Thursday, October 30, 2014

Week 10 preview/wk 9 review

Hard to believe, but the regular season is almost over. 4A teams have two games left in the regular season while everyone else closes the season this week. High school football season seems to move faster than any other season. We started practice in 90s heat August 1 for SCHSL schools. This Friday is Halloween. In 89 days, non-4A schools played their entire ten-game regular season schedule.

4A schools play eleven games; no other state in the nation plays as many as eleven regular season games. Some play as few as eight; 4A schools pack eleven games into eleven or twelve weeks. That is why teams have begun to play on week 0. Fort Dorchester has a bye week this week before next week's crucial game against Ashley Ridge, while Ashley Ridge has to play Summerville. It can be a major advantage.

This is the full schedule from WCBD:

Goose Creek vs West Ashley

Stratford vs James Island

Wando vs Cane Bay

Ashley Ridge vs Summerville

Bluffton vs Colleton County

Hanahan vs Berkeley

Beaufort vs Orangeburg-Wilkinson

Hilton Head vs Stall

Whale Branch vs Battery Creek

Academic Magnet vs Bishop England

Garrett vs North Charleston (Thursday, 5:30)

Cross vs St. John's

Military Magnet vs Baptist Hill

Lincoln vs Burke

Timberland vs Lee Central

Georgetown vs Wilson

Woodland vs Wade Hampton


Northwood vs First Baptist

Porter-Gaud vs Pinewood Prep

Colleton Prep vs Thomas Heyward

Dorchester vs Curtis Baptist

Palmetto Christian vs St. Andrew's

I will talk about the top 11 Lowcountry games this week, the games that mean the most on this Halloween night.

1) Hanahan at Berkeley: One of the biggest games of the year in high school football in Lowcountry. The winner will win the Region 8-3A title, and earn home field advantage through the first two rounds of the playoffs. Both teams are on winning streaks of four games leading up to this battle of the final night of their regular season. Fagan or Dress? What QB plays best will probably win this game.

2) Summerville at Ashley Ridge (TV game): Very important game for Summerville tomorrow night. The region could be determined with this game. Fort Dorchester wins the region with a Summerville win, and Summerville most likely finishes second. With an Ashley Ridge win, their game against Fort D next week is for the Region 8-4A title, and Summerville probably would finish 3rd in their region after being looked at as one of the top teams in the state preseason. This has turned into a pretty good little rivalry over the past few years, and don't expect anything less.

3) Goose Creek at West Ashley: Goose Creek puts their perfect region record on the line against a game West Ashley team. West Ashley has suffered some very tough luck in their last two region games. They led James Island much of the second half on the road, and missed two extra points last week in a one-point loss at Stratford. Instead of being right in the middle of the playoff hunt, West Ashley is 3-6 and playing for pride. Goose Creek can't let up before Stratford next week.

4) James Island at Stratford: 6-3 James Island has had a resurgent season this year. Last week, they lost at Cane Bay 14-7. Many James Island fans say it was a disputed game because they think Cane Bay manipulated the clock to their advantage. This game will be the Trojans fourth straight Homecoming games over the last four weeks. Very few if any schools in the state have had to do that. Stratford has to win this game to set up next week's showdown. Stratford is 7-2 and 3-0 in the region, but their last two region wins have been in five overtimes and by one point. There is little margin for error.

5) Wando at Cane Bay: 4-5 Wando has had a ton of injuries this year. They have fought hard though in every game. 4-5 Cane Bay has improved throughout the season, and last week against James Island played one of their best games of the year to earn the seven-point win. Cane Bay can set up their place in the playoffs with a win, as the James Island win was big in determining the #3 spot for their region.

If Cane Bay beats Wando and West Ashley next week, they are #3. James Island most likely has to win out and have Cane Bay lose one game to make the playoffs, while West Ashley has to win both of their remaining games and have James Island and Cane Bay lose at least once to have a chance. With the convoluted points system in 4A football, this may or may not be right. I will have an essay on this after the season.

6) Colleton County at Bluffton: Colleton County closes out their regular season with a game at Bluffton. The arduous region schedule has taken a toll on them, as at 4-6, they need a win at Bluffton to keep their playoff hopes alive. Strangely, they close the season this week, as their bye week is next week. Bluffton has had a very disappointing season. They are 3-6, and the forfeit loss to Battery Creek started it off. They were gashed last week at home by Fort D, 34-0, and have lost their last 3 games by at least 30 points.

