Thursday, July 31, 2014
High school football camps open today, and the season is a mere three weeks away.
For the first time in recent memory, all four Georgetown County high schools will be playing each other.
“It’s good for us because we need those rivals,” said Andrews head coach Scott Durham.
“It’s good for our county… good for the kids and the gate,” said Georgetown head coach Bradley Adams.
However, in Class AAA, Georgetown will not get as many points toward a playoff spot by playing schools in smaller classifications. Carvers Bay is Class A, and Andrews and Waccamaw are Class AA.
Last season Georgetown missed the playoffs by two-tenths of a point.
Due to a change in S.C. High School League rules, coaches were able to work with their players more this summer.
“It’s helped to get your kids better prepared,” said Waccamaw coach Tyronne Davis.
“It helps us get the kids in shape faster. The biggest thing is getting them out in that weather and getting them acclimated.”
Davis said it also helped with “continuity,” since there wasn’t a huge gap from spring practice to when camps open.
“We’re way ahead right now,” he said. “We’re much farther along in what we’re able to install on both sides of the ball... knowing the schemes.”
Carvers Bay returns to the field as the defending Class A Lower State champions. The Bears went 9-1 in the regular season, clinching their second straight No. 1 seed in Lower State.
Andrews was in the hunt for a region title deep into the season, eventually finishing 6-4 and grabbing the No. 7 seed in Class AA’s Division II.
Durham was hired in June 2013, so he had less than two months before practice started for the season.
Now he’s been able to work with his players through an entire off-season, and spring.
“We were able to get a lot more done this summer,” he said.
Durham doesn’t judge his team’s improvement from year-to-year on wins and losses.
“Our mantra from day one to the day I’m no longer head coach [is] we just want to get better,” he said.
Despite its second straight winless region season, Waccamaw went on the road as a No. 12 seed in the playoffs and pulled off an upset, winning its first playoff game since 1995.
Davis said the key to getting some region wins this season is keeping everybody healthy and developing depth.
“That’s the biggest thing we fear, getting one of our starters hurt going into the region season,” he said.
There have been about 40 varsity players working out since spring.
“They’ve all been working hard all summer,” Davis said.
Georgetown finished last season 5-5 and was the only Georgetown County high school football team not to make the playoffs.
Socastee moved up to Class AAAA this season, and was replaced in Georgetown’s region by Lake City. The Panthers were 2-9 in Class AA last year, and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
“It’s going to always be a very tough region,” Adams said. “It still goes through Myrtle Beach. Any time Myrtle Beach is in your conference it’s going to be a very tough conference.”
Adams is pleased with what he’s seen this summer.
“The kids have worked extremely hard and the coaches have worked extremely hard,” he said.
More players have been participating in team activities this summer than in the past, but that leaves Adams cautiously optimistic.
“It doesn’t mean we’ll have a better football team,” he said.
Andrews opens the season in Week 0, hosting Waccamaw on Aug. 22.
The Yellow Jackets then host St. James on Aug. 29, travel to Georgetown on Sept. 5, host Carvers Bay on Sept. 12, and end their non-region schedule at Hemingway on Sept. 26.
The Yellow Jackets’ region schedule is: at Lee Central on Oct. 3; hosting Kingstree on Oct. 10; at Johnsonville on Oct. 17; hosting Timberland on Oct. 24; and at Lake Marion on Oct. 31.
Carvers Bay doesn’t play in Week O, kicking off its season hosting Johnsonville on Aug. 29. The Bears then travel to Waccamaw on Sept. 5 and Andrews on Sept. 12, before hosting Georgetown on Sept. 19.
Carvers Bay’s non-region schedule ends Sept. 26 at C.E. Murray.
The Bears’ region schedule is: hosting Creek Bridge on Oct. 3; at Green Sea-Floyds on Oct. 10; hosting Lake View on Oct. 17; hosting Latta on Oct. 24; and at Hemingway on Oct. 31.
Georgetown kicks off the season in Week 0, playing at Conway on Aug. 22. The Bulldogs then have their bye week on Aug. 29 before beginning the in-county schedule, hosting Andrews on Sept. 5 and Waccamaw on Sept. 12 and then traveling to Carvers Bay on Sept. 19.
Georgetown’s non-region schedule ends Sept. 26 at home against Loris.
The Bulldogs’ region schedule is: hosting St. James on Oct. 3; at North Myrtle Beach on Oct. 10; at Lake City on Oct. 17; hosting Myrtle Beach on Oct. 24; and at Wilson on Oct. 31.
Waccamaw opens the season in Week 0, playing at Andrews on Aug. 22.
The Warriors then travel to Hannah-Pamplico on Aug. 29; host Carvers Bay on Sept. 5; play at Georgetown on Sept. 12; and host Green Sea-Floyds on Sept. 19.
Waccamaw’s region schedule is: at Mullins on Oct. 3; hosting Loris on 7:30 p.m.; hosting Aynor on Oct. 17; at Marion on Oct. 24; and hosting Dillon on Oct. 31.