Thomas Heyward eager to ‘leave a legacy’, win third straight state title


RIDGELAND, S.c. (WSAV) – The Thomas Heyward football team has been here before. Quite a few times, actually. On the cusp of a third straight state title, the Rebels say there’s more on the line than just a win.

“For the seniors, it really sets our legacy being here,” offensive lineman and UAB commit Therion Cannon explained. “It leaves a legacy of being one of the best teams ever.”

If the Rebels can pull off a win Saturday evening against Lee Academy, they’ll have as many state titles as they do losses over the last three seasons.

“It would mean a lot to me — being able to tell my kids I got a three-peat,” Cannon added with a smile.

Thomas Heyward (11-1, 3-0) has been nearly untouchable all season. A balanced offense paired with a stingy defense has led to the Rebels winning games by an average of nearly 27 points.

“We can run the ball down your throat or we can watch the playmakers do what they do,” senior offensive and defensive lineman John Hewlett explained. “Our quarterback, Peyton Bennett, can sling the ball around like no other.”

Bennett, the starter on last year’s state championship team, says earning another ring would be the perfect end to his high school football career

“The face of the team you beat is something I would never want to feel,” the senior quarterback explained. “That’s something that motivates me. I never want to feel that way.”

The days of ‘flying under the radar’ were gone the moment Thomas Heyward went undefeated and won the state championship in 2018. Rather than shy away from the spotlight, the Rebels players have embraced it and used it as fuel to assert their dominance.

“It’s like we have a target on our back,” Hewlett said. “It’s pressure, but pressure makes diamonds.”

WSAV will be at the Rebels’ game against Lee Academy Saturday evening at Charleston Southern. You can catch the highlights in the evening newscasts.

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