Baxter's Blitz

Ben Lippen trending up in SCISA hierarchy

Special to The State

Ben Lippen takes the field
Ben Lippen takes the field

Here’s my stock report for the Midlands. This takes a look at who’s stock is up and who’s is going down. We’ll also take a look at five impact players for this week in the Midlands.


Ben Lippen – The Falcons were already unbeaten, but a 31-21 convincing win over Hammond signifies a possible changing of the guard in SCISA’s Class 3A. We can comfortably move these guys to the No. 1 spot in the SCISA Polls.

Dreher – This team has improved, and while I don’t think their three wins are high-quality opponents, they have still played well against their schedule and deserve the recognition.

Dutch Fork – Three huge wins in three weeks over teams that are either recent state champions or traditional powers.

Ridge View – Another win by the Blazers puts them at 4-0. Three of those wins were high quality, including this past week’s win over a good Fairfield Central team.

Gilbert – They were in last week’s hot stock, and after a big win over Airport, who entered the season as a Class 4A Region IV contender, puts the Indians as a contender in their own region (Class 3A-5).


Irmo – A 1-3 start isn’t good for the Yellow Jackets, and this past week’s loss was to a 1-2 team that has its own struggles.

River Bluff – Three consecutive losses by the Gators puts them at 1-3, and it gets no better as region play starts this week and they face the state’s top team, Dutch Fork. I think the Gators could be looking at a 1-9 or 2-8 (at best) season.


Amir Abrams, Athlete, Newberry – Continues to be the offensive power of the Bulldogs, rushing for 190 yards and three scores against Chapin.

Cedrick Cunningham, Running Back, North Central – I mentioned Cunningham in the preseason as one of the top players in the Midlands, and he hasn’t disappointed. He’s a powerful slasher and put up a highlight run Friday night that should be on ESPN.

Bobby Irby, Wide Receiver, Dutch Fork – Irby has taken the lead role as the playmaker for the unbeaten Silver Foxes and their brightest offensive feature.

Josh Strickland, Quarterback, Gilbert – Stepping in last week when the starter went down, Strickland has played outstanding two consecutive weeks to lead the red-hot Indians to wins.

Jay Washington, Running Back, Dreher – Washington is the force of the Blue Devils’ offense and rushed for 191 yards in win over River Bluff this past week.