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Warriors hit the practice field

  • Thursday, August 7, 2014

Eileen Keithly/South Strand News Center, assitant coach Shannon McCalister explains the “29 toss” to quarterbacks Jabbriel Drayton, left, and Trace Mills.

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Monkey rolls, crab drills, grass drills, butt rolls, laps, pushups, sit-ups, squat thrusts, gassers, line drills and a few new drills awaited the Waccamaw Warriors varsity football players when they arrived on the practice field Aug. 1 for their first official practice of the 2014 season.

The Warriors dressed out in helmets and shorts for the first two days of practice. The team won its first Class AA playoff game in 18 years in 2013, and is looking to better its record this year.

Kevin Gaskins, a rising junior, proclaimed, “We will be ready this year. Look for us to go deep in the playoffs.”

Running back Tyriq Grant was playing close attention to the backfield drills of assistant coach Shannon McCalister.

“I want to go to the state championship,” he said. “Whatever we have to do is whatever we have to do.” Grant hopes to hear his name over the PA system often as he crosses into the end zone to score for the Warriors.

Other names to listen for will be returning players Rob Ferraro, a wingback whose speed will get him a second look from colleges, and Kelton Grant, another wingback whose lateral movement gives the best defensive players a challenge.

The Warriors return four of their five offensive linemen this year. The fifth lineman was not lost, but merely changed positions. The faces on the line may not have changed much, but just behind the line, there will be a major change.

The Warriors will be looking to junior Jabbriel Drayton and senior Trace Mills to head up the offense.

Head coach Tyronne Davis has confidence in both players.

“They will be fine,” Davis said. “Their backfield is strong, and everyone else has good playing experience.”

The scouting booth at Warrior Field may be a hotspot this season. Linemen Tyler Davis and Luke Odom warrant more than a mere glance. Their strength and ability to play both sides of the line have drawn the attention of several colleges.

Wearing two hats as both coach and dad, coach Davis said, “Tyler has worn me out this summer visiting schools. I have no idea what he is going to decide on, but I am ready for whatever decision he makes.”

Asked if any Division 1 scholarships might be forthcoming, Davis replied with a wide grin, “As a parent, I hope so. As a coach, we will see.”

The Warriors left on Aug. 4 for Camp PeeDee, a mandatory weeklong team-building camp held in Bennettsville. “We are the only team there, and it’s an excellent opportunity for us to do some team bonding.” Davis said.

The Warriors leave camp on Aug. 8 and drive straight to Cheraw for their 6 p.m. scrimmage with the Braves. On Aug. 12, the Warriors hit the road again for another scrimmage at Johnsonville at 6 p.m.

The Warriors travel to Myrtle Beach on Aug. 15 for the 25th annual CNB Kickoff Classic at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach. The Warriors have drawn the first game of the evening and will play Socastee at 6 p.m.

The Warriors begin their regular fall season on Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m., when they travel to Andrews.

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