High School Football

Injuries, departures put new starting QB at forefront of Lexington offense

Watch: The advice advice hall of fame coach Cecil Woolbright gave to his grandson Perry Woolbright

Lexington football coach Perry Woolbright talks about his grandfather Cecil Woolbright coaching legacy and advice he gave him about coaching.
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Lexington football coach Perry Woolbright talks about his grandfather Cecil Woolbright coaching legacy and advice he gave him about coaching.

Lexington coach Perry Woolbright thought he would be set at the quarterback position going into the 2019 football season. Cal Herndon had a stellar junior campaign and was expected to have an even better senior season.

But a serious knee injury during spring practice has sidelined Herndon. That left three players vying for the starting spot with the decision being determined almost by default. Two of the guys in line to replace Herndon decided to give up football — leaving the job to senior Elijah Ogden.

Woolbright believes the Wildcats will be fine.

“He’s done great, like he always has,” Woolbright said of the development of Ogden. “He was there as the backup to Cal last year and since the day Cal got hurt, he’s stepped right into the role. He’s made sure he’s prepared himself and gotten ready to help this team the best he can. He’s done a great job with his strengths and working on his weaknesses.

As long as he contains the game, we will be OK.”

Ogden saw action last season when Herndon went down with various injuries throughout the season. That experience has been a great help. Plus, having Herndon still around offering advice on a daily basis has been instrumental as well.

Ogden talked about it after the Wildcats’ dress rehearsal against Pelion in the Lexington County Sportsarama this past weekend.

“Cal has been helping us every day in practice. He’s been there and I’ve been learning from him,” Ogden said. “I tried to gain experience from games like this (Sportsarama) too. Overall, it’s been good. I just need clean a couple of things up and we will be sharp for this season.”

Wollbright said Ogden’s arm strength and knowledge of the offense are what should carry Lexington in the early going. Lexington also has to replace leading rusher Akeem Nicholas, who ran for more than 1,200 yards last season.

“He’s got a great arm,” Woolbright said. “His knowledge of what we’re doing is great. He knows where everybody needs to be. He’s not going to get out there and not understand what we want to do here. He doesn’t get rattled. He stays even-keeled. That’s a big plus for us.”

Woolbright said with the other departures from the team, he’s had to get rather creative with the back-up quarterback spot. Without going with a youngster who can get valuable experience on the junior varsity level, standout senior defensive back Tristan Allen likely will serve as the backup.

Allen recorded five interceptions last season and could possibly see time on the offensive side of the ball if something happens with Ogden.

“Tristan Allen is the other guy that has been working at quarterback,” Woolbright said. “We worked him all summer and early fall so he would be our next guy to go in.”

Lexington Schedule

Aug. 23 Irmo

Aug. 30 Dreher

Sept. 6 at Gilbert

Sept. 13 at South Aiken

Sept. 20 Batesburg-Leesville

Sept. 27 at Spring Valley

Oct. 4 White Knoll

Oct. 11 Bye

Oct. 18 at Dutch Fork

Oct. 25 Chapin

Nov. 1 at River Bluff