Charleston Knights steal a march on their Highland Academies Commmunity League rivals on opening weekend
The Charleston Knights were the big winners in the opening round of games in 2020’s Highland Academies Community League.
This year just three teams are competing, with the Knights being joined by the Inverness High School Predators and the Sharks, a combined team made up of pupils from Inverness Royal Academy, Millburn Academy and Dingwall Academy.
The Knights were the runners-up in last year’s Highland Bowl, losing to the combination of Millburn, Dingwall and Culloden.
But this time around they signalled their intentions from the off, beating the Predators 38–0, before getting the better of the Sharks in their next game 14–0.
Later, the Predators and the Sharks faced each other in a match that went right down to the final play, with the High School narrowly taking a 14–12 victory.
They will be returning to Bught Park to do it all again this weekend, with round-robins every week becoming this year’s format.
Key to Charleston’s success could be the prominence of Highland Wildcats players that also took part in the league last year, like MVP Adam Kinvig.
That experience becomes all the more important when struggling for numbers across the league as a whole.
“Charleston have a really strong team, which is made up of a lot of core players staying over from the previous year,” said league organiser and Wildcats head coach Robbie Paulin.
“We’re getting a really good turnout at the High School – we had 15 or 16 at practice this week – but the others are just hovering around about four.
“It seems to go in waves in each school, because the High School struggled a little bit last year for example, whereas this year they’ve got the most out of everybody.
“It’s getting them transitioning from that school session to actually coming along to the Blitz, it can be tricky.”