HHI Seahawks soared in first two games, hope for momentum

Hilton Head Island High School football coach B.J. Payne isn't too concerned about replacing six starters on offense and four on defense. He thinks the Seahawks have the personnel for that.

It's any mid-season replacements that concern Payne, whose roster is thin, leaving little depth and a number of players seeing time on both sides of the ball.

"We're really happy with what we have, and hopefully we don't have injuries," Payne said. "Everybody says that, but we mean it."

In their first two games, the Seahawks showed why Payne was so excited about the first string. They came out of the gates with a 43-14 rout of Savannah High and kept rolling with a 34-0 drubbing of St. James in Week 2.

The Seahawks return a pair of dynamic receivers in Sterling White and Diante Richard, who have helped new starting quarterback Gaston Moore ease into the role, and lacrosse standout Will Frith is off to a great start as the new featured running back.

"They won't stop us," Richard said. "They won't even know what hit them."

The Seahawks lost only four starters on defense, but two of them left gaping holes - LowcoSports.com All-Lowco linebacker Landon Jenkins and Defensive Player of the Year Tyreke Young.

Payne's biggest concern on defense entering the season was the interior line, but the early returns are positive, and the linebacking corps and secondary have been outstanding with Elijah Thompson, Cole DeMarzo and Eli Hickey leading the way.

Hilton Head High missed the playoffs last year, when they had five games decided by six points or fewer, and only one went in their favor. Close games haven't been a problem so far in 2018, and the Seahawks would prefer to keep it that way.

"We just need to finish games and not let it get into that situation," DeMarzo said. "Keep the pedal down."

Justin Jarrett has been covering sports in the Lowcountry since 2005 and is the founder of LowcoSports.com.


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