Fort Mill’s Quinn Kelly looks to pass during a scrimmage at Lancaster recently.

By Mac Banks and John Turner

Another football season will soon kickoff for Fort Mill High with several questions for the Yellow Jackets going forward as they replace players who graduated and try to get their first win in some time.

Fort Mill currently has lost 15 consecutive games with their last win coming September 2021 against Lugoff-Elgin. Before that win against Lugoff, Fort Mill had gone 16 consecutive games without a win last winning in September 2019 against Lancaster before going through a couple Covid shortened seasons.

Fort Mill was close last year to getting wins in three games losing by touchdowns to Rock Hill, Spring Valley and by only five points to Chester.

The Jackets went 0-10 last season and this year will be fielding a team with some experience, but a young offensive line.

“We are really young up front,” said Fort Mill head coach Rob McNeely. “I want those guys up front to compete.”

McNeely said Fort Mill will be in year two of the same offense so the familiarity is there.

“The guys are a little bit more comfortable hopefully,” he said. “We just have to take care of the football. Make sure every drive ends in a kick.”

At quarterback, both sophomore Quinn Kelly and senior Collin Martin have been taking snaps under center. Martin filled in some last year when injury put Fort Mill’s starting quarterback on the bench.

“Both guys are getting equal number of reps,” McNeely said. “Collin got some experience last year. Hopefully one of them will step up, but I want them to compete every day.”

Other players that could end up contributing to the offense is Grayson Diehl and Tanner Mays in the backfield. Catching the ball, Fort Mill has two weapons in Landon Kurtz and Tysen Helms.

The offense is being led by coordinator Jon Liable with the defense being led by coordinator Dennis Stokes. McNeely said not being a coordinator helps him out and takes some items off his plate as well.

On defense, Fort Mill is a little bit more experienced in the secondary and on the ends. McNeely pointed to Kurtz at defensive back as a big addition coming back to help lead the Jackets. Linebackers such as Gavin Brandwood are also back and should be counted on as well to make stops.

In early scrimmages, Fort Mill’s defense has shown aggressiveness at getting to the ball to create turnovers.

From a scheduling standpoint, Fort Mill’s Region 3 schedule will not get any easier this season having to still contend with Nation Ford, Blythewood, Clover, and Spring Valley. Their non-region schedule is just as difficult opening at Catawba Ridge and Chester in Week 0 (Aug. 18) and Week 1 (Aug. 25).

Fort Mill’s home opener will be against Indian Land on Sept. 8 coming off a bye week Sept. 1 The Jackets will host Lugoff-Elgin Sept. 15 and then travel to York Sept. 22 before starting their Region 3 schedule the next week.

Region home games for Fort Mill are against Blythewood (Sept. 29), Rock Hill (Oct. 6) and Nation Ford (Oct. 27)

Mac Banks:, @fortprep