Cuthbertson Football Ready For SCC Challenges

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At A Glance

Cuthbertson High School

Coach: David Johnson

2016 Record: 6-6 overall, 3-2 in Southern Carolina Conference. Lost first round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Key Players: Davis Walker, Jr., QB (6-4, 185), Christian Heinzelman, Sr., RB (5-11, 215); Myles Wallace, Jr., RB (5-10, 160), Josh Blocker, Sr., WR (6-3, 165), Carter Kendall, Sr., DE (6-3, 220); Bryce Blackwood, Sr., OL/DL (6-0, 260); Josh Sepe, Jr., OLB (6-3, 190); Joe Rizzo, Sr., MLB, (6-2, 225)

Returning Starters: Offense 5; Defense 8

The pieces are starting to fall together for Cuthbertson High as the Cavaliers prepare to open the 2017 season August 18 at Porter Ridge.

Cuthbertson returns eight starters on the defensive side of the football but the Cavaliers started summer workouts with a quarterback coming off a season-ending injury in 2016 and holes left by graduation at all the wide receiver spots.

But those questions appear to be answered as Cuthbertson sets its sights on another postseason bid.

Junior Davis Walker has settled in at quarterback and the receiving corps has been finalized and that will compliment a ground attack powered Christian Heinzelman and Myles Wallace.

Cuthbertson head coach David Johnson said Walker (6-4, 185) has been solid since coming back on the field and Josh Blocker (6-3, 165), Anthony Camarda (6-1, 150), Kris Weber (6-2, 220), Jack Davis (5-10, 160) and Trevor Grant (6-2, 185) will be Walker’s top targets.

“Davis had a good summer from where we started to where we are at right now,” Johnson said. “I am really happy with his progression and how he is doing. He is throwing the ball well. No complaints.

“We have had some guys that have really, really emerged at receiver. The starting five (at receiver) have really done a good job. The dust has kind of settled (at receiver). We have some good size out at receiver.”

Johnson said Heinzelman (5-11, 215) and Wallace (5-10, 160) will see extensive time in the backfield.

“They are both going to see multiple snaps, and snaps together as well,” Johnson said.

Bryce Blackwood (6-0, 255), Matthew Lopez (6-0, 215), Jared Jennings (6-2, 250), William Kennelly (6-0, 220) and Konnor Bailey (6-3, 230) will all start on the offensive line.

Cuthbertson’s front seven on defense will be a plus. Deaundre Scott (6-1, 187), Carter Kendall (6-2, 215), Chinedu Iheme and Lopez will start up front. Tanner Vinson (6-2, 190), Joseph Rizzo (6-1, 225) and Josh Sepe (6-2, 185) will be at linebacker.

Wallace, Jayden Jennings (5-11, 170), Jackson Cheek (6-1, 160) and Zach Neciuk (5-8, 165) will be in the secondary.

“We have great numbers,” Johnson said. “We have 117, 118 out here right now. Kids are working hard. The effort, the energy, the enthusiasm by this group has been really good.”

After opening on the road against Porter Ridge the Cavaliers will travel to Jay M. Robinson. Cuthbertson hosts Anson County and Kings Mountain before starting conference play Sept. 22 at home against Parkwood.

“Our first two games are on the road against two good teams,” Johnson said. “We are excited, and we have a tough nonconference schedule. We have two tough tests out of the gate on the road and we are looking forward to it.”

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at