Thursday, December 19, 2013

Theatre collapse in London

There has been a collapse at a theatre in London, the Apollo Theatre.

3:48pm: Injuries reported after building collapse during performance at London's Apollo Theatre - @nbcnightlynews

 Picture of scene:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Kevin Higgins leaving for Wake Forest

Citadel football coach Kevin Higgins is leaving his post at to take an assistant coaching job at Wake Forest per Jeff Hartsell of the Post and Courier. Higgins has been the Bulldogs coach since 2005.

Andy Pruitt of Channel 5 says that a 4pm press conference will be held to announce him stepping down. 

Higgins will be the WRs coach at Wake Forest, along with being the assistant head coach.

Higgins was 43-58 in his nine seasons there.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mack Brown to resign as Texas head coach

The Longhorn Network is reporting that Mack Brown is resigning as Texas head football coach after 16 years.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Shooting at CO high school

There has been another school shooting. It is at Arapahoe HS in Centennial, CO, about 8 miles from where the Columbine shooting was in 1999.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Two killed near Wingate

Two people have been killed near Wingate University in North Carolina.

@DionLimWCNC: Update: Lockdown at Wingate University. 2 people are dead, 1 transported to hospital. Happened along E. Wilson Street near the school.

PD Chief: campus on lockdown, two people dead, searching for assailants

The Wingate campus has been on lockdown since 6:15 p.m. No official word on the cause.

6:54pm update from WBTV: : 2 dead, 3rd person injured in shooting along E. Wilson Street along campus. campus on lockdown

WSOC: University officials told Channel 9 the incident involved three victims on East Wilson Street, which runs alongside the campus.

Police contacted school officials and said they should put the school under lockdown. PD: assailants not on campus, lockdown is a precaution. 3 different crime scenes within the city. Doesn't believe student at risk

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Week 14 preview/Wk 13 review

Hard to believe, but we are nearly to the end of the season. I am writing this post from Athens, OH, where I am visiting family. It is snowy there, and it barely got above freezing today. Most of y'all have eaten your turkeys and your stuffing. I hope you're ready for very important games.

Last week, one of the more stunning outcomes of the last several seasons occurred. Goose Creek lost at home to South Pointe. They hadn't lost a game on the field since September of 2011. In this high school football climate we are in now, that's almost unbelievable. South Pointe went in and beat them 30-27, but Goose Creek added a late TD. South Pointe led most of the game. South Pointe is now on to the state semis.

Stratford upset South Florence in a grudge match of a game earlier in November. Bishop England also lost.

This is the full schedule from the Post and Courier, and my picks to win for each game in bold.
All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted
State championships
at Benedict College, Columbia
Division II-A
Hunter-Kinard-Tyler vs. Timmonsville, noon
Division I-A
Carvers Bay vs. Christ Church, 3 p.m.
State semifinals
Division I-AA
Fairfield Central at Cheraw
Timberland at Dillon
Class AAA
Chapman at Daniel
Marlboro County at Myrtle Beach
Division I-AAAA
Dutch Fork at Byrnes
Sumter at Summerville
Division II-AAAA
South Pointe at Stratford
North Augusta at Northwestern
Enjoy the games!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Week 13 preview/wk 12 review

The nights are starting earlier. The games are getting fewer and fewer. The playoffs are getting to be very important. 4A teams start the second round of playoffs this week; other schools start their third game. SCISA schools are done after this weekend. Last week was one which was interesting throughout the Lowcountry.

By far the biggest surprise (which many of the pundits picked) was Marlboro County going into Hanahan and ending their perfect season by a score of 7-6, on a defensive touchdown. Hanahan was picked by many to be the state champion in 3A. They didn't make it past their second game in the playoffs. Anything is possible when turnovers dilute the home field advantage.

The 4A teams did well last week. Goose Creek blew out a 3-8 Wade Hampton team 76-0. Stratford beat up Nation Ford 41-6 in a game that was looked at as an upset possibility. Summerville beat Ashley Ridge in a 21-7 final which was very competitive, just like their previous battle which ended 39-33 in favor of the Greenwave. Beaufort beat Blythewood by a 23-15 final. All four teams that were expected to win won last week.