7) Beaufort at Orangeburg-Wilkinson: Beaufort and Orangeburg-Wilkinson are battling for the third spot in the Region 8-3A race. Beaufort is 5-4, looking for a winning record, while Orangeburg-Wilkinson, on the other hand is 7-2 having suffered tough losses to Berkeley and Hanahan. This will be an important game tomorrow night. Both teams will get in the playoffs no matter what.

8) Bishop England at Academic Magnet: Now, with a superintendent let go because of what happened at Academic Magnet, the school can finally start to move on from the crazy last couple of weeks. They have one of their toughest games of the year, against a Bishop England team that has suddenly won three straight games. Last week, BE only completed two passes against North Charleston but still put 48 on the board thanks to Drew Pampu's 137 yards rushing.

9) St. John's at Cross: A battle for the region title in Region 6-1A. Cross and St. John's are both undefeated in the region, and a win for either will mean a very high seed in the playoffs and multiple home games. Huge game in Berkeley County.

10) Lee Central at Timberland: Undefeated Timberland closes their regular season Friday night hosting Lee Central. The Wolves have only allowed 57 points in 9 games. The 15 points Berkeley scored September 27 are the most they've allowed all season. They've allowed 7 points since then.

11) Pinewood Prep at Porter-Gaud: This game is an important SCISA battle with intrigue as 5-5 Porter-Gaud battles 4-6 Pinewood Prep. If Porter-Gaud wins, they earn a winning record, while Pinewood Prep would beat their local rivals. 

Enjoy the football!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Oscar Taveras killed in car wreck

Star St. Louis Cardinals outfield prospect Oscar Taveras has been killed in a car wreck in the Dominican Republic Sunday night.

This is per numerous sources in the Dominican Republic.

Confirmed: Cardinals' prospect Oscar Taveras was killed in a car accident along with his girlfriend in Puerto Plata.

From @Ligadomcom:

From various sources Cardinals' prospect Oscar Taveras has died in at car accident with his girlfriend, the player was driving.

Confirmed by his family, Cardinals' Oscar Taveras has died in car accident he was driving from Sosua to Puerto Plata (DR)

Taveras was the #3 prospect in baseball, and in 80 games for the Cardinals in 2014 batted .239 with 22 RBIs. Taveras was only 22 years old.

From diariodigital:

The player of the Cibao Eagles and the Cardinals have died Sunday night in a traffic accident , according to broadcast media in different versions. The version has not been confirmed by an official source but attributed to his agent Bryan Mejíavhaber confirmed the death of baseball player. The accident occurred on the highway between Sosua and Puerto Plata.

He was born in 1992 in Puerto Plata. The Chain of Las Aguilas reviewed the rumor of the accident and hinted that three other passengers were involved and in the car with Taveras.

But they were careful to confirm the outcome of the case occurred Sunday night, during the broadcast of the game between Aguilas and Licey which had to be suspended due to rain in the fifth inning, with the Eagles winning.

From @hgomez27, a reporter in the Dominican. Oscar Taveras was in Jamao River and on the way to Puerto Plata, had a fatal accident in Cabarete. His girlfriend also died

Friday, October 24, 2014

Week 9 preview/wk 8 recap

It has been a very interesting week in Lowcountry high school football, as the big story is the Bud Walpole story at Academic Magnet. This story has moved from a local sports story Monday night to a local news story now to a regional news story, and onto several national websites.

Walpole has been asked to resume his job as coach, starting Thursday. A link for those few people who haven't seen this story:

There has also been a game moved this week. Summerville and Colleton County were supposed to play at Summerville at 7:30 Friday night. The game has been moved to 6pm because of gang rumors. Rival gangs from Colleton County were supposed to go to the game, and this caused the game to be delayed. This is Summerville's homecoming game, and people are very mad because it has never happened before at Summerville, and because the school could lose thousands of dollars in revenue with the game being moved.

People also feel that the innocence of high school football is being questioned with all of this. Hey, Colleton County gangs. It's 2014. Your high school has done much better this year. Worry about football and having pride in your former school instead of trying to shoot each other up at a football game.

On with the games:

High School Football Schedule - Week 9

Goose Creek vs Wando: A very big game in 4A. Goose Creek winning this game will give them a clear path to the Region 7-4A title, only having to win their next two games (West Ashley and Stratford) to win the title. Wando badly needs this to avoid making it a very tough time to make the playoffs.

Stratford vs West Ashley: Stratford is still undefeated in region, and in the Marion Bowl, Bobby and Joe will battle each other for supremacy. West Ashley had a very tough loss last week at James Island, and needs a win badly in order to stay at one region loss and keep a good chance at the playoffs.

