Westwood head football coach Dustin Curtis talked with MidlandsHighSchoolSports.com following the Redhawks’ two quarter 21-0 exhibition win over Swansea on Friday night at the Irmo Jamboree. Curtis will make his official debut as Westwood’s coach when the Redhawks host Chester on Friday night in the season-opener for both teams.
Westwood defeated Swansea 21-0 on Friday night in the opening game of the Irmo Jamboree, thanks in no small part to an offense line that controlled the line of scrimmage throughout. A major part of the Redhawks success was the play of 6-2, 250-pound senior right tackle Chauncey Phillips. Singled out by Westwood head coach Dustin Curtis following the two-quarter exhibition, Phillips is the CiCi’s Pizza Westwood Player of the Week. Great job, Chauncey!
First-year head coach Dustin Curtis had his Westwood team ready to play when they faced Swansea in the opening game of the 2016 Irmo Jamboree on Friday night. Impressive in all phases of the game, the Redhawks coasted to a 21-0 win over the Tigers in two quarters of play. Curtis will go after his first official victory as Westwood head coach when the Redhawks open their regular season at home next Friday against Chester.
Veteran coach Jeff DiBattisto was hired away from Dreher late in the spring to replace Terry Dozier as Westwood’s boys basketball coach. MidlandsHighSchoolSports.com talked with “Coach DiBo” last Tuesday in the Redhawks gym.
Westwood inside linebacker Darieus McCaskill led the Midlands in total tackles last season as a junior and looks to be even better this fall after reshaping his body. The 5-11 McCaskill told MidlandsHighSchoolSports.com on Tuesday that he has maintained a weight of around 210 after reaching 230 late last football season and credits his leaner build for an increase in quickness and speed, while losing none of the hard-hitting ability that made him a nightmare for opponents last season.
Westwood tailback Rudy Mitchell burst upon the Midlands scene last year by rushing for 1953 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior – including a 475-yard, 4 TD game-for-the-ages in a 35-31 win over neighborhood rival Blythewood – while leading the Redhawks to the second round of the 4A playoffs. Now a rising senior and the obvious centerpiece of new head coach Dustin Curtis’ offense, Mitchell returns an inch or two taller with added muscle on his 5-9, 180-lb. frame and – wait for it – has actually increased his dazzling explosiveness and lateral quickness through hard work in the offseason. Mitchell, as pleasant and unassuming a young man as one will hope to find, talked with MidlandsHighSchoolSports.com on Tuesday during the Redhawks’ morning workout.
Rising senior wide receiver Kaden Briggs, a 6-0, 170-pounder who is a star 110 and 400-meter hurdler for the Westwood track team, is expected by coach Dustin Curtis to have a breakout season on the gridiron for the Redhawks in 2016. As talented as Briggs is athletically, he is an undisputed superstar in the classroom, carrying a weighted GPA of around 4.4, with his unweighted mark of 3.9 coming up only slightly less than perfect. A “natural leader” according to his coach, Briggs the type of young man – talented, mature and selfless – that Curtis and his staff look to as a standard-setter for their Redhawk program. Briggs talked with MidlandsHighSchoolSports.com during summer workouts on Tuesday morning.
Former Flora offensive coordinator Dustin Curtis was hired in the spring to replace Westwood head football coach Rodney Summers, who departed to build Bluffton’s brand new May River High School’s program, and by all indications has settled in nicely as the Redhawks’ gridiron leader. Curtis spent time with MidlandsHighSchoolSports.com on Tuesday morning as he and his staff put his squad through a high-energy workout on the Westwood practice field.
New Westwood head football coach Dustin Curtis leads conditioning drills before the Redhawks head outside for a Tuesday morning workout.
Westwood running back Rudy Mitchell has been performing at an extremely high level all season long, but the 5-9, 170-pound junior’s exploits over the last four games have been nothing short of remarkable. Mitchell began his amazing 4-game run against West Florence on October 2, rushing ten times for 191 yards and 4 TD’s, ALL in the first half. Ten days later against Lugoff-Elgin, Mitchell carried 20 times for 188 yards and 5 TD’s, again playing ONLY the first half. The speedster added 115 yards and two touchdowns on 15 touches the next week in a win over Ridge View, setting the stage for last Friday’s record-setting 467 yards against arch-rival Blythewood in a come-from-behind 35-31 win over the Bengals. That all adds up to 961 yards and 15 TD’s in his last four games, including two halves during which he didn’t step on the field. For the season, Mitchell has gained 1421 yards and scored 18 touchdowns on 143 carries, an average of 9.9 yards per carry. Congratulations to…