Iron Horses set to take on St. John's this week
The Philip Simmons High School football team kicks off its regular season Friday night.
The first stop on the 10-week schedule might be called the “Revenge Tour” as the Iron Horses travel to St. John’s to take on the Islanders in the season-opener for both teams.
Last year, the Iron Horses faced the Islanders in their first game as a varsity team. It wasn’t pretty; the Islanders waxed the Iron Horses 39-6. Coach Eric Bendig knew his team might be overmatched because his squad didn’t have any seniors on the roster. However, he felt the Islanders poured it on late in the game. When you lose, you try to forget the defeat. But in this case, Bendig doesn’t want his team to forget the ending.
“They beat us,” Bendig said. “They did try to run up the score at the end. Our players heard about it this summer, and I told them to use it as motivation.”
This is the first season that the Iron Horses have all four grades represented on the roster. Bendig finds it somewhat amusing when he looks at the players who have been with the program from day one. They are more experienced, faster and stronger.
“The one thing you can’t put into numbers is the veterans learned to become better leaders. They have taken the lead. They have matured.”
St. John’s is a Class A team and the roster number is small. But the Islanders have some top-shelf athletes and are well coached, Bendig said.
Last year, the Iron Horses’ starting quarterback was injured early against the Islanders and freshman Tripp Williams moved from tight end to QB. He completed only 5 of 15 passes for 15 yards. Javier Collins-Smith led the running game with 57 yards on four carries. He scored the first TD in the school’s varsity history with a 44-yard run. Solly Bess added 38 yards on 15 carries.
BE FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGE
John Cantey doesn’t keep score of scrimmage games. But this wasn’t just any scrimmage; the Bishops hosted the Porter-Gaud squad Friday night and the kelly green and white posted a 28-21 victory.
“A lot of people were out there, and you usually don’t get that size of a crowd for a scrimmage,” said Cantey, who is set to begin his 12th year as the head coach of the Bishops’ program. “It had that feel of a big rivalry game.”
While the Bishops “won” the scrimmage, the big winner on the night just might have been Water Mission. The Bishops donated ticket proceeds to the organization, and the night’s work produced a $2,500 donation.
Water Mission (previously known as Water Missions International) is a non-profit Christian engineering organization based out of North Charleston. The organization designs, builds and implements safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) solutions for people in developing countries and disaster areas all over the world.
The Bishops wrapped up the scrimmage part of their schedule with a battle against Bamberg-Ehrhardt this week. The Bishops open the regular season Aug. 30 against Baptist Hill. The Bobcats were ranked the No. 5 team in Class A in the South Carolina Prep Media Poll.