James Island vs Cane Bay: The 6-2 Trojans are one of the biggest surprises in SC this year. They beat West Ashley last week by seven, and now head to a hungry Cane Bay team on their homecoming. Both schools can greatly boost their playoff chances with a win.

Ft Dorchester vs Bluffton: Fort Dorchester makes the long trip to Bluffton, trying to move to 3-0 in the region, while Bluffton needs a win to avoid a losing record on the season.

Summerville vs Colleton County - Kick-off at 6pm: Big game in Summerville Friday evening. Summerville must have this game in order to get a good playoff seed. The vultures have been circling around the Green Wave program the past few weeks with back to back losses. Colleton County can greatly boost their playoff chance with a win.

Hanahan vs Beaufort: Hanahan and Beaufort play in an important battle. A Hanahan win would set up a winner-take-all region battle next Friday night. Beaufort winning would keep their chances alive for a region title.

Berkeley vs Stall: Berkeley needs this win to force that winner-take-all game. Stall has scored seven points in their last four games, with last week being a 68-7 loss to Hanahan.

Orangeburg-Wilkinson vs Hilton Head: O-W and Hilton Head were front runners headed into region play, but now they are struggling. Loser could be out of playoffs.

Whale Branch vs Garrett: Whale Branch had a big win against Academic Magnet last week. Garrett has lost back to back games in region play.

Academic Magnet vs Battery Creek: Magnet is ready to play after the Walpole fiasco enveloped them in the past few days. Now they have a home game at the Danny Jones Complex against a Battery Creek side that badly needs a win.

Bishop England vs North Charleston: Bishop England has played better in the last two games, getting their first two wins, and now are actually tied for second in their region. North Charleston is better than last year, but still have tough sledding through their region play.

Cross vs Lincoln: This game is intriguing because Cross is undefeated in the region and has to travel to Lincoln, who started 2-1 but are now 3-5. They beat Baptist Hill last week though, so an upset against Cross could actually help them in chances for playoffs.

St. John's vs Military Magnet: St. John's won last week against Burke. Military Magnet was shut out at Cross. This is an important game in their region.

Baptist Hill vs Burke: The winner of this game will earn their first win of the season in their second to last game.

Timberland vs Andrews: Important game in Timberland's region, as Andrews is perfect in the region just like Timberland, and Andrews gets Timberland on their home field.

Georgetown vs Myrtle Beach: 6-2 and 2-1 Georgetown battles undefeated Myrtle Beach in a very big game on the Grand Strand. Tons of playoff implications.

Woodland vs Silver Bluff: Woodland lost last week at Barnwell, they hope to bounce back this week.


Northwood vs Bethesda: Undefeated Northwood Academy has a big game on the road against Savannah's Bethesda Academy.

Porter-Gaud vs L. Manning: Porter-Gaud is 5-4, and hosts Laurence Manning in a very big game in their region.

Pinewood Prep vs Cardinal Newman: Pinewood Prep has lost two straight. They hope to bounce back in a home game against Cardinal Newman, their senior night.

Palmetto Christian vs First Baptist: Another battle of win less teams. Both schools 0-8. They have to get one today!

Enjoy the games!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Academic Magnet football coach Walpole asked to resume coaching duty

Breaking Wednesday afternoon, 3:40pm from Bill Sharpe of Channel 5: Chairwoman of Chas. Co. Schools tells me expect a announcement today that Bud Walpole is reinstated as Football coach at Acad. Mag. Bud Walpole gets his job back this afternoon after meeting with seupt. McGinley,according to School board sources. Chairwoman of Chas. Co. school board says no need for board to meet if Dr. McGinley offers Bud Walpole his job back, this afternoon. Expect announcment soon from CCSD that Bud Walpole gets his old coaching job back from Supt. Dr. McGinley, according to school board chair.

Walpole has led Academic Magnet to become one of the surprise stories in Lowcountry high school football this year. The team is 6-2. He has been the head football coach at the school since 2005.

This is the statement from Dr. McGinley:

Coach Andrew Rusciolelli will serve as the interim head football coach. Coaches Steven Kamp and Gary Weart will be the assistants for the two remaining games of the season, the statement said.

They are practicing today: Jeff Hartsell of the Post and Courier said police kicked media off campus at Academic Magnet before football practice.

Bud Walpole statement from Hartsell: AMHS coach Bud Walpole statement: "truly sorry to anyone whom my actions or in actions may have offended." "I bear ultimate responsibility for any actions our player take as a group." "Even though their actions were not meant to be offensive we need to be aware of how our actions are perceived by others."

