High School Sports

Football preview: Lugoff-Elgin

Lugoff-Elgin, with 16 returning starters and 34 lettermen in tow, is gearing up for productive 2008 football season. The Demons went 5-6 last season, finished second in Region 3-3A and lost to Blue Ridge in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs.

“Team speed and strength are at an all-time high and the kids have had a great work ethic and a super attitude so far,” said Scott Jones his seventh season at the L-E helm.

The foundation of the team is up front where all five starters are back on the offensive line. The group features Jared Singleton (6-2, 310) at center, college tackle prospect Nate Lack (6-5, 274) and guards Michael Branham (6-1, 240) and Colby Jones (6-0, 240).

The veterans in the backfield include dual-threat quarterback Forrest Koumas and fullback Phillip Osborne, who led the team in rushing with 917 yards last season. Osborne scored six touchdowns and averaged 6.9 yards per catch.

The returning headliners on defense include end Ryan Wannamaker, linebacker Campbell Connell, cornerback E.J. Gripper and free safety Julian Baxter. Wannamer had 89 tackles and six sacks last season, and set a new school single-season record of 22 tackles for loss. Campbell tied for the team lead in tackles with 114. Gripper rang up 43 tackles, four sacks and four interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. Baxter finished with 49 tackles, broke up a team high nine passes, blocked one kick and returned his lone interceptions for a touchdown.

L-E is in Region 4-3A this season along with defending region and Upper State champion Chester, Fairfield Central, A.C. Flora, Chapin and Lower Richland. The Demons open the season Aug. 29 at White Knoll.