Fort Mill Sports

Jackets football team ready to surprise some

Fort Mill’s defense gang tackles a player from Weddington during a scrimmage last week.
Fort Mill’s defense gang tackles a player from Weddington during a scrimmage last week.

Despite a major change in key personnel, the Fort Mill high Yellow Jackets are looking to surprise some people on the football field this year.

The more on-field work players receive through scrimmages, Fort Mill seems to be improving with every practice.

“We have gotten better,” said Jackets’ head coach Ed Susi. “Our intensity has been better. We are going to be a work in progress.”

It has been well established that Fort Mill will have a new quarterback under center in senior Ryan DeLuca. And while DeLuca may rely on his feet more than his arm, look for Fort Mill to relay on players like seniors Ethan Piercy and Gus Jarosz when DeLuca does pass it.

Carrying the ball for Fort Mill this year will be senior Ronnie Hughes and junior Jackson Randall.

Susi said that as the season wears on, the more playing time his team gets, the better they should be in key positions like running back and quarterback.

“It’s a matter of getting reps and staying healthy,” Susi said.

Speaking of DeLuca in particular, Susi said it’s hard to transition from one position to another without having a second year to refine the skills. Last year, DeLuca played receiver and while he has played quarterback before, this year will be his only shot at it full-time at this level.

“He is a smart kid,” Susi said. “He will get it.”

Defensively, Fort Mill is a little inexperienced on the front line, but in the secondary have players like Jarosz and Hughes to lead the way, along with junior Grant Stevens.

“We aren’t trying to get to tricky with things,” Susi said, regarding his defense. “A lot of our guys in the secondary are back and they got some experience.”

While Fort Mill opens with its first three games on the road, which will aid in the construction process being completed at Bob Jones Stadium, the Jackets will have five games to figure things out before they start Region IV-5A play with Northwestern Sept. 30.

The Jackets’ first home game will be Sept. 9 against Orangeburg-Wilkinson. Fort Mill opens the season this Friday at Spring Valley, followed by games at West Florence and Lancaster in the two weeks following that.

Mac Banks:, @MacBanksFM