Scott Eisberg: McGinley- Mon Oct 13th allegation brought to McGinley's attn. Watermelon actions accompanied by monkey sounds. AcMag principal investigated, told McGinley coaches didnt feel any racial undertones to what was being done with watermelon ritual. Team brought to lecture hall on October 16, kids were individually interviewed while being detained.

Happened on 4 or 5 occasions, tradition that team participated in after victories with watermelon smashing. Initiated by seniors before Military Mag game. Face was drawn on watermelon. Given name for each game. 29 students, HC and 2 asst's interviewed. McGinley says the responsibility lies with adults, should not have been sanctioned. Fired Walpole.

McGinley has not yet talked to Bud Walpole. She will and then talk to board whether to fire or reinstate head coach Bud Walpole. Walpole was also fired as the women's basketball coach. Coach Walpole didn't know that the players put a face on the watermelon.

Eisberg says parents are trying to argue with McGinley.

The watermelon was placed on the bench before every game. McGinley: Two players typically smashed watermelons. Others locked arms and made chanting sounds around it. (per Brendan Clark). McGinley: Insensitive smashing, naming watermelon. Elizabeth Moffly says that they took a watermelon to the game, dropped it in the parking lot, and made it a part of the team ritual.

Here was a picture of the watermelon that the players drew from Channel 4. The first watermelon was named Junior per Moffly on Rocky D's show.

Alexandra Weishaupt at WCBD: Parents: team has had a great season because of Coach Walpole. They say his motto is 'do the right thing.' CCSD is violating trust.

They have one of the area's top RBs, Nate Schlosser, and several other players who could get college interest.

The reason why Walpole was let go is one of the strangest stories I have ever heard. Apparently, in a team-building exercise, Walpole had the team smash a watermelon after a recent win. The Charleston County School District considered this "racist."

Update from 3:15pm press conference: @CCPNews: AMHS Booster Club prez says players smashed melons at school, not at field, & sounds were "football grunts," not monkey noises. . Parents saying football players were taken out of class 4.5 hrs to be questioned by CCSD staff, w/o parental consent. Larry Kobrovsky, state Board of Ed: "Racism is real, but when you stretch it to the pt of absurdity you diminish the reality of it"

AcMag administration has barred media from entering campus this afternoon for football practice. Told to stay outside the gate.

School Board still in exec session with Dr. McGinley, delaying start of press conference on Walpole. David Shelton on Bobby Hartin said that this has occurred for several seasons. 

Tuesday morning update from Academic Magnet: Academic Magnet AD Curt Hoffman sent a statement this morning "my focus right now is to help the players and coaches in any way I can... all matters concerning Bud Walpole are presonnel matters and as such will not be commented on."

According to Channel 5, a parent from an opposing school complained about the watermelons being smashed after a win, and also said that the Magnet players made "monkey sounds." They also said that the players were taken into meetings last week by members of the school district for three to four hours (without parental consent) and questioned about the incident with the watermelon to see if there were any "racial undertones" which the kids denied.

From David Shelton of the Post and Courier: The celebration involved the smashing of watermelons, which were then picked up by the players and eaten as post game snacks. Social media reports say a complaint was filed with the district, which deemed the celebration inappropriate.

From Post and Courier: Charleston County School Board member Michael Miller said Tuesday he received the initial complaint from the parent of a Military Magnet High School student "a week or two after" Military Magnet's 53-30 loss to Academic Magnet on Sept. 5 at North Charleston High School.

The parent complained that the watermelon celebration was accompanied by "ape-like sounds offensive to African-Americans" and was later substantiated by others, Miller said.

"I told (Charleston County School District Superintendent) Dr. (Nancy) McGinley I wasn't going to shy away from saying I was the one who brought this to the District's attention," Miller said. "If I were to do that, it would be the same as if I were participating in the actions that brought the issue to the forefront in the first place."

From Channel 4: "The whole thing began when the football team started celebrating victories by smashing a watermelon and cheering in a circle to celebrate a hard-fought win," the student said in an email. "This was seen by a [Charleston County School District] official who deemed the act to be racist."

Academic Magnet football coach Bud Walpole has been let go. Scott Eisberg of Channel 4 was the first to report this. He will remain as a teacher. 

The student said Walpole did not purchase the watermelons.

Walpole and the team traveled to Whale Branch on Friday, a day after the interviews, the student said. The Raptors lost the game 63-6.

Some of the players talked with Charleston County Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley about it, and no straight answer was given.

Here is the Twitter exchange I had with an Academic Magnet student.

no, the football team smashed a watermelon, which is considered "racist by CCSD" they felt he did nothing to stop the "racism"

so they fired him. Right after school. That's just one of the several things CCSD did to anger the students so much.

They had a meeting today at the School Board, where unbeknownst to the student body, he was let go as the football coach. The team will finish out the season with an interim coach as they have two home region games to close the season, against Battery Creek and Bishop England. 

Kyle Saavedra, a player on the team, said on Twitter that CCSD told them to "move forward as a team" but how can we when Coach Walpole is the foundation of our team? With two games left in the regular season, this is a huge blow to the team. Walpole is very well-liked around the school.

Even with last week's blowout loss at Whale Branch, they are still in position to play in the playoffs.

A petition is in order to reinstate Walpole, with almost 1,700 signatures:

You will be hearing a lot more about this in the next few days.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Top Lowcountry games of Week 8

I'm going to go back to something for this week only that I did for the last two seasons, talk about the top 10 games in the Lowcountry in more detail. I have been very busy this week at College of Charleston, with multiple major assignments and exams, so sorry for the delay. I will get back to normal previews next week.

Here is this week's schedule.

1) Cane Bay (3-4, 0-1) at Goose Creek (6-1, 1-0): A big game for Goose Creek supremacy, as all Region 7-4A games are. Goose Creek got a challenge last week from James Island, losing 7-6 at halftime on their homecoming before winning by a 32-13 score. Cane Bay lost at Stratford 33-7, as Stratford has rapidly improved throughout the season. Goose Creek has back to back road games following this one.

Cane Bay is a major underdog, but they only lost by 16 to Fort Dorchester and 2 to Summerville, and have beaten a improving Berkeley team, so they can't be counted out. Chuck Reedy has to have his Gators ready to play, otherwise it could be another long night.

2) Stratford (5-2, 1-0) at Wando (4-3, 0-1): Stratford may be the quietest 5-2 team in recent memory. Many people left them behind early in the season after back to back home losses to Sumter and a Fort Dorchester team that is the 2nd best team in the area, but they have come back with four straight wins, only allowing 30 points in the last 4 games. This is a huge game for playoff positioning in the region.

Wando was shut out stunningly last week by West Ashley, 9-0, as all the Wildcats needed was a receiving TD and a long FG in the 4th quarter. You never know what you are going to get from Wando each week. It is like Bo Wallace with Ole Miss. Do we get good Wando or bad Wando this week?

3) West Ashley (3-4, 1-0) at James Island (5-2, 0-1): A very interesting game in the Backyard this Friday night for homecoming. West Ashley lost four straight games before last week's shutout, and only scored 19 points in the last three of those. Maybe last week's win was a turning point to their season.

James Island on the other hand suffered a tough loss at Goose Creek, but performed very well, leading 7-0 in the 1st quarter after an 80 yard fumble return for a TD and only allowing six points to the vaunted Gator offense in the first half. This is a very interesting game because of the rivalry factor.

4) Colleton County (4-4, 0-1) at Fort Dorchester (7-1, 1-0): Fort Dorchester beat Summerville for the first time since 2001 last Friday night. Now they have a challenge with Colleton County, who lost by 24 points at home to Ashley Ridge. Now they draw one of the toughest tasks in SC high school football, their final three games, all in region, all on the road.

Fort Dorchester with Joyner and Garrett as the main offensive weapons are a very good team. Tonight is the Patriots homecoming, and with the fans so excited last week that they tore down the goal posts, homecoming at Fort Dorchester will be a happening this year.

5) Orangeburg-Wilkinson (6-1, 1-1) at Berkeley (3-4, 2-0): Berkeley was left for dead a couple weeks ago at 1-4. Now they have reeled off back-to-back region wins, and are 3-4 with a big game against a O-W team which suffered a very tough loss last week at home to Hanahan. They were blown out 38-13, and now in one week, O-W can go from the region drivers seat to possibly being eliminated from the region race with a loss.

Berkeley can move to 3-0 with a win, and next week's game is at win less Stall. I don't like getting ahead of myself, but the game Halloween night at Hanahan could be for a region title.

6) Bluffton (3-4, 0-0) at Ashley Ridge (5-3, 1-0): Bluffton still hasn't played a region game yet, while Ashley Ridge has already played one and has a bye next week. Ashley Ridge can earn a winning season with a win here, even with only scoring four more points than they've allowed in eight games (231-227). After three straight losses, will last week's win in Cougar Country spark a late-season run?

7) Academic Magnet (6-1, 2-0) at Whale Branch (3-4, 2-0): Most people at the beginning of the season would not have predicted that this game between two usually middling 2A schools would be one of the biggest games of the season so far. But it is for region play and playoff positioning. Magnet and Branch are the only 2-0 teams in Region 6-2A, and the winner of this battle has a very good chance of a region title.