In 2A, Timberland shut out Aynor 41-0, while Lake Marion did away with Waccamaw locally. BE shut out Andrews 30-0 while Garrett lost to Bamberg-Ehrhardt. Those two face off this week in a big game. Woodland travels to top-seeded Silver Bluff.

In 1A, we are in the state semis, as Carvers Bay hosts Allendale-Fairfax, and Lamar hosts Christ Church in D1, while all local teams are out of the D2 bracket. SCISA finishes up this weekend. Colleton Prep and Hilton Head Christian are the only local teams playing for state titles at that level. Both title games are Saturday at Benedict College. HHC plays at Noon, Colleton Prep at 3:30.

Here is the schedule for everyone:

4A: Boiling Springs (8-4) at Summerville (10-2): The Green Wave host Boiling Springs from the Spartanburg area in the second round of the playoffs. Boiling Springs upset Gaffney last week, spoiling a Gaffney match-up that many were predicting. Boiling Springs is good in its own right. They have one of the best offenses in the state. They've scored 528 points on the year, including 70 against Mauldin, 34 against Byrnes, 54 in a regular season game against Gaffney, and 45 against York.

The problem is all those games were losses. Summerville has their usual grind-it-out style under Coach John McKissick. Amazingly, it has been six seasons (2007) since Summerville made the state semifinals in 4A, back when A.J. Green was still playing. That year they made it to the state finals. Can Summerville stop their later-round playoff blues?

South Pointe (10-2) at Goose Creek (12-0): A juicy game from John Fulmer Field in Goose Creek. Goose Creek dominated out manned Wade Hampton last week 76-0. A newspaper report said that the Gators used over 100 players in this game. Coach Chuck Reedy basically went through the JV rosters and played everyone. It will be different this week. South Pointe does not have Jadeveon Clowney (like they had in the 2009 and 2010 playoffs) but they still have a lot.

South Pointe has gone a perfect 6-0 on the road this year. Their best road win was at former Stallions coach Bobby Carroll and York, 27-10. They have a very balanced offense. Anthony Johnson has scored 12 TDs as a WR, but four other players have at least three on the year. Marveon Mobley leads the defense with seven interceptions. Can South Pointe make it a game and perhaps pull a major upset?

Stratford (10-2) at South Florence (12-0): Ray Stackley has been known as a good scheduler for several seasons to try and boost up points for playoffs. Scheduling South Florence in the regular season was big. Both teams came in perfect for the November 1 game in Florence. South Florence came out on top in the rain, 26-14. Three weeks later, they will meet again.

Stratford QB Jacob Park had his worst game of the year there, only completing 11 of 35 passes for just 130 yards. The Knights are coming in three weeks later with a game plan, having just practiced for the Bruins a few weeks ago. Can South Florence's potent defense shut down Stratford like they did three Fridays ago? That's the key.

Beaufort (9-3) at North Augusta (11-1): Beaufort draws one of their longest road trips of the year for their second-round playoff battle at North Augusta. This year they've already beaten Aiken and Carolina Forest on very long road trips. It will be different against a North Augusta team that only lost to Lexington 18-14 October 11.

Last week, they beat Laurens 42-11, as WR Keyon West had 147 receiving yards and two TDs. They rushed for 177 yards and passed for 204. Beaufort has been a surprise for a lot of the season. Can they pull an upset? It's possible.

2A: Loris (9-2) at Timberland (9-2): Timberland heads into this third-round game in the 2A playoffs with a lot of confidence. They have found their stride in their first two playoff games, winning by a combined score of 92-0. They have won six games in a row after starting 3-2. Loris is a better team than the two previous ones they've faced. They shut out Ridgeland/Hardeeville last week. Amazingly, five of their last six games have been shutouts. The only non shutout was a 28-12 win over Aynor the final game of the regular season. This will be a good one in St. Stephen.

