Wells Robinson said there is no great secret to the success he has enjoyed playing linebacker for Clarendon Hall's 8-man football team this season.
"I just try and read the offensive line," Robinson said. "If you read them, you're pretty much …
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"I just try and read the offensive line," Robinson said. "If you read them, you're pretty much going to know where the ball is going."
Robinson says it matter-of-factly, but his play has been far from that for the Saints, who are 9-1 on the season and playing in the semifinals of the SCISA 8-man state playoffs on Friday.
The 5-foot-10-inch junior had 10 tackles - each of them a solo stop - and recovered a fumble in Clarendon Hall's 62-10 quarterfinal victory over St. John's Christian last week. Because of his performance, Robinson has been selected as The Sumter Item Defensive Player of the Week.
Others receiving honors this week are East Clarendon High School running back Marquese Webb for offense, Kendrick Lesesne of Scott's Branch for special teams and Crestwood offensive guard Christopher Barfield for offensive lineman.
Players are selected based on nominations from local high school coaches. Selections are made by The Sumter Item.
The quartet will be honored at the weekly meeting of the Sumter Touchdown Club presented by FTC on Friday. The meeting will be held at Swan Lake Visitors Center beginning at 7:15 a.m. The visitors center is located inside the gates of Swan Lake-Iris Gardens on West Liberty Street.
The guest speaker on Friday will be Chris Clark of Gamecock Central.
Clarendon Hall head coach Anthony Reitenour said that Robinson actually didn't have one of his more dominant games against St. John's Christian.
"Wells has had some outstanding games for us this season," Reitenour said. "He's been around 20 tackles in a couple of games."
The Saints' defense has been stout all season, having allowed just 104 points. Those are good numbers in regular football, but even better in the wide open 8-man game.
Robinson gives credit to the coaching staff.
"Our coaches do a great job with the scouting report, and then our scout team does a good job of running the plays," Robinson said. "We get a good chance to see what the other team is doing and what we've got to do to stop them."
Webb played B team football for the Wolverines as a freshman last year, but he told EC head coach Scott Cook that he would be starting at running back on varsity in 2018.
"He was a little, scrawny thing, but he started weightlifting in second semester (of the 2017-18 school year), and he continued with that over the summer," Cook said. "He got bigger with the weight room and showed a lot of determination. He told me that even though we had people coming back."
Webb did become a starter, and he capped the year off in a big way. Webb rushed for 248 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries in East Clarendon's 34-32 victory over Andrews last week.
"He runs really hard," Cook said of Webb. "He's the kind of back who would rather run you over than run around you. We're trying to get him to know that he can run around some people."
With his speed, Lesesne plays running back on offense for Scott's Branch and linebacker on defense. He's also on the punt return team as well, but not necessarily as a returner.
Instead, Lesesne lines up on the edge and rushes the punter. He blocked a punt in the Eagles' 42-20 victory over Military Magnet last week, and teammate Treyshawn Moore picked it up and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown.
"He blocked one earlier this year too," Scott's Branch head coach Brian Smith said. "He comes off the edge really fast, and he got to the punter and we were able to pick it up and take it in for a touchdown. He did well in all three phases for us on Friday.
"He keeps getting better and better every week."
Crestwood had a balanced offensive attack in its 47-7 victory over Darlington, rushing for 186 yards and passing for 148 for 334 yards of total offense and 17 first downs. Barfield had a little something to do with that.
Barfield, who plays left graded out at 89 percent and had two knockdown blocks.
"He definitely did a good job both run blocking and pass blocking," Knights head coach Roosevelt Nelson said. "He's been keeping pretty steady for us all year, but the last three or four games he has really played well."
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