Maxwell shatters football milestone

Wade Hampton High School standout shatters 2,000 yard rushing milestone, credits team and family for success.

  • Pernell Maxwell III

Although Wade Hampton High School football standout Pernell Maxwell III is deserving of credit and admiration for his hard work and dedication to the his team, Maxwell says he could not have achieved his tremendous 2,300 yards plus rushing total this season if not for his fellow teammates and coaching staff.

Ranked amongst the top three high school football athletes in rushing yards in State of South Carolina this season, Maxwell credits the outstanding on-field accomplishment to his team, coaches, family and friends for their unwavering support on and off the field.

“I say my lineman did it for me. Without my lineman I couldn’t really do much,” he said. “To be a good leader, you have to be a good follower. I appreciate my team for everything.”

The powerhouse running back, who excels on both sides of the line, stated although he is proud of his personal accomplishment, he is equally proud of his team’s region championship title; the first regional championship the school has seen in 13 years.

“I am a very dedicated person,” said Maxwell. “I make goals in my head. I told myself ‘I have to get a thousand yards this season no matter what’. Making goals for yourself, that makes you run a little bit harder.”

Maxwell began his sports career as a basketball fan, with no desire to play football. It was his aunt [Lori Joyner] who urged him to play football, a sport which she felt he would excel at. After his first time charging upfield with a football tucked tightly under his arm he was hooked.

During his time playing middle school and early stages of high school football, Maxwell says coaches predominantly utilized his brute strength to knock the helmets off opponents and place them squarely on their backs. It was not until recent seasons that his coaches utilized the potential he possesses to power through the line of scrimmage as an unstoppable offensive threat to be reckoned with.

Although a stellar season for WHHS, one game in particular stands out in Maxwell’s mind as his most memorable experience. The team’s major win over powerhouse Bluffton is a game the young athlete will not soon forget. He stated he fully realized his abilities to be a team leader during the matchup against Bluffton and enjoyed motivating his fellow teammates to find the will to overcome adversity on the field.

“I like being a leader on the field,” said Maxwell. “I know the game of football and I love it. I am focused on playing in the NFL. I don’t have a second choice. My first choice is playing in the NFL, I’m sticking with it. I’m going to do it. I want my team and coaches to know when I step onto the field I am going to give it 130 percent, every time.”

When not using his free time to hone his abilities on the football field and build his body in the weight room in anticipation for upcoming sports seasons, Maxwell enjoys quiet days spent at home playing PlayStation 4 with friends. He says he would much rather be at home playing football video games than engaging in mischievous activities, as common amongst many teenage boys.

After graduation, Maxwell aspires to attend a division one football program; either South Carolina or Georgia. As well as a football career, Maxwell has interest in automobile mechanics and hopes to continue to learn new mechanical abilities after he hangs up his jersey after a career in football.

“I want to be able to provide my mother a better life. She has a good life now, don’t get me wrong, but everything can always be better and I want to give my mother [Tina Maxwell] the world,” he said with smile.

Next year, Maxwell stated his team will begin the season with every intention of going all the way and winning the state championship game.

“WE are aiming to get a ring. What I am going to do on my part; I am going to get bigger and I am going to get faster and I am going to get stronger. We are going to do whatever we have to do to win. And me being the leader, I am going to get my team right,” he said. “We struggle with heart and you know, there isn’t much you can do about heart, but I have to lead by example. All I know is that next year we going to be much stronger and much faster. We are going to understand the plays…we know how to attack now and we know the plays...during training camp Coach Brown brought us together and we are like brothers now.”

Look for additional awards and accolades to be bestowed upon Maxwell in the near future, as well as fellow teammate Tre Phoenix. Look for additional stories on the two standout athletes in future editions of the Guardian.