Twenty-five players have been selected to the 2018 The Sumter Item All-Independent Football Team.
The team is selected based on nominations from the head coaches of the five South Carolina Independent School Association schools in Sumter, …
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The team is selected based on nominations from the head coaches of the five South Carolina Independent School Association schools in Sumter, Clarendon and Lee counties that play football. The team is selected by The Sumter Item sports department.
The team is made up of seven players from Laurence Manning Academy, five each from Wilson Hall and Robert E. Lee Academy and four apiece from Thomas Sumter Academy and Clarendon Hall.
The team will be honored at the Sumter Touchdown Club banquet on Thursday, Jan. 18, at Central Carolina Technical College Health Sciences Center located on South Main Street beginning at 6:30 p.m. Former Wofford College football head coach Mike Ayers will be the guest speaker.
Clarendon Hall's Tyrese Mitchum is the Independent Player of the Year. Mitchum's head coach, Anthony Reitenour, is the Independent Coach of the Year. The Saints went 9-2 on the season and lost in the semifinals of the 8-man state playoffs.
Mitchum was the leader of the Clarendon Hall offense from his tailback position. He rushed for 1,497 yards and 23 touchdowns on just 106 carries. He averaged 14.1 yards per carry.
Joining him in the backfield is Robert E. Lee Academy quarterback Jet Smith and Laurence Manning Academy running back Brewer Brunson.
Smith helped REL to an 8-4 season and a trip to the 2A semifinals. He completed 109 of 205 passes for 1,434 yards and 19 touchdowns against just six interceptions. He ran for 598 yards and eight scores of 116 carries.
Brunson, who helped LMA to a 6-5 record and the first round of the 3A state playoffs while playing multiple positions, rushed for 1,012 yards and 12 scores on 128 carries. As a free safety, Brunson had 40 tackles and four interceptions.
The wide receivers are Jordan Hodge of REL, Kylic Horton of Clarendon Hall and Wyatt Rowland of LMA.
Hodge had 34 receptions for 506 yards, a 14.9 per-catch average, and six touchdowns. Horton had 22 catches for 374 yards, a 26.0 average, and scored 16 touchdowns.
Rowland split time between wide receiver and running back. He had 20 catches for 361 yards - an 18.0 average - and three TDs. He rushed for 833 yards and eight touchdowns on just 63 carries, meaning he had a 13.3 average.
The offensive line includes Jay Godwin and JD Burroughs of LMA, Grey Holler of Wilson Hall, and Preston Houser and Jarret Butzer of Thomas Sumter Academy.
Godwin split his time on the line between guard and center. He graded out at 80 percent and had 22 knockdown bocks. Burroughs played tackle and graded out at 78 percent with 28 knockdown blocks.
Holler started at tackle for the Barons, who went 3-7 and lost in the first round of the 3A state playoffs. He graded out at a team high 83 percent. He started at defensive tackle as well and had 43 tackles with six tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks.
Houser graded out at 87 percent with three knockdowns for the Generals, who went 2-9 and lost in the first round of the 1A state playoffs. On defense, Houser had 50 tackles, including 12 solo stops, and two TFLs. Butzer graded out at 68 percent with six knockdown blocks on the O line. Defensively, he had 42 tackles, including 12 solos, five TFLs, three sacks and 14 QB hurries.
The all-purpose play is TSA's Mason Warren. Warren played a number of positions for the Generals. He mainly played running back, rushing for 888 yards and seven touchdowns 112 carries, a 7.9 average. He caught 10 passes for 179 yards and two more scores. Warren returned 17 kickoffs for 541 yards for a 31.8 average, taking two back for touchdowns. He returned one punt for a score and also threw a TD pass, making him responsible for 13 touchdowns.
On defense, Warren had 60 tackles, 31 of them solo, four TFLs, one interception and two passes broken up.
Wilson Hall's Mills Herlong is the placekicker. Herlong was 4-for-5 on field goal attempts and 19 of 21 on extra point attempts. As a punter, he averaged 36.4 yards on 40 punts. He also played defensive back, coming up with three INTs and 35 tackles.
The defensive line is made up of LMA's Brad Goodson, Wilson Hall's Nathan Harris and TSA's Graham Campbell.
Goodson had 78 tackles with 24 of them for a loss. He also had 12 sacks and forced four fumbles. Harris had 43 tackles and three TFLS, while starting at running back and rushing for 606 yards and four scores. Campbell had 61 tackles, including 21 solo stops, 14 TFLS, two sacks and 12 hurries. As an offensive lineman, he graded out at 73 prcenter with nine knockdown blocks.
The linebackers are Mitchell Matthews of Wilson Hall, Wells Robinson and DaQavion Miller of Clarendon Hall, Grayson Gamble of LMA and Hunter McGee of REL.
Matthews led Wilson Hall with 92 tackles, while coming up with eight TFLs and five sacks along with returning an interception for a score. Robinson led the Saints with 105 tackles to go along with two INTs, one fumble recovery and one defensive touchdown. Miller had 61 tackles, 14 sacks and a fumble recovery. Gamble had 80 tackles with 14 of them for loss to go with nine sacks and two forced fumbles. McGee had 86 tackles and two INTs.
The defensive backfield is made up of Patterson Saverance and Christian Olson of REL, Jake Jordan of LMA and Landon VanPatten of Wilson Hall.
Saverance finished the season with nine interceptions and 42 tackles, while Olson had 91 tackles, including five for loss. Jordan had 61 tackles, four TFLS and three interceptions. VanPatten had 37 tackles with two picks on defense. He rushed for 336 yards and three scores and caught 12 passes for 285 yards and three TDs on offense.
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