Wilson Hall enters tough 4-game stretch on a roll


The Wilson Hall varsity football team is sitting pretty right now.

The Barons own a 5-1 overall record, 3-1 in SCISA 3A play, and are winners of four straight in fairly convincing fashion, including last week's 21-0 shutout of Heathwood Hall, its second shutout in three weeks.

Here's where it gets tough.

Wilson Hall hits the road to Summerville today to face Pinewood Prep, the first game of a tough 4-game stretch to close out the regular season that includes a trip to face Ben Lippen in Columbia and visits from Hammond and archrival Laurence Manning Academy.

Barons head coach Adam Jarecki said he wants his team to face that daunting task one game at a time.

"We try to be 1-0 each week, and that's what we emphasize," said Jarecki, whose team's only blemish is an early-season road loss at Porter-Gaud. "We worry about each week, and we don't want to think ahead or look down the road."

The Panthers are 3-3 overall and 2-1 in 3A, and are coming off a 31-8 road victory over Cardinal Newman. Jarecki said recent games between the two teams have been hard-fought affairs, and he expects this one to be no different.

"They're a physical team, and they do a lot of things," Jarecki said of Pinewood Prep. "They give you a lot of formations, they've got a tough running back and they try to throw it some, so we've got our hands full this week. They're very well-coached. Coach (Michael) Wright does a good job with them, and does a lot of things.

"We didn't play them last year because of the hurricane - that was the week that we lost - and two years ago, we beat them in the regular season and they beat us in the semifinals by a field goal, so it's been kind of a tight rivalry the last few years."

Jarecki said he is pleased with the way his team has played, especially of late. Despite the continued absence of senior quarterback Jacob Cotton, who will miss his fourth straight game with an illness, the Barons have relied on freshman quarterback Wise Segars, standout running back Justin Timmons and a stout defense to reel off three convincing wins.

Timmons rushed for 191 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries against Heathwood.

"We've had a couple of shutouts here in the last few weeks, and offensively we've scored over 35 points - we seem to be moving right along," he said. "I'm really proud of the way they've come in week in and week out and done what they've had to do. Going into this year, we didn't know kind of where we stood, but we felt like we had a pretty good nucleus back and that has been a strong point for us. We've got several guys running the ball hard and defensively we're playing pretty sound and holding people down. Going into it, that's what we thought we had to do - control the ball and play good defense."

Jarecki said with the exception Cotton, his team is in good midseason shape.

"We're still kind of waiting on our quarterback. He's still sick, and we've got to get him well, but other than that, we're pretty healthy," Jarecki said. "We don't foresee anybody else being held out. Some guys aren't 100 percent, but they're going to battle through it. After the first half of the season, we feel like we're pretty healthy going into this."

As for the rest of the season, Jarecki said there's no way around the fact that it will be tough.

"Those are three of the top teams in the whole thing," Jarecki said. "It's tough. Last year, it bit us a little bit. We got some key people hurt against Hammond and then didn't have them for the next couple of weeks and it really slowed us down. We've just got to take it one game at a time.

"Our goal is to compete each week, and I think we're there," he said. "The guys are working hard and they have a great attitude and they play hard -- that's something we always do here. I like where we're at right now, and we've just got to get ready to play."

Linebacker Mitchell Matthews led the Baron defense with nine tackles, three tackles for loss and a quarterback sack.