High School Sports

August 27, 2014

Baxter: What we learned in Week 0 of high school football

After Week 0 of the high school football season, here are some questions that need to be answered:

After Week 0 of the high school football season, here are some questions that need to be answered:

Is Dutch Fork’s pounding of Greenwood reason enough to think they’ll repeat as state champions in Class 4A?

There is no doubt the win against Greenwood is a quality win, but as good as Dutch Fork looked, especially with Matthew Colburn’s ground game, Greenwood made it easy for them. The poor center-to-quarterback snap on a large percentage of the plays caused problems in the Eagles’ passing game, and I would imagine those things will be corrected quickly.

Dutch Fork looked solid, but the Silver Foxes will need more of a vertical passing game. They deserve to be the top-ranked team, but Byrnes looks strong and might be better by season’s end than they were last year.

Dorman and Spartanburg are other 4A, Division I teams that are contenders, as is Summerville. The 4A Division I bracket could be more competitive than it was last year.

What can we expect from White Knoll, after a loss to Fort Mill?

White Knoll is going to get better as the season goes along. Fort Mill has a strong football team, with 17 returning starters, and they also have talented linemen on both sides of the football.

White Knoll is struggling in the passing game, so it needs to get its ground game going. Running back E’mond Brown has a chance to be excellent. When he runs well, it can help open up the passing game.

Defensively, White Knoll must get better up front. There were too many tackles being made by linebackers and defensive backs downfield.

The Timberwolves will figure it out, and the region is wide open.

Who was the biggest surprise of the first week?

If you’re talking about teams, I would say that Blythewood’s getting pummeled by Rock Hill was the biggest surprise. Much was expected of the Bengals, but they appeared be be not nearly as physical as the Bearcats.

If you’re talking about players, I would have to say that Cardinal Newman running back Trey Napper was the best surprise. He looked great against Pelion. He has good speed, runs with power and has excellent field vision. He has a second gear when he breaks free with what I call “full-stride speed” that allows separation.

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