Redhawks Capture Sumter 7-on-7 Tourney Title; Griffins Shine, Come Up Short

Redhawk quarterback Chris Patterson, back in action after a year of injury, sizes up the Sumter defense.

Fairfield Central wide out Shadarius Hopkins races for open territory.

After going 1-9 in their inaugural season last year, the Westwood High School Redhawks football program got its first injection of confidence for 2013, taking home the hardware in last Saturday’s 7-on-7 passing tournament at Sumter High School.

“It’s huge for the kids’ morale,” head coach Rodney Summers said. “They’ve worked so hard since October, getting bigger, faster, stronger. It’s nice to see them get some reward for that so they see that it’s working.”

The Redhawks overcame passing squads from Camden, Lancaster, Lakewood, Orangeburg-Wilkinson, Sumter and Fort Dorchester to capture the crown, but Summers said the tourney represents only the beginning.

“We still need to get better,” he said.

The Fairfield Central Griffins, meanwhile, finished play Saturday with a 6-1 record, unable to get past Fort Dorchester and advance. Still, head coach Demetrius Davis said he saw good things on the field.

“We played good,” he said. “We’ve got some kids really stepping up. Kewaun Squirewell is turning into a really big-time football player, and Javaris Cook played really well.”

Both are returning starters to the Griffins’ state runners up lineup, as is quarterback DeAndre Belton, whom Davis said threw the ball well Saturday.

The Redhawks quarterback, Chris Patterson, was seeing his first real action in more than a year, coming off an ACL injury that sidelined him for the entire 2012 season.

“We had a question mark at quarterback,” Summers said. “For (Patterson) to come out and do what he did is big.”

Summers said Patterson read the defense well Saturday, throwing no interceptions, while wide outs Vyncint Smith and Adonus Lee made key catches in the clutch.

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