Newberry coaches unveil this season’s game plans
by Elyssa Parnell Staff Writer
NEWBERRY — The Newberry County Touchdown Club celebrated the beginning of football season Monday by hosting “Newberry College Night,” with their first meeting of the season.
“It’s that time of year,” Jimmie Coggins said, opening up the meeting, followed by game plans for the upcoming season from each of Newberry County’s head football coaches.
Donald Addis, coach for Whitmire High School, said his team is on its third week of practice, but did not have any scrimmages that week.
“We’ve got a good core of young players,” Addis said of the team.
Addis said they’ll dress about 34 players this year, with most of the team composed of ninth and 10th grade boys.
“The guys are eager,” Addis said.
Because of the size of Whitmire Community School, they do not have a junior varsity football team, only a middle and varsity level team.
The varsity team will kick off their season Aug. 30 against Great Falls. Addis said last year the team gave up a lot of points on defense and that practices this year have really focused on open-fielded tackle.
“I’m excited to see how these young boys react on the field,” Addis said.
Mid-Carolina High School
Coach Louie Alexander from Mid-Carolina High School said his team was “struggling without their canoes and snorkels,” referring to the difficulty of practicing with the rainy weather.
Alexander told the crowd the team would probably break some records this year as far as pass attempts were concerned. Two starters will be returning to MC this year and three players on defense will be back. There are no returning kickers or punters this season.
As for what his team will look like in the upcoming season, Alexander says he’s not sure, but said he hadn’t been this excited about a season since he began coaching.
“We’re going to play hard, coach hard, and our kids will play with a lot of class,” Alexander said.
Newberry High School
Phil Strickland, coach for Newberry High School, said he was really optimistic about the upcoming season for Newberry. The team felt good about its past scrimmage against Gilbert, but playing Strom Thurmond and Aiken put them back in their place, he said.
Strickland said his players have played hard and worked hard over the summer to get them to where they needed to be for the season.
Coming back to Newberry High School from Mid-Carolina, Hugh Mills is now a member of the coaching staff at Newberry, which Strickland was happy to announce.
“We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m excited about our coaches and players,” Strickland said.
The speaker at this month’s Newberry County Touchdown Club was Newberry College Head Coach Todd Knight, who gave a sneak peek of the upcoming season, and what to expect to see when heading to Setzler Field this season.
Knight is entering his fifth season with the Newberry College football program and has coached 27 all-South Atlantic Conference players and one South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year.
Knight has a daughter, Anna, who is a Newberry College graduate. He is married to the former Tina Martin and the two live in Little Mountain with their sons, Devin and Michael Cash.
Knight told the NCTDC that the team had eight All-Conference champions returning, as well as two All-Americans, but what he was most excited about was the workings on the inside of camp where they have been trying to get to know each member of their team better.
“We’re about family at Newberry College, so we’re trying to make our team feel more like a family,” Knight said.
While at football camp this summer, the team took turns getting to know their teammates better and sharing information about each other. Coaches also participated with the team.
Knight feels the exercises will make them feel better about their teammates, making them work better together.
Although Knight says the injury book beat them last year about four weeks into the season, he’s optimistic about the upcoming games.
The next NCTDC meeting will be Sept. 23, with guest speaker Coach Dave DeGuglielmo, who has coached at high levels, with tenures including Boston College, University of South Carolina, New York Giants, and the New York Jets.
Elyssa Parnell can be reached at 803-276-0625, ext. 108 or at email@example.com.
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