Two high school football jamborees were held in the Midlands Saturday night.
The State’s Lou Bezjak and Chris Dearing attended Richland 1 Sportsarama at Benedict College and Aun and McKay Kickoff Classic at Chapin High School. Here is what we learned from the night of football.
Hammond looks like it has found its next quarterback in Jackson Muschamp.
The son of South Carolina coach Will Muschamp, who is taking over for record-breaking quarterback Corbett Glick, threw three touchdown passes and almost had a fourth before time ran out in the win over Keenan.
Muschamp did a good job of running the Skyhawks’ offense and showed an ability to throw the deep passes when needed. He also has a talented group to get the ball to in Cleo Canty, Anthony Wilson and Saul Diaz.
Another Kimrey on the Hammond sideline
Hammond coach Erik Kimrey will have a familiar face on the sidelines with him this season. Kimrey’s father, Bill, will be part of the Skyhawks’ coaching staff. Erik said his dad will be a consultant for the team.
Bill Kimrey was a head coach for 34 years with stops at Dutch Fork, Lower Richland, Wardlaw and Calhoun County. He resigned from Calhoun County in December.
Columbia High School uses the hashtag #CAPSLOCKED to describe its defense and it showed in its matchup against Dreher.
The Capitals’ defense pitched a shutout and three different players had interceptions.
Westwood finishes strong
After defeating Buford on Friday, Westwood didn’t let up in defeating A.C. Flora. Quarterback Ahmon Green showed off his passing and running skills in the win.
The Redhawks’ Cortes Braham and Christian Horn have a chance to be one of the top receiving duos in the Midlands and each had TD catch.
Key injury hits Spring Valley
It’s never good to see a player go down with an injury, but it’s even more devastating to witness it during the preseason.
Spring Valley linebacker Skylar Mack suffered what appeared to be a serious leg injury in the first quarter against Newberry. The senior linebacker was going after a loose ball after a Newberry fumble and got his leg tangled in a pile. He had to be carted off the field, but gave his teammates thumbs up before leaving.
Mack transferred to Spring Valley from Orangeburg-Wilkinson and gave the Vikings an experienced player in a position that was hit hard by graduation. Coach Robin Bacon didn’t want to speculate on the severity of the injury but is hoping for a speedy recovery.
Newberry’s new back
Newberry is looking to replace one of the most productive running backs in the state with the departure of Amir Abrams to graduation. Abrams ran for 6,140 yards and 100 touchdowns in his career and was The State’s Offensive Player of the Year his final two seasons.
Junior Ahmorae Wilmore looks to be the first in line. He was very effective against a strong Spring Valley defensive front and is a bigger back that can fight for the tough yards. The Bulldogs are young across the board but have a huge offensive line that will help pave the way for Wilmore.
Wilmore also plays linebacker and was selected Defensive Player of the Game for his effort against the Vikings.
Quarterbacks have big nights
Several teams are still auditioning players at the quarterback position, but some are set.
White Knoll will turn their offense over to junior signal-caller Aveon Smith. Smith can beat defenses with his arm or feet and by the end of the season could be one of the most dynamic players in the Midlands.
Chapin returns junior Roger Pedroni at quarterback and he will be the catalyst for the Eagles. He scrambled away several times to keep plays alive against a pesky Pelion defense. He split time last year but will be given every opportunity to be under center full-time this season.
Senior Brandon Caughman did several good things for Airport. His 58-yard touchdown pass to Nanders Lawrence in the final minute gave the Eagles a 7-0 win over Lexington.
Wilson is a two-way threat
Spring Valley’s Anthony Wilson has already committed to Wofford and he could be one of the best two-way players in the Midlands.
Wilson had a 53-yard touchdown run on Friday night in Camden’s jamboree and added a 30-yard scamper for a score against Newberry. He will be a key component to the Vikings’ triple option attack, but he will also be counted on from his safety spot as well.
Aun and McKay Kickoff Classic
Mid-Carolina 7, White Knoll 7
Airport 7, Lexington 0
Spring Valley 14, Newberry 0
Chapin 7, Pelion 0
Richland 1 Sportsarama
Hammond 27, Keenan 6
Westwood 22, A.C. Flora 13
Lower Richland 0, Gray Collegiate 0 (tie)
Columbia 8, Dreher 0