2016 Tigers


2016 Tigers Feature


A Great Deal of ‘New"







  The 2015 edition of the Saluda Tigers did not win any trophies, but the teams and individual players set many records, including:







  •First Saluda team to play for the Upper State Championship since 1973




  •Most wins since 1973 (10)




  •Tied with three other teams (1962, 1963, 2003) for most games played in one season - 13




  •Most points scored in school history - 429 (previous record 371 - 1973)




  •First Saluda team to beat arch rivals Strom Thurmond and Batesburg-Leesville in the same season since 2003




  •Best two season turn around in school history - 2-8 in 2014 to 10-3 in 2015




  •Most single season yards rushing in school history - Malik Brooks - 2132




  •Consecutive 100-yard rushing games - Brooks - 13




  •Most single season points scored in school history - Brooks - 180 (30 TDs)




  •Most single season kicking points scored in school history - Dylan Strickland - 68




  •Most receiving yards in school history - Jamarion Mathis - 817




  •Second most single season receptions in school history - Mathis - 56 (Trevor Deloach - 64)




  •Second most single season passing yards - Forrest Winn - 1507 (Ryan Nichols 1707)




  But that was last year.




  The 2016 edition of the Tigers includes several standouts from last years team, including record setters Brooks and Strickland, but there are also a few unknowns, starting with a brand new region.




  Arch-rival Strom Thurmond, Batesburg-Leesville and Ninety Six are no long league foes. They will join Ridge Spring-Monetta and Mid-Carolina in giving SHS an extremely tough pre-region schedule.




  The Tigers are now in a region that includes Columbia area schools, C.A. Johnson, Eau Claire, Gray Collegiate and Keenan, along with Edgefield County’s Fox Creek. The Tigers claimed a last second win over Keenan in the play-offs last year, but that is in the only region team in which Saluda is familiar.




  Coach Stewart Young’s team will feature an offense centered around 2015’s two leading rushers, Brooks and quarterback Tyrell Abney.




  Brooks, the 2015 Lakelands Player of the Year, far exceeded the school single season rushing mark with his 2132 yards. Abney, in a mostly back-up role at quarterback, rushed for 424 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown romp against Strom Thurmond.




  Expected to see action at tailback will be speedster sophomore Kendarius Graham, who ran a 4.37 in the 40.




  Quarterback Abney threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns last year. His backup Ashton Hallman saw action in several games last season. Hallman will see most of his action as a receiver this year, but will spell Abney when needed in the early going.




  As the season progresses, Young expects freshman Noah Bell to get some playing time. The coach said Bell is a good passer and leader.




  The Tiger receiving corps will be green, to say the least. Graduating off the 2015 team were a combined total of 102 receptions and 13 touchdowns. DQ Abney is the only returning receiver who caught a pass last year. Fortunately, he caught 21. The rest of the receiving corps includes O’Syrius Springs (So.), C.J. Bosket (So.) and junior Daquan Hartley, who has been nursing a hamstring injury.




  Making up the remainder of his "blue collar" receiving corps are Hallman, Ty Bell, Leason Horne and Caleb McDaniel.




  The Tigers will have a mixture of experience and inexperience on the line. Tackles Trey McGraw (So.) and Michael Cockrell (Jr.) are new to the line, while guards Wil Easler (Sr.) and Trey Shuler (Sr.) and center Cade Rodgers (Sr.) have plenty of starting experience.




  Horne and Hallman will flank junior Kalijiha Brown on the defensive front.




  The inside linebackers will have four players who will see considerable action. Seniors Malcolm Wiggins and Slater Waters return as starters. Senior Jonathan Griffith, who missed last season with an injury, and sophomore Jeremiah Stevens are the other two.




  Outside linebacker will be inexperienced. Titus Bosket and Demond Johnson have experience at other positions. They‘ll play the outside linebacker, along with a "bunch of people," Young said.




  C.J. Bosket, who started as a freshman, Dequan Brunson and freshman Cade Gentry will start in the secondary. Hartley is also expected to play.




  Strickland will handle the placekicking duties once again.




  The season is going to be an interesting experience.




  "We play all our rivals in the first five games," Young said.




  "We feel if we can play respectably in those first five games, an gain some experience, we can contend for our first region championship since 2003."




  Other than Keenan, the region opponents are unknown to the Tigers.




  "We’ll have to learn about them as the season goes on."









2016 KING ACADEMY KNIGHTS - Pictured Top to Bottom: Hunter DuBose, Ben Buzhardt, Hunter Black, River Guy, Grady Williamson, Coach Devin Bedenbaugh, Ball Girls Carlee Holsonback, Ashlyn Dowling, Water Girls Texanna Miller, Morgan Bartley, Head Coach Zach Matthews, Jackson Parrish, Lane Bedenbaugh, Wil Parrish, Truman Caughman, Chris Fincher, Reagan Pugh, Joe Sauls, and Bryan Doolittle Not Pictured: Assistant Coach Daniel Dorn & Michael Kinard (Photo Credit: Carolina Sports, Inc. of Camden, SC)






Knights Take 30-14


Win At Jamboree






By: Gerald Doolittle







  Batesburg-Leesville, S.C. Last Friday Coach Zach Matthews took his W.W. King Knights to Laurens Academy for the pre-season jamboree. With 13 players on the roster this season, the Knights hope for a better season after forfeiting half the season last year when injuries took its toll on their 11 man roster.







  The Knights offense looked pretty good in the 30-14 two quarter win. Quarterback Jackson Parrish (Jr.) figured in three of the touchdowns. He had a 60 yard run in the first quarter to open the scoring. Parrish then completed four of five passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns.




  Lane Bedenbaugh (Sr.) had a good offensive game scoring two touchdowns. He rushed four times for 92 yards, which included a 71 touchdown romp in the second quarter. He also had a 78 yard touchdown reception later in the quarter that gave him 170 total yards.




  Truman Caughman (Jr.) had two receptions for 94 yards. Included in that total was a 73 yard touchdown catch in the first quarter.




  Chris Fincher (Sr.) had two runs for 6 yards. Brian Doolittle (So.) had 13 yards and Joe Sauls (Fr.) had 1 yard.




  Seniors Ben Buzhardt, Hunter Black and Hunter DuBose led the defense. The Sophomores on defense were River Guy, Wil Parrish, and Grady Williamson.




  This week the Knights will open the regular season at home against the Coastal Christian Cougars, who are coming off their best season in their short history. Last year they finished with an 8-3 overall record and won the region tie breaker with Patrick Henry with a 7-1 region record.