Seniors Luke Ergle and Will Campbell have been “absolutely pivotal” to any success Greenwood Christian has had this season, Hawks coach Jolly Doolittle said.
The duo pulled through last Friday to deliver another playoff berth for Greenwood Christian, which is in its fourth year of 11-man football. The Hawks dominated Oakbrook Prep, 42-0, to finish fourth in the region.
“It’s great, definitely, just getting to that landmark that we had for the last few years of 11-man,” Campbell said.
Campbell ran an interception back for a touchdown to make the score 21-0. Both players played on the offensive line, which gave the teams’ running backs plenty of space to rack up 375 rushing yards. Greenwood Christian running backs Cale Mack and Brett Durham rushed for 126 yards and 123 yards, respectively.
Ergle and Campbell have been chosen as Co-Players of the Week for Week 10.
Doolittle thinks the two are some of the best people he’s ever coached. Ergle and Campbell have helped maintain a high standard set last season, even while Greenwood Christian has struggled at times this season.
“In every way imaginable, they lead our football team,” Doolittle said. “Academically, spiritually and physically. Just all the work they put in to this team and how much they care for these guys and the way they sacrifice for these guys.”
The Hawks made school history by winning a playoff game last season. Greenwood Christian had nine seniors that year, including All-Lakelands running back Jack Alvarez, who is now a freshman on The Citadel’s football team.
Campbell and Ergle were voted unanimously as team captains this season. They think that last year’s bonding experience poised them to take the lead of the team this season.
“I never had a doubt in my mind that we were going to keep up from last year,” Ergle said.
“We lost a lot of great players and great leaders from last year. But I had no doubt that we were going to step up and do it, because we’ve been learning from those guys our whole entire high school careers. They built the foundation and we just keep building on it.”
Campbell said last year’s experience set a high standard of work rate for him and the team’s three other seniors.
“I think the expectation for us this year was to not be as good as last year because we lost all those athletes and leaders,” Campbell said. “I feel like we have done a lot this year to fill those shoes and carry on as a team.”
The leadership Doolittle has seen from players such as Ergle and Campbell gives him hope for the future. He said the two players are an extension of the coaching staff on the field.
“They’re good leaders now because they were willing to be led in the years past,” Doolittle said. “They’ve done it this year. They’ve been the cornerstone of our leadership for sure.”
Greenwood Christian has a small group of upperclassmen, but plenty of sophomores on the roster who are gaining valuable playing time.
“We got a lot of young guys that are really good at learning,” Ergle said. “They’re really teachable, coachable. They’re great athletes and it’s just nice to be on the team with them.”
Greenwood Christian finished the 2019 regular season with a 5-4 overall record and a 2-3 mark in SCISA Region 1-2A.
The Hawks will face Hilton Head Christian in the first round of the playoffs Friday. Hilton Head Christian is tied for the No. 3 ranking in the state.