High School Football Preview: Iron Horses field ‘faster and stronger’ team
Philip Simmons High School fielded its first varsity football team last fall.
But the real story might be coming up as the 2019 season is about to kick off. The Iron Horses finally have a senior class and a roster that includes players who have been with the program since day one. So if you were a little discouraged about last fall’s 2-8 record, good news is here.
The team is more experienced, faster and stronger than last year, and the program is headed in the right direction. About 15 seniors are expected to see considerable action for the Iron Horses, who hope to compete for the Region 6-AA championship.
Coach Eric Bendig said last year’s team included many freshman or sophomores in the starting lineup or two deep. That caused mismatches galore when the young bunch went up against opposing players who were 18 years old and products of a regimented weight room.
The interest in the PSHS football program is very high. The varsity and junior varsity teams could total 80 or 90 players.
“Our junior varsity can be freshmen and sophomores,” Bendig said. “They need time to play together and develop. It will be nice to have them in two distinct groups.”
The goals are the same at PSHS as they are at any football power in the Palmetto State.
“We want to compete for the conference championship,” Bendig said. “We want to win the region, we want to win the state. But we have to be realistic. We first have to be able to be able to compete with Timberland and Oceanside Collegiate.”
Tripp Williams, a rising sophomore who showed unlimited potential at linebacker as a freshman last year, will be the quarterback. He’s big at 6-6 and has a big arm.
Solly Bess and Javier Collins-Smith form one of the state’s best 1-2 running punches. They are veteran players who had good support from an offensive line that included Keyshawn Lockwood, Carter Ensley and Mickey Walker.
Smith carried 59 times for 531 yards, averaging 9.0 yards per carry. He led the team with seven TDs. Bess contributed 137 carries for 510 yards and five TDs.
The defense will be in good hands with the addition of coach Alex Renner, who had prior experience at Garrett Tech.
PHILIP SIMMONS FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Aug. 23 @ St. John’s High School
Aug. 30 Georgetown High School
Sept. 6 @ Charleston Charter School for Math & Science
Sept. 13 Bishop England
Sept. 20 @ Hanahan High School
Sept. 27@ Whale Branch High School
Oct. 4 Timberland
Oct. 11 @ North Charleston High School
Oct. 18 Oceanside Collegiate Academy
Nov. 1 Burke High School
For more info, visit https://ironhorseathletics.net.