The White Knoll Timberwolves had a great spring, considering some hurdles in coaching changes. Athletics director and coach Dean Howell was pleased with what he saw in the spring and the way his team played in the summer 7-on-7 league.

“We’ve got a young team and some challenges on offense this offseason,” Howell said. “We’ve got to replace a quarterback and we’ve got to replace two offensive linemen who have moved on to play college football.”

The quarterback position is not locked up, but junior Calev Grubbs seems to have the reins. Junior Parker McInnis also will get snaps and could see time with Grubbs playing wide receiver, where he played last season. As a receiver, Grubbs had 639 yards and five scores.

The strongest spot on the team will be at running back, where the Timberwolves have E’mond Brown, who stepped in last season and rushed for 1,156 yards on 141 carries for an 8.1-yards-per-carry average. Brown is a sleeper prospect and could be the top running back in Region 5-4A.

They will be looking for help at wide receiver and have rising junior Jason Rumph to lead the way, along with tight end Spencer Niutupuivaha to help in the passing game. Sophomore Sam Hayes could see time at tight end because of his skills as a blocker.

Junior Danny McLane will anchor the offensive line as a three-year starter at guard.

The strength on defense will be in the secondary, with Kendrick Curry and Tim Eichelburger leading the group.

Caleb Brian and Seth Poston return at linebacker, along with Phillip Brown and Jason Bordeaux. Last season, Poston had 64 tackles, and Brian had 72.

On the defensive line, seniors Zack Riley and Brandon Shealy will lead the way.

The Timberwolves are set on special teams with Chase Graham handling all duties.

The Timberwolves also got a couple of great pickups in the coaching staff, as Bart Miller came from River Bluff to rejoin Howell’s staff as an offensive coordinator. Ryan Kendall recently came from Irmo to help on defense.

“We’ve got the makings of a good football team,” Howell said. “Youth will be helpful. We’ve got a solid group of sophomores who could push some of our older players at spots, and that competition will be good for us.”

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