By: Kipp Branch
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
Sean Pender is confident about his 2021 football team this fall. “We are involved in a culture change here. We are evolving from a winning program into a championship program. Our kids realize that and our coaches see that every day”.
QB: Senior Jeffery Waye looks like the starter going into the season. Waye played well in the back-up role last season. Sutton Ellis has played his way into the mix this summer, and Jayden Drayton, who is a special athlete will have some designed packages to use his talents. If BHS gets solid play from this group, then look out.
OL: Kanaya Charlton will move to guard this fall and Pender says “Kanaya Charlton is as good as they’ve had there and that says a lot”. Charlton committed to play at Florida State.
Jaquan Gibson and Jamal Meriweather make this a deep group. “For the first time since I have been here, we have good depth at the position” says Pender.
WR: The position is very deep in talent, Kevin Thomas, Pat Leggett and Jayden Drayton could make it the best WR unit in the region.
DL: Kayshawn Thomas will be back for his junior season with offers pouring in. Thomas will lead a group that consists of River Creel, Jordan Jimerson, and Jameer Lang.
LB: The Pirates have Staffon Stanley, Adam Mweemba, and Lionel Twitty that all started games last year at the position.
DB: Jayden Drayton was All-Region in 2020. Derrick Smith and Keon Leggett were big contributors last fall. Ivan Johnson returns at safety. Na’verious Williams will get snaps also. Deep group.
Anthony Elvine returns as punter, and McClain Fineran will handle PAT/FG’s.
Finally, the “Wolfpack”, also known as the RB group. Ree Simmons and Kobe Hill have both had seasons with over 1,000 yards rushing and they return for their senior season. Leon Charlton has emerged as a third option at the position.
Schedule/My Predictions in key matchups:
Aug 20 vs Pierce County: Pierce was a doormat before Sean Pender arrived on the scene a decade ago.
He played a major role in the evolution of that football program winning region titles and state playoff games. The Bears took the next step and won a state title last season and drilled BHS 31-10 in the season opener last season.
That has eaten at the fabric of Sean Pender for a year. Pierce comes to Glynn County Stadium and will lose to BHS.
Sept 24 vs Glynn: BHS broke a long losing streak in the series last season. Folks around Glynn County say the Red Terrors will throw the football more in 2021.
Instead of 2-3 passes a game they may throw 10 per game, who knows. BHS wins for the second year in a row.
Oct 8 @ Statesboro: Be ready Pirates. This one has TRAP GAME written all over it. Don’t get caught looking ahead to Richmond Hill.
Oct 15 vs Richmond Hill: BHS has lost 3 straight to the Wildcats. Until they prove it again to me, I’m calling this a loss.
This school has 600-700 more students than anyone else in the region. Time to play up or build another high school in Bryan County.
Other Wins: MCA, New Hampstead, Islands, South Effingham, Bradwell, and Effingham.
Best Case 10-0 Region Champions.
Worst Case 8-2 with losses to Glynn and Richmond Hill and a #3 seed in state playoffs
My Guess: 9-1 with a loss to Richmond Hill and a #2 seed and home playoff game in First Round.
Sean Pender says “It is time for us to take the next step, and I believe we have the pieces in place to do just that”.
Expectations are high on Altama Avenue.