With the high school football season just around the corner, the Post and Courier will preview and highlight top returning players at each position, starting with quarterbacks.
As experience goes, there are only a few quarterbacks in the area with significant game playing time entering the 2021 high school football season.
That’s not to suggest that other area programs will not have solid play at the quarterback position, but experience certainly is an advantage.
There are three leading quarterbacks in the area this fall, two juniors and one senior. The top returning signal caller is Fort Dorchester junior Zolten Osborne.
Osborne was a first-team All-Lowcountry selection as a sophomore after passing for more than 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns in the Patriots’ 7-2 season. After throwing two interceptions in the season opener, Osborne did not throw another over the final seven games.
Osborne saw significant playing time as a freshman as well, splitting time with senior DeAndre Sabb. He has worked hard to add bulk and muscle to his 6-2 frame, gaining 30 pounds since last season and playing at a comfortable 200 pounds. He also dropped his 40-yard dash time from 5.1 seconds to the 4.7 second range.
“I really focused on putting on good weight and getting stronger and I feel really good where I am right now,” Osborne said. “I feel like I have increased my arm strength, and I am working on being more mobile to be able to make plays with my feet if needed.”
Osborne has had a busy summer, showcasing his skills at prospect camps. He attended camps at North Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest, South Carolina and Coastal Carolina. He has yet to receive a scholarship offer, but he knows there is time for that.
“I’m not worrying about that,” he said. “I just play ball and let it happen. The Lord has blessed me with the ability to play, so my focus is on playing and trying to be a leader.”
The other junior who returns as a starter is Goose Creek’s Drew Moore, a 6-2, 175-pounder with a strong arm. Moore threw for 1,700 yards and 18 touchdowns last year. He is blessed to have a solid receiving corps returning as well in seniors James Levine and Khyon Smith.
In the senior class, the top two returners are playing with different schools this fall. Colby Shirey, a two-year starter at Summerville, will be playing at Oceanside Collegiate under his former coach at Summerville, Joe Call.
Shirey accounted for nearly 2,000 yards (rushing and passing) and 20 touchdowns in 2019. His numbers slipped to about half of that in the shortened season of 2020.
SCISA all-state soccer
The S.C. Independent Schools Association (SCISA) has released its all-state soccer lists for the 2021 season. Six area boys and nine local girls were selected as all-state.
Porter-Gaud landed three boys on the all-state team. Those selections included William Finnegan, Jack Barnes and James Hill. Shayne DaRe and Jay Diffley were selected from Pinewood Prep, along with Christian Hermann of Northwood Academy.
On the girls team, selections from the Class AAA state champions, Pinewood Prep, were Jessica Osborne, Riley Cox, Lauren DaRe, Maggie Rollins and Jordan White. Grace Kammerer and Lily Stock were selected from Porter-Gaud, along with Mia Fowler and Izzy Hagen of Charleston Collegiate.