2018-07-06 / Sports

Seidel building family atmosphere in Blythewood

By Josh Cruse

The Blythewood Bengals look to rebound in 2018 under first year head coach Jason Seidel. The Blythewood Bengals look to rebound in 2018 under first year head coach Jason Seidel. The 2017 season was a tough one for the Blythewood Bengals. What started out promising with a 3-2 record ended with a five– game losing streak and the inability to score any points in the last four games.

Injuries took their toll on the Bengals, who were down to their third string quarterback in a 58- 0 loss to Dutch Fork seven games into the 2017 campaign.

At the end of the season, head coach Brian Smith was let go, and Jason Seidel, from North Carolina, was brought in to change the culture.

Seidel had a desire to coach in South Carolina, and when the opportunity came, he jumped at it but only after his entire coaching staff agreed to come with him. The transition has been tough for Seidel at times, as his wife and son and assistants were still living in North Carolina during the last few weeks of the school year.

Despite the hurdles, Seidel believes Blythewood had a successful spring practice. He wants to incorporate the same no huddle, spread offense he has been running since 2007. The offense will have more than 60 formations. Seidel said 90 percent of the running game was installed during those spring practices. Various blitzes and coverages were installed on the defense during those same practices.

On the defensive side of the ball, new coordinator Darius Robinson will use multiple three and four man fronts with the same personnel.

Some players have already made an impact on Seidel like quarterback Quinton Patten who returns from injury. He will be challenged by King Ford. Seidel said whoever doesn’t win the starting quarterback job will see playing time at another position. Ford has already worked in the secondary.

Joshua Burrell, Jake Owens, Kevin Catoe, and Noble Cooper will all vie for playing time at wide reciever. Brandon Edwards will see time at running back.

On defense, Patrick Godbolt is getting attention from college scouts. His 6’-3”, 225 lb frame gives him the versatility to play either defensive end or linebacker.

Nick Bourroughs transferred from the Charlotte area and will see some playing time this year. Collin Williams and Brady Carson will also make an impact this year on defense.

The summer has been vitally important, particularly the 7-on-7 passing leagues. As Seidel and his players get more acclimated to each other and the first year head coach continues to install more of his scheme on both sides of the ball.

Weight lifting has also taken on added importance as Seidel cites the lack of a weight program as one of the biggest parts missing from the football program.

The Bengals will have a challenging schedule in 2018. Blythewood continues tilts with Richland District Two rivals Ridge View and Westwood and also face Fairfield Central, North Augusta, and back-to-back 5A state champions Dutch Fork. The biggest difference will come in Region 4-5A, where Blythewood is one of five new teams. The region, formed after a number of teams appealed the high school league’s original realignment plan in 5A. Spring Valley and Irmo remain, but newcomers Sumter and Lugoff-Elgin will also be challenging to the Bengals.

Seidel wants the team to become a family, something he has preached since arriving on campus and the team will work on the remainder of the offseason.

On the field, Seidel wants his team to compete for a playoff spot in his first year.

Head Coach:
Jason Seidel
(1st season)

2017 record: 3-7
2017 playoffs: None

2018 Schedule
Aug. 17 at Ridge View
Aug. 24 vs. Westwood
Aug. 31 at Fairfield Central
Sept. 7 vs. North Augusta
Sept. 14 at Dutch Fork
Sept. 21 vs. Beaufort
Oct. 5 vs. Irmo
Oct. 12 at Sumter
Oct. 19 vs. Lugoff-Elgin
Oct. 26 vs. Spring Valley

2017 Results
Rock Hill 33-15 W
Ridge View 9-17 L
Fairfield Central 9-6 W
Westwood 9-28 L
Irmo 21-7 W
River Bluff 7-12 L
Dutch Fork 0-58 L
Lexington 0-21 L
White Knoll 0-17 L
Spring Valley 0-28 L

5-year win trend
2013: 7
2014: 5
2015: 9
2016: 8
2017: 3

Points per game:
Blythewood: 8.8
Opponents: 20.9

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