8) Burke (0-7, 0-2) at St. John's (4-3, 2-0): Burke has lost 24 straight games in what has been a very tough time for the Bulldogs football program. They have gotten steadily better throughout the season, only losing by three points to Military Magnet last week in a tough homecoming loss. St. John's is perfect in their region, and closes their home schedule this week, as they finish up at Military Magnet and Cross.

9) Stall (1-6, 0-2) at Hanahan (4-3, 2-0): An important game for Hanahan in region play. They cannot slip up against a Stall team who is a major underdog. Stall hasn't scored a point since September 19. They scored forty-one points in a overtime win over North Charleston September 5. Since then, in a five-game stretch, they have been shut out four times in five games. Hanahan has steadily improved through the season as well.

10) Bible Baptist (2-5, 0-4) at Northwood Academy (7-0, 3-0): Northwood Academy has very quietly made their way through an undefeated season so far. They have opened their new stadium in Cane Bay, and have played a very good brand of football throughout the year. They've only allowed eight points in the last four games, and are a favorite in their SCISA preview. They can't slip up though, as Hilton Head Christian has an important game against Thomas Heyward.

11) Hilton Head High (5-3, 0-2) at Beaufort (4-3, 1-1): A very important game at Beaufort. The county rivals battle. B.J. Payne of Hilton Head says that Hilton Head basically has to win out to make playoffs. Beaufort has to probably win two of their final three to make playoffs. 

Enjoy the games!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Todd Gurley not playing against Arkansas

Todd Gurley, the Georgia RB accused of signing autographs, will not play in the next game this Saturday in Little Rock against Arkansas. No new news at this time.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Week 7 preview/wk 6 recap

High school football in 2014 in the Lowcountry has been something where there have been many factors affecting things. Injuries; weather; and the momentum that goes with high school kids playing on the field every Friday night with emotion on their side.

The season has been a fun one so far, with many surprises, and Goose Creek, Timberland and Northwood Academy rising to the cream of the crop in their regions. Every other region in the area appears to be up to grabs as everyone is in region play this week.

Shrine Bowl rosters were named on Monday. We have nine players from our coverage area in the Shrine Bowl, and no more than one from any area school. Here is a link to the full list of players:

Who would have thought Summerville would have three losses before region play, with two of those at home? It is a lot like the Gamecocks troubles. Injuries have played a big part, with Sawyer Bridges being out for a little while, and Zack Bailey as well, but still, that is two out of three seasons with three non-region Ls for McKissick. Summerville fans are starting to question Coach McKissick, and are wondering if a change should be in the offing after this year.

Wando has been schizophrenic. They are the team you don't know what they are going to do each night. One week, they beat Summerville by 23. Then they get blown out at home by Fort Dorchester. The next week, they blow out Bluffton at homecoming. If they get all their pieces right they could be a scary team.

Bishop England has improved with a freshman QB, Leo Albano, but they are still win less at 0-6, which is hard to believe when you think about where they were the past few years. A loss this week at home against Battery Creek would make them 0-7 for the first time since '96, when they were still based in downtown Charleston.

As we get to all region games, it will be an interesting week of football. All games start at 7:30 Friday unless noted.

4A: Cane Bay (3-3) at Stratford (4-2): This is a game which has become a very good one all of a sudden. Cane Bay has rapidly improved this year, still at .500 at 3-3, and has a chance to pull out a big road win. Stratford under Joe Marion already has four wins, and for the second time in three years blew out the Green Wave. That was a huge impetus going into region play, where the games really matter.

If Stratford wants a chance of winning the region, they have to win this game. They can't look ahead to next week's important game at Wando. Stratford's defense has improved, only giving up 25 points in the last 3 games. Cane Bay has to play at Goose Creek next.

James Island (5-1) at Goose Creek (5-1): Goose Creek has seemed to improve every week during their five game winning streak. Not that it is anything new under Chuck Reedy. Tyrik Johnson ran for 202 yards against Ashley Ridge, and earned Channel 5's player of the week. The last time they lost a game on the field against a Lowcountry team was November 27, 2009, the famous OT Bruce Ellington TD run for Berkeley, who won the state title the next week. This game is Goose Creek's homecoming.

They face a surprise team in James Island. Most people did not see this team coming with Coach Ike Allred's new offense and his new no-huddle style. The Trojans already have five wins, and have found a good RB in Buss Hamilton and a young lefty QB, Gage Moloney. They are major underdogs in this game, as the Trojans haven't beaten Goose Creek since 2002. The Gators will have to prepare for this style, and they did so against ECA two weeks ago. This game could be interesting.

