The unofficial start of the high school football season starts tonight as the 30th anniversary of the CNB Kickoff Classic gets underway at Brooks Stadium on the campus of Coastal Carolina University.
Myrtle Beach, St. James, Green Sea Floyds, Socastee, Aynor, Carolina Forest, Waccamaw, North Myrtle Beach, Loris and Conway will play their annual preseason scrimmages beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 13 was media day as the coaches convened at the stadium to highlight how practices have been going and give previews of their upcoming season.
Aynor finished the 2018 season with an 8-2 record and a 2nd second round playoff loss to Hanahan under head coach Jason Allen.
“This year, Coastal has been gracious enough to allow us to be a part of it here,” Allen said. “All the upgrades that they have done, our kids are just so excited about being able to play in Brooks Stadium.”
Head coach Marc Morris has a problem most coaches around the area would love to have. He had 187 players initially try-out to be a part of the football team because of the excitement of the program.
“I had to cut about 30 players off our football team because we couldn’t dress everyone,” Morris said. He mentioned that he had to cut 8 players who had not missed a day since Feb. 5.
Head coach Carlton Terry returns 5 starters on defense and 4 offensive starters on a team that went 3-7 last season.
“Our returning starters have great character,” Terry said. “These days and times you need great character to be successful on and off the field and that’s kind of what we preach.”
Green Sea Floyds
The Trojans are coming off the school’s first ever state championship under Donnie Kiefer. He marveled at the new stadium expansion and thanked Coastal for allowing them to play the games there.
“What would be awesome if every high school here had a representative on the Coastal Carolina football team,” Kiefer said. “That would really bring some people from Horry County into this stadium.”
Head coach Jamie Snider is no stranger to Brooks Stadium. Snider came to Loris in 2010 after seven seasons as an assistant at Coastal Carolina.
“This is a great place,” Snider said. “I spend a little time here a lifetime ago. It’s changed a little bit. We got to come this summer to 7 on 7 here and it feels like a big stadium, because it’s a big stadium. It is such a great atmosphere.”
Head coach Mickey Wilson, Jr. was not at the media day because of a death in his family. Last season’s team won their 8th state championship in school history. Luke Doty, a South Carolina commitment, returns to lead the team for his senior season.
North Myrtle Beach
Chiefs head coach Matt Reel graduated 23 seniors in 2017 and 22 seniors in 2018 so his 2019 roster will be young. One of his former players, Kered Class, is a redshirt freshman running back on Coastal’s football roster.
“We have the pleasure of one our former athletes playing here right now,” Reel said. “Coach Jamey Chadwell has done a great job taking care of him and kind of molding him even more so since we let him leave North Myrtle so it’s great for us to be here.”
Head coach Marty Jacobs in no stranger to football in Horry County as he used to be the coach at Aynor High. He takes over for Doug Illing, who resigned back in April.
Jacobs hopes to turn a 1-7 team from last season into winners. The Braves will have 23 returning players on the squad that includes 6 offensive and 6 defensive starters.
“This is by far the best and most professionally event that I have ever been associated with,” Jacobs said speaking about the classic.
Coach Tommy Norwood in his second season at the helm of the Sharks mentioned a rough scrimmage from the night before.
“We didn’t scrimmage very well,” Norwood said. “I’ve got the only raised beach house that’s on wheels in Murrells Inlet.” He joked about being on the hot seat of coaching.
He also mentioned the level of commitment that he demands from his players.
““We had a good summer, we had a lot of people in the weight room and we kind of held everybody accountable on it,” Norwood said. “At 7:30 it opened, at 7:31 the door closed and you didn’t get in if you weren’t there at that time.
Head coach Shane Fidler wore a green ribbon on this shirt for mental awareness. He mentioned the two players who took their own lives last spring and challenged the other coaches to be there for their players.
“Our lives at Waccamaw are forever altered,” Fidler said. “Please, please support your players and other students in the school. Have an open door forum and talk to them at any time. I never want you to go through what I went through. Winning games is hard, but that is real adversity.”