Trojans hit the ground running

  • Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Devontae Shepherd, scoring the first of four TDs in the 2012 state championship game against McCormick, again leads the Trojan ground attack. DOMINIC MCKELVEY/SPECIAL TO THE INDEPENDENT

As a rule, scrimmages aren’t supposed to get very physical.
This one did.
The Cross Trojans, the reigning 2012 Class A Div. II state champions, know they will be marked this year. They are the state champions and Coach Shaun Wright knows teams will be gunning for his Trojans this fall.
Apparently teams are gunning for Cross this summer, too.
“Our scrimmage with Woodland was as physical as I have seen us play since my first year here,” Wright said. “On offense we started off slow but as the scrimmage went on I thought we looked sharp during our running game.”
While breaking in a new quarterback in Jamar Mathews, the coach will unleash a trio of All-State backs in Devontae Shepherd, and Dionte and Diamonte Evans.
“Once again we were lead by Dionte Evans and Devontae Shepherd on the ground,” Wright said. “Diamonte Evans was solid for us as well, especially on defense.”
As for Mathews, the sophomore is beginning to settle into the quarterback position, taking over for the graduating Branford Halls, who suits up for Charleston Southern this fall. 
“Jamar Mathews really took some hits and held onto the ball, which was very encouraging,” Wright said. “The game is starting to slow down for him.”
Wright said while his running backs get the majority of the credit, the Trojan offensive line clears the path. “Our offensive line is lead by senior Greg Jones and when we get in shape with those guys I expect us to continue to improve,” he said.
“We have some outspoken players on this team and right now we are just trying to channel positive energy into the team.
“Our guys understand that nobody cares about our little state championship. We are marked coaches and players. Our attitude around here is simply to work hard. God has been good to us here at Cross (and) we just want to be better every day.”
Wright added his team still needed some work at the linebacker slot but overall he was pleased with the effort.
With 10 days remaining until the Aug. 23 season opener against Kingstree, Wright knows he needs to make the most of the practice time he has left.
“We have two scrimmages coming up with whale Branch and Burke and then we will get prepared for Kingstree,” he said.

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