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Cheraw High School football's future looks bright after 4-2 season in 2020

Ken Hamrick
LA Junta Tribune
Cheraw High School quarterback Cade Phillips looks for an open receiver in a game against Cotopaxi in October. The Wolverines won four games and lost two this season.

The Cheraw High School football team experienced its best season in a few years in 2020. The Wolverines won four games and lost two, but came up a little short of attaining a postseason berth.

"It was really good season for us," said Cheraw coach Brad Phillips. "We were probably about or higher than expectations coming in. It was one of the better seasons we've had since 2015. We were pleased, but disappointed that we didn't make the playoffs."

The Wolverines had an exceptional start to the season after scoring a pair of shutout wins over Cripple Creek-Victor (59-0) and Cotopaxi (46-0). They then defeated Walsh for the first time in school history by a score of 54-24, before losing a shootout with Granada 67-60.

"We really focused on defense during the offseason and it showed coming out," Phillips said. "We played pretty well against Granada, but they're obviously a really good offensive team. But we still played pretty good defense all year."

Cheraw then defeated Manzanola 82-38, but lost the season finale to Branson/Kim by a score of 26-20.

"That was just a tough one," Phillips said. "They played really well and they defended well. We came out a little bit slow at the beginning, but we ended up playing pretty solid in the second half. We just couldn't score that touchdown to put us over the top."

The loss to Branson/Kim probably knocked the Wolverines out of the playoff picture.

"That put us out," Phillips said. "If we would have won that one, we would have been a sixth or seventh seed."

The Wolverines were led this season by sophomore quarterback Cade Phillips. He was part of a state record in the Granada game as he and Bobcat quarterback Dominic Coleman combined for 14 touchdowns.

"We threw the ball well," Phillips said. "But the receivers caught the ball well. They ran the routes well and they made things happen after the catch."

Several other players stood out for Cheraw this season.

"We had our seniors contribute in Jacob Groves and Trey Pearce, and they did a lot of good things in the offseason," Phillips said. "Braeden Harris ran the ball hard. Wade Goodrich started at center and blocked well for us and he did a lot of good things. Nathan Clarke is a junior and he did a lot of good things for us as a first-year starter. But we lost Tatum White, who was one of our better tacklers. We lost him early in the season."

Cheraw loses only two seniors to graduation, and Phillips said that the future is bright for Cheraw football.

"We're excited," Phillips said. "We're looking forward to the basketball season and they're going to be solid there. Hopefully, we'll jump into the off-season and we have a lot of good juniors who are going to be seniors coming back and a really good sophomore class coming back. The future's looking really bright."

Tribune-Democrat reporter Ken Hamrick can be reached by email atKHamrick1@gannett.com.