Waters to coach First Baptist football


First Baptist School head football coach Will McCombs has stepped down from his post to assume duties as the upper school principal for the 2014-15 school year.

McCombs spent the last eight seasons as the head football coach but says the time was right for a change.

"With my new duties, I just did not feel I could give the time needed as head football coach and it's a good time to let someone else run the show," McCombs said.

The school already has a replacement for McCombs, announcing that former Bishop England and Palmetto Christian assistant coach Johnny Waters will take over the program.

Waters served under Jim Daniel at Bishop England and moved with Daniel to start the program at Palmetto Christian five years ago. His son, J.T. Waters, was an all-state quarterback for the program and will attend The Citadel next fall.

"I think Johnny is perfect for this job," said McCombs. "He is very knowledgeable and very enthusiastic. He's a high-energy guy and I think our kids here will respond to him."

For the first time in his 13 years as a football coach, Northwood Academy's Phil Keefe will finally have a place to call home.

Northwood Academy opened and dedicated a football/soccer stadium on its future new campus, marking the first time that Northwood has had its own football stadium, and the first time that Keefe will coach a football game in his own venue.

Keefe was the football coach for five seasons at First Baptist School in downtown Charleston. The Hurricanes did not have its own football stadium then.

After moving to Northwood Academy as an assistant coach, then as the head coach last season, Keefe and the Chargers traveled from one recreation complex to another for their home football games.

"It may not sound like a big deal to most people, but for me and for this program this is huge," said Keefe as he prepared the concession stand for business on Tuesday's opening day. "I don't know what to feel because I've never been able to say we had a football stadium of our own at any place I've coached.

"As excited as I am right now, I cannot even imagine my emotions when we play that first home football game here. I wish it was tomorrow."

The stadium is complete with a brand new scoreboard, full press box and a large concession stand with restrooms. It is the first of many new athletic fields that will eventually be built on the school's new future campus, which sits off Highway 17-A just before the Carnes Crossroads intersection with Highway 176.

The future plans call for the entire school to be at the new location, complete with a baseball field, softball field and several practice fields.

"The other stuff is a ways off, but this is a big first step for our school and our athletic program," says Keefe.

Cane Bay junior Matt Rudy was one of five local high school wrestlers to compete in last weekend's national championships, hosted by the National High School Wrestling Coaches Association in Virginia Beach, Va.

Rudy advanced to the finals of the 195-pound weight class, defeating state champions from Washington, Florida, North Carolina and New York on his way to the finals. He lost in the finals to the state champion from New Jersey, thus earning national runner-up honors and All-American recognition. There were 37 wrestlers in his division and the loss on Sunday was the first of his 2013-14 season after 40 straight victories.

Other area grapplers who competed included James Sass, John Van Slooten and Anthony Collins of Summerville; Josh McDermett of Academic Magnet; and Jacob Hutchinson of Fort Dorchester.

Collins and Hutchinson each won three matches in the 160-pound weight class before getting eliminated in the consolation bracket. Sass and McDermett managed one win and Van Slooten went 0-2.