Coming off a one-win season, Fort Mill coach Rob McNeely said this year’s team, the second under his tutelage, should be better equipped to handle the pressure of high school football.
“The kids are working hard,” he said. “We just need to make sure everything we do is important. We aren’t just out here to run people to death or make them tired. It is all for a purpose and that is to get better.”
McNeely said having a year under his belt at Fort Mill with his style of play, things will go in a better direction for the players.
“Our base stuff, our kids have that as an underlining knowledge,” he said.
Fort Mill has several players back from last year’s team who should impact the Jackets’ success. One player who will be key in running Fort Mill’s offense is senior quarterback Dylan Helms. The Jackets will be only as successful as Helms will be. There also will be an improved offensive line.
“We have got to protect Dylan,” McNeely said. “Dylan is a heck of an athlete and he can spin the ball well.”
Besides Helms, the 6-foot-1, 250-pound James Hyland is looking to have a breakout season on the line for Fort Mill. Other top players include 6-foot-2, 282-pound Jacob Henley and 6-foot-3, 295-pound senior tackle Kolson Kendall.
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From a defensive standpoint, Fort Mill has three linebackers back from last year’s team with the experience they need to help the Jackets. Those linebackers include 6-foot, 195-pound Cole Rasmussen, 5-foot-8, 205-pound Hunter Henderson, and 5-foot-10, 205-pound Brandon Jennings.
Any senior on the team, McNeely said, should be leading in any way possible.
“We need to build coaches out on the field,” he said. “We can’t be out there with them. We are looking for those guys with game experience and varsity experience to be those coaches on the field.”
“Leading by example is just another way of doing your job,” McNeely said.
Coming Tuesday: Northwestern