Photo courtesy of Beaufort County School District
By Justin Jarrett | LowcoSports@gmail.com
Few things in high school football – or life – are constant, but Beaufort High fans can always count on the Eagles to have a powerful running game.
Longtime coach Mark Clifford firmly believes the ability to run the ball effectively is the mark of a good team, and you better believe the Eagles will line up with the goal of doing just that in 2017.
The formula has been highly effective for Clifford, who has averaged nearly eight wins in his 13-year tenure at Beaufort High. Even in years like this one, when the Eagles have to replace their top two running backs in Omar Cummings and Wyatt Sherpensky, Clifford always finds a way to reload the backfield. The top candidates to carry the load this year are Kyliek Middleton and Trae Heyward.
The Eagles typically are tough on defense, as well, though they have been susceptible against prolific passing attacks. With two of their top defensive backs returning in Reggie Jones and Jeffrey Smyth, the secondary should be improved, and defensive tackles Chase Guynap and Isaiah Wilson will help form a stout run defense.
BEAUFORT HIGH EAGLES FOOTBALL
Coach: Mark Clifford
Record at BHS: 102-55 (14th season)
2016 record: 8-4 (3-2 region)
Playoffs: 1-1, lost in Class 4A Lower State quarterfinals
Returning starters: 6 offense, 4 defense
Offensive scheme: Multiple
Defensive scheme: 4-2-5
Top returners: RB Kyliek Middleton, OL Woods Langehan, WR Reed Reichel, LB Will Kelly, CB Reggie Jones, DB Jeffrey Smyth, DT Chase Guynap, DT Isaiah Wilson
Breakout candidates: RB Trae Heyward, DE Reid Daughtry
Outlook: The season opener Friday against Wando at home will be a good measuring stick for just how strong this year’s Eagles can be, but you can usually count on a winning season and at least one playoff win out of Clifford’s teams.
|8/18||vs. Wando||7:30 p.m.|
|8/25||vs. Battery Creek||7:30 p.m.|
|9/1||vs. Bluffton||7:30 p.m.|
|9/8||at Whale Branch||7:30 p.m.|
|9/15||at May River||7:30 p.m.|
|9/29||at Stall*||7:30 p.m.|
|10/6||at Colleton County*||7:30 p.m.|
|10/13||vs. Berkeley*||7:30 p.m.|
|10/20||vs. Cane Bay*||7:30 p.m.|
|10/27||at Hilton Head Island*||7:30 p.m.|