Nathan Harris-Waynick had mixed emotions when he found out last week that his Sumter High School football teammate and fellow running back Tony Dinkins-McCall was out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
"I was a little nervous …
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"I was a little nervous about it all," said Harris-Waynick. "I was sad that Tony was out for the season, but I was happy that I got to start.
"I was just excited to get out on the field and show what I've got."
When all was said and done, Harris-Waynick showed quite a bit.
He rushed for 265 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries in the Gamecocks' 30-28 victory over Spring Valley last Friday. Because of that performance, he was selected as The Sumter Item Offensive Player of the Week.
His teammate, left tackle Jarvel Scott, paved the way for many of Harris-Waynick's yards, and he was selected as the Offensive Lineman. Crestwood cornerback Quinton Harrison is the Defensive Player, and C.E. Murray's Roshaud Tisdale is the Special Teams Player.
Players are selected based on nominations from local high school coaches. Selections are made by The Sumter Item sports staff
The quartet will be honored at the weekly breakfast meeting of the Sumter Touchdown Club presented by FTC on Friday beginning at 7:15 a.m. The meeting takes place at the University of South Carolina Sumter's Arts & Letters Building.
Former South Carolina quarterback and longtime color analyst for USC football, Tommy Suggs, will be the guest speaker.
OFFENSE - NATHAN HARRIS WAYNICK - SUMTER
Harris-Waynick had been getting a decent amount of playing time behind Dinkins-McCall, having scored 16 touchdowns before the Spring Valley game as part of the "heavy" package. However, SHS head coach Mark Barnes was interested to see how the junior would respond to the responsibility of starting.
"I'm really proud of him," Barnes said. "I felt like he played really good. I had seen enough of him in other games to know he was a good player, but you wanted to see how he would do in this situation.
"He carried the load for us. He was both physical in running the football, and he showed speed to get away from defenders that we really hadn't seen before."
Harris-Waynick said he had just one goal in mind.
"I was just trying to get first downs and stuff like that," he said when asked about his mindset. "I was just trying to keep the chains moving."
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN - JARVEL SCOTT - SUMTER
The Gamecocks were able to move the chains running the ball, picking up 18 first downs via the rush. Scott had a lot to do with that success.
The left tackle graded out at 74 percent with three knockdown blocks, as Sumter piled up a season high 338 yards on the ground. The Gamecocks finished with 458 total yards.
"He's been good for us all year," Barnes said of Scott. He's a guy we've been counting on, and he's been really good run blocking and pass blocking."
Barnes said Sumter ran the ball more on Friday than it had in other games and did so for two reason.
"We were more old school," Barnes said. "We decided we were going to run the football; we didn't care how many people they put in the box. We wanted to get Nate some experience running balls, and I wanted to see how physical we could be, because we really weren't the week before (in a 28-7 win over Blythewood). I thought we were very physical."
I felt like as an offensive line played well," Scott said. "We kind of figured out (how much Sumter would run the ball) as the game went along. I loved it, loved it. We showed that we could be physical."
DEFENSE - QUINTON HARRISON - CRESTWOOD
Harrison received player of the week honors for the second straight week. Last week it was on special teams, but this week on defense.
Harrison had two interceptions, forced two fumbles and had four tackles in the Knights' 20-10 victory over Orangeburg-Wilkinson.
"He pretty much did what we have coached him to do," Crestwood head coach Roosevelt Nelson said of Harrison. "He's been working hard in practice, working hard on film study. He's been honing in on what he needs to do, and he put himself in a position where he could make big plays for us."
Harrison, who blocked two punts in a 30-20 victory over Dreher the week before and caught a touchdown pass on a fake punt, agreed with his coach's assessment.
"I was in the right spot," Harrison said. "The first time I was in man-to-man and was where I was supposed to be. The second time we were in zone coverage, and I just happened to be there.
"I'm Just coming out and practicing hard and taking what the coaches tell me and using it on the field."
SPECIAL TEAMS - ROSHAUD TISDALE - C.E. MURRAY
Tisdale returned two kickoffs for 90 yards - one of them going for 73 yards and a touchdown - and recovered a fumble on a kickoff to set up another touchdown in C.E. Murray's 49-12 victory over Bethune-Bowman.
Tisdale said he wasn't sure if he was going to get much of anything on the touchdown return.
"I thought I was going to get tackled for a minute," he said. "I almost went down, but I got my hand to keep me up. When I got up, I saw this big hole, and I just ran to it."
CEM head coach Brian Smith, whose team clinched the Region V-1A title with the win, said Tisdale is on all of the special teams units.
He's a great athlete, extremely fast," Smith said. "On kickoffs he's running down and covering kicks, and it's hard for them to block him. He does his best on that."
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