By Joshua Ford | Waccamaw Contributor
The Warriors of Waccamaw and the Islanders of St. John’s are set to do battle this Friday in the last game of non-region play. Waccamaw sits at 3-1 and St. John’s is 1-3. Waccamaw looks to end non-region play on the right note.
“By the end of region play, yes we’d like to win first and foremost – that is the goal, but we want kids to put on film what they want us coaches to evaluate going into that first region game at Georgetown,” said head coach Shane Fidler.
The players have made great plays throughout the season, at all levels.
“The depth of the team is better than I thought it was at the beginning of the year,” Fidler said. “For the past couple of years, if a kid got hurt we’ve had to scramble and figure out what we’re going to have to do for that spot or exchange the game plan, but right now we’re at a point where if so-and-so goes down we can move so-and-so to that spot and we won’t miss a beat.”
This depth has made the team versatile and that versatility has been helpful to keep the lead over these past two games where Waccamaw outscored their opponents 88-12.
“We just gotta stay humble about it,” said tackle Victor Otubu. “We just can’t let it get to our head because they’re non-region games and in the end non-region games don’t really matter. The only thing that matters are these five region games we have coming up.”
With lots of talented players in the mix, the offense has been clicking on all cylinders.
“I think right now, defenses are having to pick what they want to stop,” Fidler said. “Do they want to stop our run game with Kaimon Skinner (averages over 10 yards a carry with 6 TDs) and Jay Simmons (multi-purpose back with 3 TDs)? And we mix in our fullback a bit with Kaisaun Grate. Or do they want to stop the pass game with Tyree Funnye (averages 94 receiving yards a game with 6 TDs) and Kam Greene (3 TDs)?
“We’ve thrown the ball well to the tight end and we’ve found some other guys at receiver too that can get in the game. So they have to make a decision: what do you want to defend?”
St. John’s is a disciplined football team and are very similar to the North Charleston Cougars who Waccamaw shut out 42-0 last week. The Islanders lost to the Cougars two weeks ago in a 14-10 match.
“They’re a really disciplined team. They execute plays well,” Otubu said. “I feel like our team is a little it better at it, like, we’re more disciplined than them. … I feel like that’s what’s going to separate our team from their team: who’s going to be more disciplined.”
“Their linebackers can play,” Fidler said. “They’ve got kids at linebacker that can run all over the field to make tackles. I’ve been super impressed watching film. Their offensive line does a good job too and I think they’re pretty well coached. We know that they’re athletic so we’ve got to make sure that when we do get a hold of ‘em that we wrap ‘em up and bring them to the ground. We can’t afford missed tackles this week.”
Last year, the Islander’s came out on top 44-34 against Waccamaw.
“Last year, their record was better than ours and our record was horrible,” Otubu said. “That’s kind of motivated half the kids on the team to do more and do better and listen more to the coaches.”
“The whole season is forgotten if you don’t make the playoffs. We have a chance,” Fidler said. “This is a good team, we have a chance and if we have success Friday, we’d be 4-1, which is awesome. That’s great momentum going into the region play, but we can’t accept that as what we’ve done like it’s the end goal. It’s not. All it is, is practice for what matters most and that’s region play. That’s how you get the banners and that’s how you get to the playoffs.”
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