INDIAN LAND --
The road to the playoffs began Monday for Indian Land High School’s varsity football team, or so hopes head coach Michael Mayer.
The Warriors kicked off the 2012 season on Monday, July 25 as they began practice. The team finished last season 7-4, including a 21-0 first round home playoff loss to the Liberty Red Devils. The team finished the 2010 season in the same fashion, losing to the Columbia Capitals 28-21.
“We expect to return to the playoffs this year,” said head coach Michael Mayer, “But we’ve got to get past the first round.”
If successful, the Warriors will do so without last year’s star quarterback, Rondreas Truesdale on offense. Truesdale, who not only led the team in passing yards but rushing yards as well, will play for Delta State University this fall.
“We are still going to be an option team, but no one in the state can run like Rondreas so it’s going to be different,” said Mayer.
Last year’s backup quarterback, Dalton McGuirt and last year’s JV starting quarterback George Morris will compete for the vacancy created when Truesdale graduated. Despite losing what Mayer says was 90 percent of both the yards and touchdowns they had each game with Truesdale’s departure, Mayer still expects the offense to be good.
“We can throw the ball better and our receivers are better than they were last year. We have five receivers over six feet tall, which we didn’t have last year,” said Mayer.
Overall, the team graduated 13 seniors, and has only three returning starters on defense. The Warriors run a 3-4 defense and, according to Mayer, the linebackers including Dylan Deese (OLB), Kentavis Vinson (ILB), Chad Thomas (ILB) and Daquan McClanahan (OLB) should be the strength of the unit.
On special teams, kickers Shea Rogers, who averaged 40 yards per punt last season, and Chad Thomas are both returning. Long snapper Bradley Boone will also be returning to the squad.
The team didn’t participate in any camps this season due to several injuries to the coaching staff.
“That won’t hurt us,” said Mayer. “The team participated in six 7 on 7s and had another good summer in the weight room with coach Barry Hallums, too.”
The Warriors will see some early action when they scrimmage North Central away on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 6 p.m. The Warriors will also scrimmage Airport at home on Thursday, Aug. 9 at 6 p.m.
Indian Land will participate in the Battle of the Border Jamboree at Fort Mill High School on Aug. 11. The Jamboree will begin at 5 p.m. and features four area North Carolina schools and four South Carolina schools. Nearby Fort Mill High School and Nation Ford High School are also participating in the event.