By Justice Worley, Sports Editor
Keenan has always had to adapt to change. Now the change is different. Last year, the Raiders had to adapt to having a new coaching staff during spring practices, and now they must adapt to the graduation of their star player, Senior Peter Easaw.
“We are here to build on continued success and to infuse a football culture,” Coach Quin McCollum said. “We want Keenan not to be known as just a basketball school but a football school, too. The goals are to be Region Champs and win a State Championship here at Keenan.”
McCollum has a lot of work cut out for him as the Region toughens up with a decent Mid-Carolina and a very good Newberry team coming into the region as well as Fairfield Central, Pelion, Columbia and Eau Claire staying in the Region.
All-State running back Easaw and the class of 2014 will be graduating this spring, affecting the team. Easaw had a break- out junior year with over 1,000 yards rushing with only 92 touches last year, playing running back in only the five Region games and two playoff games.
“That affects us, but we can’t be concerned about those things; we have to do what we do,” McCollum said. “This offseason we have to work hard during conditioning and work harder in the weight room. Victory loves preparation.”
The Raiders are looking toward a bright future. Returning players include Juniors Kendrick Gathers, Justice Worley, Deion Trezevant, Tarik Williams, Grant Adams and Rodrick Jones. Those are just the players from the Class of 2015.
“We have had great players come through here before and leave, and that changes nothing. We have to come out here and grind and that’s what we do; we [Class of 2015] grind,” Gathers said.
This is probably the most contributing class to the team. Gathers leads not only the team in interceptions but is leading the state with 10 interceptions on the season. Williams is leading the team in sacks and tackles. Trezevant is the number two quarterback in the Midlands. Worley and Adams lead the right side of the offensive line with pancakes. As Jones flows free at the safety position, he causes havoc among wide receivers.
However, the following classes have very influential players on the team with Sophomore Tyrieck Davis-Newton being second on the team in tackles. Also Sophomore Thurman Trapp is a lockdown corner with three ints on the season.
“We’re going to be good,” Junior Richard Lawhorn said. “One player does not make the team.”
He is right. The Raiders are on a roll to be a favorite in the Region next year.