Wando (4-2) at West Ashley (2-4): West Ashley has tumbled over the past few weeks. Starting 2-0, they are now 2-4 and have lost their last three games by at least two touchdowns. Now, they face a hungry Wando team. This rivalry has always been one of the best in the area, as they battle in every sport. West Ashley's last win in the rivalry was in 2011.

Wando now has a two QB system, with Bailey Hart and Olivier Michaud sharing the duties. It has been very successful, as Wando has played better in their last couple of weeks and have gotten some important wins. This is an important game as the region opener, as the winner will gain some new life headed into the rest of region play. This game is also the TV game on MyTV Charleston.

Ashley Ridge (4-3) at Colleton County (4-3): Amazingly, this is the final home game of the year for Colleton County, as they finish the season with three straight region games on the road. This would be a big game anyway, especially in this region with only four region games, but with what has happened to Summerville and Fort Dorchester not proven as of yet against a region opponent the region is wide open.

Colleton County got a big win last week over South Aiken, while Ashley Ridge suffered a loss against a powerful Goose Creek side. This time, region play gets started in earnest. The winner of this game still has a chance at winning region, while the loser is most likely out or has a very hard road.

Bluffton has an off week.

Fort Dorchester (6-1) at Summerville (4-3): Fort Dorchester, with all the great players and teams that Steve LaPrad has had, has not defeated Summerville in football since 2001. Seniors on this year's football team were four years old the last time the Patriots beat the Green Wave.

They have a great chance to do it Friday night. The keys have been handed to Dekareon Joyner, who became QB earlier this year, as Kobe Garrett was moved to RB/WR. Joyner, as a 9th grader, has already drawn praise from John McKissick. This is a gut check game for Summerville. Win this game, and all they need to do is win the next three and win another region title. A loss and there is a chance they don't even have a winning season. This is always a huge game, and it is even more so this year.

3A: Georgetown (5-1, 1-0) at North Myrtle Beach (1-6, 0-2): Georgetown travels to 1-6 North Myrtle Beach this week. A win will clinch a winning season.

Beaufort (3-3, 1-1) at Stall (1-5, 0-1): Beaufort suffered a tough loss last week at home against Berkeley. They were leading most of the game before Berkeley pulled ahead in the fourth quarter to get the upset win in the Eagles Nest, 27-21. Stall has had a tough season so far, and in the last two games have been shut out 87-0 by Colleton County and Orangeburg-Wilkinson. It doesn't get much easier this week with a Beaufort team that always plays hard.

Berkeley (2-4, 1-0) at Hilton Head (5-2, 0-1): There usually isn't such a thing as a must-win game on October 3, but last week for Jeff Cruce and Berkeley was one. They had to pull a win out in order to get some semblance of momentum for region play. Now, at 1-0 in region play, they face a Hilton Head team who suffered a tough loss at Hanahan last week. Hilton Head led thru most of the first half (in a game that started 90 minutes early due to weather) before succumbing in the second half.

A win for either team will help to continue momentum, especially as Berkeley hosts O-W next week and Hilton Head plays one of their main rivals, Beaufort.

Hanahan (3-3, 1-0) at Orangeburg-Wilkinson (6-0, 1-0): A battle of teams who won their first game in the region. O-W is still undefeated, and has one of the best defenses in the state. They've scored 187 points in their first six games, and only allowed 36. Orangeburg-Wilkinson has a Shrine Bowl inductee in Albert Huggins on the defensive line, and he leads that defense.

Hanahan had a big win last week, and hopes to get above .500 with an upset win here.

2A: Ridgeland-Hardeeville (4-2, 1-0) at Woodland (3-3, 1-0): Ridgeland-Hardeeville is a perfect 3-0 at home but only 1-2 on the road, while Woodland has had only two home games. Woodland hopes to continue the winning streak that began against Edisto last week here.

Academic Magnet (5-1, 1-0) at Garrett (5-1, 1-0): Who would have thought that these two schools, not known for having great football histories, would be a combined 10-2 and in a battle for a region title? These two schools are. Academic Magnet has never won more than 6 games in a season, while Garrett has a new coach, Nick Hopp.

Garrett hasn't started with a 5-1 record since 1986, while Magnet has one of the leading rushers in the area, Nate Schlosser, with over 1300 yards on the year. This will be a huge game in this region, likely determining the region title.

