Powdersville enters its first season of varsity football with optimism after building a foundation — a JV base — last year.
“That was the first year our school was in existence, and all we had last year were ninth- and 10th-graders. This year we’ll have an 11th-grade class to go along with that,” said Powdersville coach Robert Mustar.
“I really felt we didn’t have a choice because of the realignment that the (South Carolina) High School League has in place every two years. If we hadn’t jumped into it this year, the kids who are 11th-graders never would have played a Friday night football game.”
Naturally, the Patriots will be young, but most of those 2011 junior varsity players have signed on with enthusiasm. They proudly will wear the navy blue, silver and scarlet red of Powdersville.
“We’re a little inexperienced across the board. But they are buying into everything. That’s about all you can ask for,” said Mustar. “They work hard in the offseason, in the weight room and in spring and summer practice. We appreciate the effort and are looking to compete.”
At quarterback, expect to see junior Jordan Smith, who played on the JV squad, Mustar said.
“He’s a good leader, and you also want to put one of your best athletes in that position,” Mustar said. “He makes good decisions, doesn’t force a lot of passes and has good feet on him to help us out in the running game.”
The receiving talent will include Patrick Chilton, a junior who also will handle kicking duties. “He has good hands, and he doesn’t mind putting a block on somebody,” Mustar said.
Sophomore David Stanley “runs good routes” and can be counted on to boost the receiving corps, the coach said.
Running back Tyler Meece, a junior, has “good field vision. … When we ask him to block, he’ll put his body in there,” noted Mustar.
Sophomore Charqez Daniel, a wide receiver, is “an exceptional athlete,” the coach said. “He’s versatile, and we could line him up at running back if we have to.”
Andrew Bishop, another sophomore, will power the offensive line at left tackle. “He’s improved in the weight room,” Mustar said.
John Kubiak, right guard and a junior, is entering just his second year of football, according to Mustar. “He picked up on it quick, can run and could move around at the position,” Mustar said.
Austin Beacham, a sophomore, plays on the defensive line. “He’s a good run-stopper for us. He’d play at linebacker on some teams,” Mustar said.
Sophomore Brandon Burger is a linebacker. “He’s one of our hardest hitters, one of our stronger kids in the weight room,” Mustar said.
Houston Jones, a junior, played on the defensive line last year and likely will return there to give the Patriots confidence. “We’re expecting big things out of him,” the coach said.
Sophomore Jim Bob Hayes, at linebacker, led the JV team in tackles last year, Mustar said, noting, “He’s got a nose for football and doesn’t blow a lot of assignments. We’re counting on him big time.”
Defensive back Josh Dial, a sophomore, makes up for his lack of size with a huge spirit and is a kind of coach in training, Mustar said. “He’s our last resort to stop anybody,” Mustar said.
Sophomore Ryan Williams didn’t play for Powdersville last year, but shows great promise in defending the run, according to the coach.
“On defense, we’ll probably mix up things, adjusting to what teams do from week to week with the spread offense and with some running a variation of a wing offense. But we’ll probably base ourselves out of a three-man front. On offense, we’re a spread team,” Mustar said.
Starting a program from scratch is new to Mustar, who also serves as athletic director at Powdersville.
“We’re trying to build tradition and hopefully a winning tradition,” Mustar said. “The junior varsity went 6-4 last season, and we’re proud of that fact for a first-year program. We were in every game except one.”