Aug. 10, 2014 JOHNSON, SC-- At Wardlaw Academy, tradition doesn't graduate. Those are the words, and the belief of Patriots head coach Mark Rodgers. With state title banners covering the walls, the expectations haven't changed.
As for the Patriots roster, some of the big boys up front did in fact graduate. Wardlaw looks a little leaner on the offensive and defensive lines, making for some upcoming scheme changes to the 8-man squad. Normally a ground and pound type team, the Patriots look to returning quarterback Ed Williams for help. He knows the challenge ahead.
"We don't have the bigger guys like we did last year losing Jacob Baynham, Austin Rodgers replacing those guys and giving up 100 pounds, we're having to work hard," Williams said.
"We're going to have to be a little bit more scheme-oriented. A little bit more open than we have been. The last two years we've just lined up and ran over people," coach Rodgers said.
Running back Rychade Coates is counting on those lineman to produce. The junior ran for more than one thousand yards last season. A Patriots season that ended in the 8-man state championship.