4-1 Barons refocus, turn attention to Highlanders


Wilson Hall's 35-7 victory over Thomas Sumter Academy last week had its share of positive moments, but there were a few negative ones.

Penalties, turnovers and fumbled snaps were part of the problem as the Barons' offense sputtered for the better part of two quarters before reigniting at the end.

It wasn't so much a lack of execution as it was simply a lack of focus, head coach Adam Jarecki said.

"We try to do the little things right every day in practice," he said. "I thing we sort of took that for granted. Turnovers and fumbled snaps and penalties like offsides - that's just not focusing and that's what we've been working on this week."

Wilson Hall will try to maintain its focus a little better for Friday's homecoming matchup against Heathwood Hall at Spencer Field at 7:30 p.m.

The Barons are 4-1 overall and 2-1 in SCISA 3A play. The Highlanders, under the direction of first-year head coach and former University of South Carolina standout Marcus Lattimore, are 1-5 overall and 0-4 against 3A opponents.

HH has lost five straight games and has been outscored 201-103 overall this year. But those stats are a little misleading, Jarecki said, considering the Highlanders have played the likes of Pinewood Prep, Laurence Manning, Porter-Gaud and defending state champion Ben Lippen already.

"They've played the meat of their triple-A schedule already, " he said. "Their record kind of reflects the fact that they've played some really good teams to start the year off. It's not really a reflection of what their team is."

In terms of matchups, Heathwood likes to spread the field offensively and are very aggressive on offense, Jarecki said.

"They've got athletes all over the field and they like to spread you out and get the ball to those athletes in a lot of different ways," he said. "They've got a running back returning who's probably one of the best in SCISA, and on defense they just get after you."

The biggest key defensively is simply not giving up the big play, Jarecki added. It's something the Barons have been very good at thus far and have been especially good at the last two weeks. WH has outscored its last two opponents 70-7, and overall, the defense hasn't given up more than 23 points in any game this year.

Offensively, Wilson Hall rushed for more than 400 yards against TSA last week, led by Landon VanPatten and Brandon Carraway who combined for almost 200 yards.

"We're just going to do what we do," Jarecki said. "We're going to fix our mistakes and make sure we take care of the ball."