High School Sports

Football preview: Dreher

Dreher is expecting a much better football campaign in 2008 after enduing its worst campaign in 20 years last season. The Blue Devils finished 1-9 overall, and went winless in region play for the first time since 1991. But with only seven senior starters gone through graduation, Bill Bacon & Co. has a chance to turn things around this fall.

Senior quarterback Jacob Gindman is one of the key veterans in camp. Gindman had 911 passing yards and seven touchdown passes a year ago and his numbers should go up. The biggest need is to find a go-to running back to team up with fullback Sheldon Van Dyke. The offensive line boasts three returning starters – Chris Keys, Vaughn Volious and Michael Helms.

The experienced defense should be much improved. The leading hit man back for another go is junior linebacker Shane Van Dyke, who rang up 82 tackles with one sack, two tackles for loss and two caused fumbles last season. Van Dyke will be joined at linebacker senior Rashad Benbow, who had 46 tackles, five TFL and two sacks and end last year, and Jabril Williams (49 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 pass break-ups, 1 fumble recovery TD).

The secondary features senior free safety Ardamian Player (56 tackles, five caused fumbles, four blocked kicks), junior Jackson Edwards (36 tackles, 12 pass break-ups, 1 interception) and Leonard Kennedy. End Farrington Huguenin (8 sacks) is the anchor man up front.

The Blue Devils find themselves in back Region 5-3A after spending two seasons in the Upper State. Defending champion Airport and South Aiken, which moves down from 4A, are considered the teams to beat by most observers, but Dreher figures to be in the hunt for a state playoff spot this season along with Swansea, Brookland-Cayce and Midland Valley.