15 Teams in 15 Days: Bluffton brings ‘redwood’ mentality into 2021 season


BLUFFTON, S.c. (WSAV) – When asked about the ‘buy-in’ he’s seen from his team so far, Bluffton head football coach John Houpt broke out an analogy any West Coast transplants in the Lowcountry could relate to.

“We want to be like the Redwoods,” Houpt said matter-of-factly. “We want to be these big giant trees and the roots only go about ten feet down into the ground, but the roots support each other and they are intertwined with each other. We want to be big, we want to be strong, we want to be fast, but we want to be there to support each other.”

After an unimaginably difficult summer, the Bobcats are ready to get back to football and hope to embrace Houpt’s ‘redwood’ mentality this season.

“It’s friendships that we build around here,” linebacker Jaquinn Williams explained. “We stay together and it’s a pretty good team effort here. It’s been rough in the past, but I feel like it’s going to be different this year.”

After starting the 2020 campaign with a 3-1 record, Bluffton fell in all six of its region matchups.

“A lot more dedication — that’s what we’ve been missing these last few years,” senior wide receiver Camauri Simmons said, when asked what makes this year’s squad exciting. “We’ve got that now, so we should get back on the map.”

The Bobcats return 32 players from last year’s team, exactly doubling what they had returning before the 2020 season.

“Just watching from the 7-on=-7 events, the offense and defense is crazy good,” defensive back Adarion Ransburg added. “Our execution and how we play together is really good. I’m really confident about this year.”

After a four-game non-region slate to open up the season, Bluffton’s seniors will head into the back-end of their schedule determined to lift the region crown like they did during their freshman year in 2018.

“I really think about it, this being my senior year, and I feel like we have it all,” wide receiver Robert Brown said. “It’s just a mindset — so we just have to wait and see.”

WSAV weekend sports anchor Connor DelPrete will bring you Bluffton’s full story tonight on WSAV after primetime Olympics coverage.

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