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Northwood Academy High School
North Charleston

Chargers looking for better results on gridiron

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

SummervilleRyan Leaver’s first season as the head football coach at Northwood Academy did not go as the coach had planned, but year two promises to be better for the Chargers.

The Chargers failed to win a game last fall as Leaver played with a young and inexperienced group. A year of development off the field should yield better results.

“Because of the experience they gained last year and a strong offseason in the weight room as a group, our expectations are high,” says the former defensive coordinator. “It’s about being able to overcome little bits of adversity. A lot of teams fall apart as things get hard. Our guys didn’t do that. It was more of a challenge for them to push themselves to see what they can do this year.”

Northwood’s program has a past history of success, winning a state title just five years ago. Leaver hopes some returning talent will get the program headed in the right direction this fall.

Offensively, the coach is leaning on Gabe Johnson as his quarterback. While he lacks a significant amount of game experience, the running game of Tyler Gadsden and Clayton Stancil should make things easier on the quarterback. Senior Ben O’Brien will also work at fullback and tight end.

Anchoring the offensive line are tackles Will Mullins and Conner McLeod, guards Drayton Huffman and Conner Burns, and center Jacob Vicars.

When the Chargers go to the air, look for Sheldon Watkins and Alex Garris to be the primary receivers.

Stancil, one of the top long snappers in the country, also plays a major role defensively at defensive end, along with O’Brien. Vicars and Gadsden work at inside linebacker with Sullivan Watkins and Zach Heffner play outside.

Dez Dwight anchors the secondary at safety. Sheldon Watkins. Garris and Douglas Watson will fill roles in the defensive backfield as well.

 Luke Moore will handle the placekicking duties with Burns working as the punter.

The Chargers open the season on August 23rd against Academic Magnet.

“I feel good about what we have but we know the road is going to be hard,” Leaver says. “It’s going to be interesting to see how our guys attack that.”

 

 

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