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Wilson Hall goes on road to face Heathwood in opener

By J. SCOTT SEWELL jscott@theitem.com
Posted 8/29/19
Wilson Hall's varsity football team will be looking for revenge when it takes the field in its season opener against Heathwood Hall on Friday in Columbia.The Barons fell to the Highlanders 13-12 last year when they were unable to convert on a …

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Wilson Hall goes on road to face Heathwood in opener

SUMTER ITEM FILE PHOTOGraham VanPatten (10) will be one of Wilson Hall's leaders on both sides of the football when the Barons open their season on Friday against Heathwood Hall in Columbia.
SUMTER ITEM FILE PHOTO
Graham VanPatten (10) will be one of Wilson Hall's leaders on both sides of the football when the Barons open their season on Friday against Heathwood Hall in Columbia.
Posted

Wilson Hall's varsity football team will be looking for revenge when it takes the field in its season opener against Heathwood Hall on Friday in Columbia.The Barons fell to the Highlanders 13-12 last year when they were unable to convert on a 2-point conversion in overtime.

Heathwood will not be playing its season opener as it lost 26-20 loss to Robert E. Lee Academy in Columbia last week in Week Zero. The Highlanders racked up 213 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, narrowly missing an opportunity to beat he Cavaliers.

Wilson Hall head coach Adam Jarecki is looking to senior Campbell deHoll to prevent Heathwood's star running back, Ronnie Porter, from having another big game. Porter scored twice last week while notching 100 yards on just 13 carries.

"Campbell has been our anchor at linebacker for us," said Jarecki. "He is probably playing as good right now as he has his whole career here. He's accepted that role, and we're looking for big things out of him."

On the offensive side of the ball, the Barons will have to contend with defensive lineman Rondarius Porter. he recorded 15 tackles and had six quarterback sacks."Yeah he's tough," Jarecki said of Rondarius Porter. "He's got a good motor, and he runs hard. They're going to be big and physical all across the front, and they've got some athletes on the field."

Many of Wilson Hall's players play both offense and defense, which means injuries can hurt twice as much when a player is injured. Jarecki is glad his team had the extra week before starting the season, if only for the fact that it allowed some of his players to heal from previous injuries.

"We've had some kids that were banged up for a couple of weeks that are starting to come back," said Jarecki. "Getting these people healthy is important because we gotta play a lot of guys both ways."

Unfortunately for the Barons, many of those injuries have been suffered on the offensive line. The unit that was seen as their biggest strength entering the season.

"We probably have more experience on the front than we do anywhere else," said Jarecki. "Four of the five (offensive linemen) were starters last year. We've gotten a little bigger, a little stronger. We went into this year thinking that was going to be a big plus for us, but those are the guys that are banged up right now."

Jarecki wants his team primarily focused on itself, regardless of injuries or whatever Heathwood Hall may try to throw at the Barons on Friday.

"Our biggest thing is us, and we're just worrying about what we do and how we do things," said Jarecki. "We're trying to be as aggressive on defense as we can be, and offensively, we just want to try to control the ball and keep the ball away from them."