AS WE CLOSE out the season with the all-star games, I felt it would be good to do the “Midlands Football Superlatives,” giving note to outstanding players at each position, as well as the top coach.
This was difficult, with so many great players in the Midlands area. I have to go with Dutch Fork’s Derek Olenchuk, for leading his team to the Class 4A Div. I state title.
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I give this to another Dutch Fork player, Matt Colburn, a major impact in the success of the Foxes.
Blythewood’s Lynard Jamison had more than 1,200 yards receiving, had 400 yards rushing, and 22 touchdowns.
Caleb Harris of Dutch Fork (6-foot-6, 270 pounds) was one among several who could have been named at this position. He was outstanding in the trenches for the Foxes.
Offensive utility player
Peter Esaw of Keenan is a guy who can line up anywhere on the field and damage a defense. He had more than 1,600 yards of total offense and was lethal on returns.
Tyrell Goodwin of A.C. Flora is a monster in the middle of the defense. A bull rusher in the pass game and a gap-stuffer against the run, Goodwin was impressive.
Isaiah Cullum of Batesburg-Leesville is a 6-foot-6, 270-pound edge guy who causes problems with his pass rush, but is strong against the run, with the ability to line up inside with his hand on the ground.
This was a tough one to call, like quarterback, but Spring Valley’s Christian Miller was a game changer and one that offensive coordinators had to plan around.
Ken Gathers of Keenan is a thief in the secondary. He led the state with 11 interceptions and returned three for touchdowns.
Defensive utility player
Lane Ecton of Dutch Fork is one of my favorite defenders. He is physical and aggressive.
Tyler Bass of Dutch Fork had a great season and capped it off by kicking four field goals and six PATs in the state title win over Sumter.
Tom Knox took Dutch Fork, a team that was young in the trenches, through a tough playoff bracket and onto the state title.