Woodland (10-1) at Silver Bluff (10-1): This will be a battle as the Wolverines make the trip to the east side of Aiken to face Silver Bluff. This will be a good game to watch, as Silver Bluff hasn't lost since their opener against Strom Thurmond, and has been known as one of the best teams in the state in 2A. Can Woodland upset the Bulldogs and head to the state semifinals?

Bamberg-Ehrhardt (6-5) at Bishop England (9-2): Bamberg-Ehrhardt beat Garrett 43-0 last week, but they face a tougher challenge against Bishop England. They got a bye in the playoffs due to their good region record. Bishop England has won nine straight this year, not losing since the second game of the year. Except for 26 against Garrett, in their last 7 games they've allowed 0, 0, 0, 7, 13, and 0 points respectively. That's pretty good at any level. Can the Battling Bishops hold serve at home?

We will find out a lot this Friday. Prayers to John F. Kennedy and his family as this Friday is the 50th anniversary of his assassination in Dallas. I hope everyone enjoys the games.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Week 12 preview/wk 11 recap

The weather has gotten colder. Snow was falling in parts of South Carolina on Tuesday night. It's playoff time for everyone. Smaller schools had their first round of playoffs last week. The 4A schools now are getting in the act.

Last week, Summerville clinched their region title, and Ashley Ridge along with Fort Dorchester earned playoff berths. Goose Creek beat Stratford 14-7 in front of a crowd of about 8,000; while West Ashley clinched a winning season (while Cane Bay went to 0-11) and Wando lost at Sumter.

In 3A, Hanahan beat Southside, but all other Region 8-3A teams lost (including Berkeley getting shut out by Myrtle Beach). In 2A, Bishop England and Woodland had byes in the playoffs; along with Timberland; Garrett upset Lee Central, while North Charleston lost at Barnwell. In 1A, St. John's lost to Hemingway at home; Baptist Hill lost at Carvers Bay. Cross blew out Lincoln 69-0, while Branchville beat Timmonsville and Military Magnet beat Creek Bridge.

In SCISA, Northwood Academy beat Spartanburg Christian; Porter-Gaud lost to Hammond; Hilton Head Christian won over Thomas Sumter; Palmetto Christian upset Calhoun Academy; Colleton Prep beat St. Andrews, Holly Hill lost; and Dorchester Academy beat Trinity-Byrnes. In 8-man James Island Christian lost to Clarendon Hall; Beaufort Academy lost to W.W. King; and Cathedral lost to Carolina Academy locally.

That runs down last week. This week's schedule:

I will run down all the local games for y'all here.

I-AAAA (upper): (16) Wando (4-7) at (1) Byrnes (10-1): Byrnes has been a juggernaut for the last decade or more in South Carolina high school football, having won two of the last three state championships in their 4A division. Wando is 4-7, and suffered a ton of injuries during the season, having to move a lot of players around. Wando did win two of their four region games, and played a good schedule, leading to the 16th seed. They used two QBs for most of the season, but now rely on sophomore QB Bailey Hart.

Anything can happen in the playoffs. Stranger things have happened. Undefeated Rock Hill lost in the 2009 playoffs, first game. Byrnes though looks to have an edge at most positions, with QB Shuler Bentley leading the Rebels.

(12) Fort Dorchester (7-4) at (5) Dutch Fork (8-3): Fort Dorchester is a team that has gotten better throughout the season. The Patriots finished winning three of their final four contests, including a 14-0 shutout of Ashley Ridge in the regular season finale. They finished 7-4 on the year, and junior QB Kobe Garrett has steadily improved. Against Beaufort in a 24-21 loss, he ran for 202 yards and a TD.

He is also the leading ball carrier with over 1100 yards rushing. D'Monte Bailey and Corey Rawlings are the leading WRs. Junior Myles White is the leading tackler with 70. Dutch Fork is led by QB Derek Olenchuk, who has thrown for 29 TDs this year. They gave Goose Creek a very tough fight before falling 35-21 in late September. This will be an interesting game. Can the Patriots pull off the upset, or will Dutch Fork hold serve?

I-AAAA (lower): (14) