Batesburg-Leesville turned a rebuilding project into yet another successful football campaign in 2008. The Panthers finished with an 8-4 record, marking the program’s 17th consecutive winning campaign.
Seven Panthers earned spots on the Region 3-2A all-star team: junior running back Elliott Jeffcoat, senior center Justin Quattlebaum, sophomore wide receiver Antonio Butler, senior defensive end Tavon Waters, senior linebacker Michael Shealy, junior defensive back Chris Lewis, junior kicker Austin Lewis and junior linebacker Dametrious Robinson.
Jeffcoat emerged as the latest in a long line of standout B-L running backs. He led the team in rushing with 1,128 yards and 13 touchdowns on 211 carries, and was the top receiver, as well, with 15 catches for 304 yards and three more scores.
Quattlebaum was the anchor on the offensive line that paved the way for a team rushing total of 2,070 yards and 23 TDs. Butler made a big impression during the region season, and finished with 11 catches for 148 yards and four TDs.
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Lewis was 33-for-38 in PAT kicks and 2-for-5 in field goal attempts.
Robinson and Shealy were tops on the team in tackles with 135 and 101 stops, respectively. Robinson also had three sacks, three TFL and one interception, while Shealy was credited with three TFL, one sack, one fumble recovery and one interception. Waters had 62 tackles, five sacks, four TFL and four fumble recoveries. Lewis finished with five interceptions on defense and chipped in 241 yards rushing and two TDs and 13 catches for 241 yards and two scores on offense.
A number of proven underclassmen are expected to return next season. Sophomore quarterback K.J. Johnson was 42-for-77 passing for 713 yards and eight touchdowns, despite missing a number of games with an injury. Junior Jamal Bryant was 29-for-70 passing for 576 yards and five TDs in Johnson’s place, had seven receptions for 212 yards and three TDs and had two interceptions on defense. Junior Jamie Gleaton had 56 tackles, five sacks and a team high seven TFL. Sophomore Tyrelle Leaphart had 88 tackles. Junior Taverious Davis finished with 58 tackles, three sacks and six TFL.