Battery Creek (1-6, 0-1) at Bishop England (0-6, 0-1): Hard to believe, but this may be Bishop England's best chance at a win this season. BE has gotten gradually better throughout the season, losing to Whale Branch last week, but Battery Creek only lost by three points at home to Garrett last week.

Whale Branch (2-4, 1-0) at North Charleston (2-4, 0-1): Both schools have been better this year, as North Charleston only lost by a touchdown last week at Academic Magnet, while Whale Branch beat Bishop England by 20 points, including a punt return for a touchdown.

Kingstree (3-3, 0-1) at Andrews (3-3, 1-0): Kingstree had the tough task of facing Timberland last week, getting shut out at home, while Andrews had a very rare forfeit as Lee Central's homecoming game against them was postponed and later cancelled after deadly shootings in the Bishopville area.

Johnsonville (2-4, 0-1) at Timberland (6-0, 1-0): Johnsonville nearly beat Berkeley to start the season, but have fallen on tough times, losing all three of their home games so far this year. Timberland is Timberland, as they have allowed seven or fewer points in three of their six wins so far. A important region game.

Waccamaw (4-2, 1-0) at Loris (6-0, 1-0): 6-0 Loris hosts 4-2 Waccamaw in one of the best games on the Grand Strand this week. Waccamaw won 34-18 last week at Mullins.

1A: Denmark-Olar (0-6, 0-1) at Branchville (3-3, 0-1): Branchville suffered a tough 52-8 loss to Estill last Friday, but face a Denmark-Olar squad that has only scored thirty points all year.

Cross (3-3, 1-0) at Baptist Hill (0-6, 0-1): Baptist Hill has played much better in their previous two games, losing by 12 and 16 respectively, but they are still win less on the year and face a Cross team who blew out Burke 67-13 last week.

Military Magnet (3-3, 1-0) at Burke (0-6, 0-1): Burke had a very tough loss last week, but play at home this week against a Military Magnet team that has won their last two games, at Scott's Branch and home against Lincoln.

St. John's (3-3, 1-0) at Lincoln (2-4, 0-1): Brad Bowles has improved his St. John's team each year he's been at the job; they hope to go over .500 with a win against Lincoln this week, who have lost their last 3 after starting 2-1.

SCISA: Colleton Prep (4-2, 1-1) at Holly Hill Academy (3-3, 1-2): Non-region game for these teams, but still important for playoff postioning.
Dorchester Academy (2-4, 1-1) at Bible Baptist (2-4, 0-3): A battle of 2-4 teams in region as the winner hopes to gain better playoff positioning.
Hilton Head Prep (4-2, 2-1) at Thomas Heyward (2-4, 1-1): An important game in this region, as WHHI-TV will televise the game for tape delay coverage later.
Williamsburg Academy (6-0, 4-0) at First Baptist (0-6, 0-3): First Baptist has a very tough task this Friday, hosting undefeated Williamsburg Academy; they lost 70-8 last week to Bethesda.
Christian Academy (1-5, 0-3) at Hilton Head Christian (4-2, 3-1): Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach makes the long trip to Hilton Head to face a good Hilton Head Christian team.
Palmetto Christian (0-6, 0-1) at Northwood Academy (6-0, 4-0): Back to back shut outs for Northwood Academy; they hope to keep it up this week against Palmetto Christian.
Pinewood Prep (4-3, 2-2) at Hammond (6-0, 5-0) (Thursday): Pinewood Prep travels to undefeated Hammond Thursday night in a game which could be huge if the Panthers can steal a win.
Porter-Gaud (4-3, 2-2) at Wilson Hall (4-2, 2-2): A big game in SCISA in the battle for playoff positioning on Wilson Hall's homecoming.
8-Man: St. John's Christian (3-3, 3-2) at Beaufort Academy (2-4, 2-3): St. John's won two in a row before last week, while Beaufort has won two out of three.
Ridge Christian (2-5, 1-3) at Cathedral Academy (3-3, 3-1): Cathedral has won all of their games inside the division, while Ridge won last week over James Island Christian.
Faith Christian (5-2, 4-0) at Charleston Collegiate (1-5, 1-3): Faith Christian is led by Alex North, one of the leading rushers in the state. He had 255 yards last week in a win.
Patrick Henry (6-1, 5-0) at Coastal Christian (0-6, 0-4): Another of the leading rushers in the state, Will Tuten, travels to Coastal Christian with Patrick Henry. He had 270 yards last week.
Clarendon Hall (5-1, 4-1) at James Island Christian (1-5, 1-4): A tough battle for the Lions as they face 5-1 Clarendon Hall, who has won two straight.

Enjoy the games!