Coach: Michael Mayer, 15th year
Career record: 63-86
Last year: 5-6, 3-3 in Region 4-2A; lost to Newberry 52-10 in first round of 2A Division I playoffs
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Assistant coaches: Horatio Blades, defensive coordinator; Brian Gordon, offensive coordinator/offensive line; Terry Lasyone, defensive line; Adam Cole, wide receivers; Eric Zajkowski, running backs/strength coach.
Returning starters: 8 offensive, 9 defensive
Twitter account: @ilhs_football
Key players: Sr. LB Chris Blakeney, Sr. LB Trevor Martin, Sr. FB/LB Austin Gordon, Sr. OL Dakota Brigman, Sr. OL Jacob Williams, Jr. RB Lee Massey, Jr. LB/FB Logan Teeter, Jr. WR Matt Murray, Jr. WR Ryan Albino, Sr. DE/TE Thaddeus Williams, Sr. OL Jake Locklear, Jr. OL Stone Potts.
Indian Land’s population continues to explode as Ballantyne creeps over the South Carolina border and down US-521. The Warriors’ football program is benefiting from that growth, especially the coaching staff. Players can be replaced now when they don’t play or behave the way they’re supposed to. That gives coaches leverage.
“Things are changing over here,” said coach Michael Mayer. “I remember we used to have teams that you had 22 to practice. Bodies aren’t a problem any more. The talent level might not be as good as the starters, but we’ve got somebody that can take your rep for you. That’s creating a lot more competition.”
The Warriors gained a huge freshman class, but their biggest loss is All-State kicker/punter Shea Rodgers, who graduated and will kick in college at Newberry. Indian Land has a good soccer program with plenty of strong legs, none of which have ever kicked in a live football game.
“It’s a gaping hole right now,” said Mayer, who is picking from four kicking candidates. “Shea’s been taking care of everything for three years now, but it may be that we got one kid that punts, one kid that kicks extra points and one kids that kicks off. It could be that we’re using three, maybe four different kids for the kicking duties. We’ve got a lot of evaluation ahead of us.”
Another position in flux, the Warriors won’t announce a starting quarterback until the first game. Senior Dillon Mackey and sophomore David Loughry are competing to win that job. Mayer wants Indian Land to improve as a passing team, but is realistic about his offense, which will again rely on powerful fullback Austin Gordon, last year’s leading rusher.
“Running the ball that’s our identity, that’s who we are,” he said. “That’s where we won most of our ballgames.”
Aug. 21 Founders Kickoff Scrimmage (at Andrew Jackson)
Aug. 28 at Buford
Sept. 4 Blacksburg
Sept. 11 Lewisville
Sept. 18 Cheraw*
Sept. 25 at Chesterfield*
Oct. 2 at Central*
Oct. 9 at Mid-Carolina
Oct. 16 at North Central*
Oct. 23 Buford*
Oct. 30 Andrew Jackson*
*Region 4-2A game
Opponents’ 2014 records: 39-67 (.367 winning percentage)