Warriors debut 2014 team at Kickoff Classic

  • Thursday, August 21, 2014

Eileen Keithly/South Strand News With only 18 seconds remaining on the clock, Waccamaw High School’s running back, Tyriq Grant attempts to weave his way through a line of Socastee defenders and put the Warriors on the scoreboard. Socastee defeated the Warriors 13-0 at the Conway National Bank Kickoff Classic in Myrtle Beach, Aug. 15.


Waccamaw High School football fans were able to see their Warriors in game mode for the first time Aug. 15, as the Warriors took on the Socastee Braves in a 20-minute scrimmage during the 25th annual Conway National Bank Kickoff Classic at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach.

Although the Warriors fell to the Braves 13-0, they kept them out of the end zone until midway through the scrimmage.

The Warriors stopped the Braves several times short of first downs, but Socastee kept pounding away with its powerful running game to eventually penetrate the Warriors’ defense.

The Warriors moved the ball against the Braves with fullbacks Kevin Gasque and Justin Holmes, but a strong effort by a big Socastee line kept them out of the end zone.

Warrior Head Coach Tyronne Davis said afterwards: “My goal was to see how our guys matched up, and get out of that scrimmage without any injuries. Twenty minutes gave me enough time to see what I needed to see, and I wasn’t too concerned with the scoreboard. I was more concerned with seeing how our guys did in a game situation.”

Davis said he moved his starting players in and out of the game, giving other players a chance to show what they could do.

“We’ve switched things around a bit, and we needed to see which kids were going to excel in which positions,” he said. “I pulled some starters out and moved things around to see how it would work.”

Socastee Head Coach Doug Illing was eager to put his Braves on the field, and was looking for his players to “swarm” the football. “Our guys have worked really hard in the weight room during the offseason, and we are looking forward to a fast, physical game,” he said.

Socastee’s Angelo Sauter, a 220-pound senior fullback, crashed the Waccamaw line for some large gains up the middle and put the Braves on the scoreboard first with a one-yard run into the end zone. Sauter replaces fullback Kevin Smith, who had 16 touchdowns for the Braves last year.

Senior running back Buck Bacot scored the second touchdown for the Braves.

The Warriors have seven offensive starters and eight defensive starters from last year in this year’s lineup. Davis is looking to develop more depth in his lineup.

“We will be building core leaders in order to replace several key starters from last year’s team,” he said. Davis turned to senior quarterback Trace Mills to lead the Warriors on the field at the Kickoff Classic.

This is Mills’ first year as starting quarterback.

“I thought Trace performed well,” Davis said. “He threw an interception that resulted in Socastee’s first score, but that’s okay, he needed to feel the pressure of the game, and we needed to see how he would handle it.”

“I thought our defense played well early, but got tired late in the scrimmage,” Davis said.

“They got to the QB early and forced a fumble, but they scored on us when we got tired. We will do some things this coming week to make sure the defense is ready for Andrews.”

The Warriors will travel to Andrews and Hannah Pamplico for the first two games of the season, but return to Warrior Field on Sept. 5 to take on the Bears of Carvers Bay for their first home game.

Davis said the 2014-2105 Warriors are “excited, motivated, and ready for their season.”

Davis was grateful to Conway National Bank’s generosity and support for local high school football programs. He said the Kickoff Classic is a benefit to all players, parents and surrounding communities.

“It is the catalyst local football fans look forward to yearly to help spin the football season into motion.”

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