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USC offense to play key role in 2014

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County Gamecock Club meeting

By Robert Howey

 

The Bash at the Moose was all about the Gamecocks on Monday, Aug. 4 when the Lancaster County Gamecock Club held its summer meeting.

A group of 82 USC supporters attended the event held at the Lancaster Moose Lodge.

Jay Brown, Assistant Director for the Gamecock Club, was the first of two featured speakers.

He said excitement is building for the 2014 season which opens Thursday, Aug. 28 when the Gamecocks battle SEC Western Division foe Texas A&M at 6 p.m.

“We’re expecting a packed house,” Brown said.

He noted some facility updates.

“Two football practice areas are planned for the back of the old Farmer’s Market area,” Brown said. “Construction on an indoor facility is also in the works along with an upgrade in the concourse area for Gamecock Park around Williams-Brice Stadium.

“That’s really going to make Williams-Brice Stadium special.”

The event also featured Chris Clark of Gamecock Central, who noted the importance of facility upgrades.

“Facilities are a huge deal and they pay huge dividends on the recruiting trail,” Clark said.

He noted the Gamecocks are flying high on the football recruiting trail.

“They have over 20 commitments for 2015 and are currently ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation,” Clark said.

As for the 2014 season, Clark said he feels the Gamecocks have a tough schedule.

“It sets up well, but it’s a difficult schedule,” he said. “It will be challenging.”

Clark said senior Dylan Thompson is ready to take charge at quarterback.

“It’s Dylan Thompson’s season to run,” he said. “Connor Mitch is the second quarterback. He has a good arm and has looked good in early drills.”

The Gamecock rushing attack is in good hands with the return of Mike Davis, Brandon Wilds and Shon Carson along with newcomer David Williams.

“He’s a guy the coaches are excited about,” Clark said.

As for the USC receivers, he said Shaq Roland is a key player.

“They’re expecting big things for him,” Clark said.

The offensive line is also strong.

“There’s a lot of potential on the offense line and the depth is better than last year,” he said. “They can run the ball well and I feel the offense will have to carry the team in the early part of the season.”

The Gamecocks’ defense has some questions, Clark noted.

“The coaches are banking on some of the young guys coming in and there will be some young guys playing in the secondary,” he said. “You’re going to see some different things on defense and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.”

The meeting also featured a drive to support USC women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley’s Inner Soles Program which provides athletic shoes for child athletes.

A total of 18 pairs of shoes were collected during the event. Fans can still donate children’s athletic shoes by taking the footwear by Catawba Tire on South Main Street where the drive will continue to the end of the month.

“Fans can also make monetary donations to the program and drop those by Catawba Tire,” said Lancaster County Gamecock Club board member Vicki Porter. “Some of these shoes will stay in Lancaster County and we feel this is a fine program and we’re pleased to be a part of it.”