Well it's upon us guys. The teams are finally going to hit the feild for a little football. Aiken county is hosting their annual commencement of football season's official beginning, the Aiken county jamboree. Following is an indepth preveiw of the local match-ups and the teams involved.
Wagener-Salley and Ridge Spring-Monetta
These two teams square off exactly two weeks before their regular season matchups. There may be some sandbagging and vanilla offenses as neither team may want to tip it's hand. On the other hand, however, these two teams are looking to get on a roll and earn the psychological edge going into their match-up on the 30th in Ridge Spring. I think it'll be a good and hotly contested opening quarter.
What to Watch: The Trojans and War Eagles will both be looking to establish offensive identities. Wagener has put most of their marbles on the offensive side with the hope of using their youthful exhuberance on defense to carry the day. That match-up against Ridge Spring's offense should be interesting to watch. Also, look to see whethe RSM can continue to be a pass-happy team in 2002.
Who to Watch: Both team return several offensive weapons. Rontreal Tyler will be Wagener's primary offensive threat and his athleticism will be put to the test against an experienced defensive front for RSM. The War Eagle offensive line featuring Nick Stoker, Eric Swedenberg, and Spencer Carver will be hard tested up against the talented defensive duo of Cedric Williams and Stanley Shamble for the trojans. On the RSM offensive side, Eric Smith has the potential to make a big play and figures to be a cornerstone of the trojan team this year. How Wagener deals with him will perhaps be a key to this match-up.
Silver Bluff and Williston-Elko
Williston comes over from Barnwell county with the tall task of lining up against the bulldogs from Silver Bluff. While this match-up may not provide the most appealing sides squaring off, it does provide an opportunity for Silver Bluff to open up the offense and for Williston to start strong in their 2001 campaign. There are some interesting points to watch for in this contest.
What to Watch: Silver Bluff's defense will be in full force Friday night and could very well make the evening miserable for Williston. The bulldogs will also get the opportunity to showcase their new weapons a little more on offense and fine tune things for their big match-up with Newberry on the 30th. Williston bring good numbers for a 1A school and look to posess a dangerous passing attack and scrappy defense. They shouldn't go down easily.
Who to Watch: Orry Kennedy(WR/RB/DB)and Troy Cuthbertson(OL/LB) look to be the best of the blue devil team going into the match-up. Kennedy is a gifted athlete and containing him will fall upon an extremely talented bulldog squad. Leading that squad are seniors Chris Wright(DE), Keion Hazel(LB), and DeAngelo Bryant(LB) along with spohomore sensation Terrance Crawford(FS). Crawford will be a receiving target for Quarterback Tyrone Smith along with talented ball-handlers Bryant, Jeffrey Barefeild, and Brandon Bussey. Leading the way up front for the bulldogs will be monster offensive lineman Ryan Allen. Silver Bluff has the weapons and should be able to showcase some of them Friday night.
Midland Valley and North Augusta
These two heated rivals meet in the third quarter for what should be an intense and entertaining eighteen minutes. Again, with a regular season match-up looming just a few weeks away, it looks like their may be a little holding back and masking of the playbook on each team's part. Bragging rights are on the line, however, and a good match-up is likely to take place.
What to Watch: North Augusta's offense versus the young mustang defense will be a good place to start. Both team have holes to fill in key area on those sides and they both have sizeable stregnths as well. The valley secondary matches up real well with North Augusta but it could be their run defense that decides the contest. Likewise, a touted MV offensive line will have to attempt to pave the way against an even more touted and senior laden North Augusta defensive front. Midland Valley will be looking for playmakers to emerge on the offensive end and finding one could be key.
Who to Watch: Martise Quiller and Walter Utley have been an impressive running back tandem for the yellow jackets and could cause problems for the Midland Valely defense. Frayne Abernathy at quarterback will be tested by an experienced mustang secondary led by Johnathan Cooks and Kris Bodie. Andre Young is a playmaker for NA and should be wathced closely. Up front Jayson Stewart and Bryant Pontoon serve as anchors for the jacket line. Defensively, North Augusta is led by a bevy of quality players including: Richard Bush(DT), Evan Williams(LB), Utley(DB), Zach Cooper(CB), Lance Watkins(DL), and Brandon Thomas(DL). Midland Valley's offensive front, led by senior Eddie Fulghum and junior Brent Register will have to find time for either Marcus Johnson or Chad Hager to direct the offense.
South Aiken and Aiken
To cap off the evening, the host team thoroughbreds are playing their cross town rivals. Aiken will be playing it's fourth match-up in less than a week and could use the opportunity to rest some starters and utilize their full roster, but that's highly unlikely with South Aiken sitting across the sidelines. Expect some intense play and high emotions during this eighteen minute war.
What to Watch: Aiken's defense is stifling and South Aiken returns a bevy of offensive talent. Aiken could well own the game if they can control the line and harness South Aiken's rushing attack. On the other hand, the revamped thoroughbred D will be heavily tested against Aiken's renewed offensive vigor and athletic players. It spells for a very interesting eighteen minutes of football.
Who to Watch: South Aiken's offense revolves around a rushing attack led by senior Rashad Hunter. He'll be complimented on that side with receiver Roman Hicks and tight end Leonard Davis. Quarterback Byron Bush will direct the offense and will be protected up front by an experienced line anchored by all-region pick Jerome Dunbar. Defensively, the thoroughbred will rely heavily on seniors Will Durett(DL), Ryan Scott(LB), and Davis(DE). Aiken will be playing short-handed without all-county receiver Jermaine Martin. They'll have plenty of weapons however, led by quarterback Bishop Scott and running back Kenyata Smith. Defensively, the hornets return a wealth of stars. Anchoring this unti will be Myron Jordan(DT), Daniel Willis(LB), Jeff Simpkins(S), Lance Blocker(DE), and Channing Williams(DE). That unit could well be the deciding factoe in this game.
There you have it, now aren't you ready for some football?
Aiken County Jamboree Preveiw
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