How they stack up
Outlook: The Bearcats have talent, and they’re getting bigger. But the schedule is still brutal and there is no obvious standout player that Rock Hill can give the ball to when they’re deep in a hole. Perhaps the biggest problem for a tempo offense is the quarterback position, which is still a toss-up. Cameron McKinney, Brandon Banks and Dylan Jones are scrapping for the starting nod, which Banks and Jones split last season. McKinney and Banks appear to have the upper hand so far in 2014.
Two-way players are a semi-new thing at Rock Hill, but the Bearcats have an excellent pair in seniors Brandon Croutch and Deshaun McFadden. Croutch will probably get the bulk of the carries out of the backfield, along with junior Tim Sherer. McFadden will join a receiving corps with more talented juniors Thailand Adams, John McCullough, Antonio Hardy and Dachon Witherspoon. Senior Tanner Stafford will martial the offensive line.
Defensively, Croutch and McFadden will be helped in the secondary by fellow senior Donnell Williams, while the linebacking group, led by junior Donavon Perryman and senior Emanuel Jones, should be pretty good.
Departed: WR Jermaine White, RB Justin Stokes, DL Cameron Bell, WR Chris Salerno, DB Tyquan Huntley, OL Matt Christopher, WR Jamil Simpson, LB R.J. Neely
Key players: Key players: RB/DB Brandon Croutch, WR/DB Deshaun McFadden, WR John McCullough, OL Civic Campbell, WR Thailand Adams, LB Donavon Perryman, LB Emanuel Jones, OL Tanner Stafford, DB Donnell Williams, DL Alan Salgado, LB D’Nylijah Williams
(Coach Bubba) Pittman said: Have the Bearcats adjusted to practicing with ever-present music bumping from a speaker system, or the constantly-trotting pace?
“Offensively, we adjusted to the pace of practice last year. Coach Montgomery, he allowed me to come in and kind of change the practice and do it like I needed to do it. It wasn’t that big of an adjustment. We’ve changed how we practice, but that was done in the spring, so it’s just picking and up and going forward from here.”
Did you know? Rock Hill would have been forgiven for scheduling an easier slate of games as they try and reclaim the glory days of the early 2000s under a new coach. The Bearcats administration did no such thing, though. Rock Hill’s 2014 opponents won 60 percent of their games in 2013, and only three finished with losing records. Sumter and Northwestern both played in state title games, while South Pointe reached the state semifinals in 4A-Division II.