QUESTION: Can you tell us how the Midlands players did at the North-South game last weekend?
ANSWER: Brookland-Cayce offensive lineman Alex Wilkes looked strong for the South, along with River Bluff center Whit Warner. They both competed on the South team in the High Voltage Challenge on Friday night and performed well. Gilbert running back Jakayus Leaphart had a great week and played well on Saturday. Sumter offensive lineman Blake Durant had a strong week and won the doughnut-eating contest in the High Voltage Challenge.
For the North team, Chapin linebacker Nate Blankenship looked strong on defense, along with Westwood’s Stephen Timmons. A.C. Flora’s Denzel Johnson and defensive lineman Tyrell Goodwin both worked hard in practice all week. Fairfield Central defensive back Shadarius Hopkins turned in the fastest 40-yard dash time with a 4.36.
Q: Any word on the Shrine Bowl practices?
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A: The skills players are all doing well. Sumter wide receiver Ky’Jon Tyler looks strong through the first few days. Dutch Fork’s Matthew Colburn has showed great vision and a nice ability to cut in traffic. The player I’ve been most impressed with is Mid-Carolina’s Mackenzie Flemon, who has looked like a strong, Division I-A prospect at his linebacker position. He is a sleeper who is going to land some offers. Dutch Fork defensive back Lane Ecton has looked strong, as well.
Q: With Hammond’s win over Spring Valley on the hardcourt and Heathwood Hall’s Brandon Hill being offered last week by Clemson, how strong do you think SCISA is now?
A: The win over Spring Valley was a good win for Hammond. But let’s be realistic. How many years does a SCISA school have a player like Seventh Woods? Yes, they beat a good Class 4A team, but try playing that schedule week in and week out. As for Brandon Hill, that’s a great offer for him. But, again, we’re talking about one player. There have been players every year from SCISA who go on to play collegiate sports. It doesn’t change the fact that there is a vast difference in the caliber of play.