How they stack up
Indian Land coach Michael Mayer’s top-two tacklers on defense last year – Chris Blakeney and Trevor Martin – were sophomores, indicative of the Warriors’ youth and how difficult their 2-9 campaign was. Mayer said the expectation is they’ll repeat as the top tacklers on the Warriors defense. Defensive end Brandon Sellers, a 6-foot-5 part-time receiver, is also back and will be a valuable pair of long arms in the opposing quarterback’s line of sight.
Offensively, the Warriors have some heft. They lost quarterback George Morris to graduation, but they return a number of offensive linemen, including Dakota Brigman and Jacob Williams, as well as hulking junior fullback Austin Gordon, who checks in at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds. Senior Charles Turner will also get some touches in the backfield. The size up front should ease the burden on whichever quarterback takes over for Morris, very possibly junior Dillon Mackey.
The Warriors also have college kicking prospect Shea Rodgers, who put 17 punts inside the 20-yard line last fall and was an all-area first team selection by the Herald.
“Last year, the places we were young was on O-line and D-line and we played a lot of young kids and got our faces beat in. This year, they’re coming back as juniors and they’re excited, they’re waiting for that first scrimmage and first day of full pads practice, because they’re like, ‘you know, we got beat up as juniors and sophomores, we’ve worked hard in the weight room,’ and I’m anxious to see how much they’ve improved on the field. We’ve got a good core group. The big thing we’re looking for now is depth and speed.”