In This Weeks Edition: 09-14-2011

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Barnwell Warhorses corral Red Raiders

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School head football coach Kevin “Butch” Crosby knows that it takes winning three phases to win a football game. And, he knows his young Red Raider football team (2-1) did not perform well in one critical phase of the game in their 24-14 non-region loss to intra-county rival the Barnwell Warhorses (3-0), Friday night at W. W. Carter Field in Barnwell.

“We always talk about a third of the game,” Coach Crosby said after the hard fought 42nd game of the old rivalry, which had seen the Red Raiders come away with the previous seven wins. “We didn’t take care of the third phase of the game, special teams, which is huge” Crosby said.

Coach Crosby noted that even though he was not making excuses for his young team, which he said “played hard in spots and has some work to do”, special teams is a very important part of the game. “We’ve got to get better and understand when we’re put there on special teams; “we’ve got some work to do.”

With the potent Red Raider ground game featuring sophomore running back Chip Wannamaker, who had rushed for 340 total yards in the previous two Red Raider wins bottled up, the Red Raiders turned to their vertical passing game.

“I saw some bright things,” Coach Crosby said referring to the B-E passing game, which saw good performances from sophomore quarterback Sumner Cooler, wide-outs, Landon Sandifer, Will Priester and tight end K.C. Crosby. “We threw the ball well,” Crosby said, adding his team may need to throw the ball “a little more” to loosen defenses up.

Coach Crosby noted that, as young as his team is, while he never wants to take a loss, sometimes a team needs an eye opener: “Sometimes you need an eye opener to see that you can be beat on any given night. And, I think they understand that and will rebound.

D-O defeats HKT

Darin Washington and Lindsey Johnson combined for over 400 yards rushing and three touchdowns as the Denmark-Olar Vikings (2-1) on the season defeated Hunter Kinard Tyler 26-0 in Denmark Friday night. Lawrence Dowling chipped in with a 10 yard touchdown run for the Vikings.

AJA falls

The Andrew Jackson Academy football team (0-3) were able to dress out a full roster of players Friday night in their game with W.W. King Academy (3-0) thanks to the help of a couple of JV players moving up to the varsity. The team put up a valiant effort but fell short to King Academy by a score of 62-20.

B-E B-team & JV’s

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

Javaric Kearse and Noah Jones both scored touchdowns as the B-E B-football team defeated archrival Guinyard Butler Middle School 12-6 at Leon Maxwell Stadium Thursday. BEMS got on the board first in the first quarter with Kearse scoring making the score 6-0. In the second quarter Noah Jones hit pay dirt making the score 12-0 BEMS. GBMS would score it’s only touchdown in the final quarter making the final score 12-6. In JV action the Barnwell JV team defeated B-E 6-0 in a hard fought contest.

Coach Weldon credits players

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

An Appreciation Day and Night was held on Friday, September 16, for legendary Bamberg High School Coach Dick Weldon. In talking with the legendary coach, Weldon makes it perfectly clear that his success in Bamberg was directly attributed to the caliber of players he had.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” Coach Weldon said adding, “I really appreciate the honor, but I couldn’t do it without the ball players. I don’t deserve it but I will accept it.”

One of those former players who played for Coach Weldon during his 13 year career in Bamberg was Dr. Gene Schwarting, Jr. Schwarting said he remembers Weldon as “a very exceptional, motivational and inspirational coach” who could get the most effort out of an average athlete and who was “well liked in the community.”

Schwarting noted that Weldon was the first Bamberg coach to send a number of players to Division-1 colleges and a particular one was the University of South Carolina. Gene Schwarting Jr., along with the late Ronald Bunch and Mike Rentz were the last group of Bamberg players to follow Coach Weldon to the school. Those three would also join Danny Bonds, Jeff Jowers and Curtis ‘Cooter’ Williams who were already there. Greg Black and Butch Jones would follow a few years later. “We almost had enough to have a team up there,” Schwarting said.

From 1952-1965, along with his football coaching duties in Bamberg, Coach Weldon coached the sports of baseball and basketball. Ironically, for someone as successful as a high school football coach as he was, Coach Weldon at 116 lbs. did not play football in high school. After attending Clemson for a year and joining the Marine Corps for two years, Coach Weldon enrolled in Presbyterian College where he played baseball and intramural football.

Coach Weldon was encouraged to try out for the football team at P.C. by legendary Denmark Coach Bill Jolly who taught him how to play the quarterback position. After leaving P.C., Weldon started his coaching career in Bamberg where he would later win state championships in football, baseball and basketball.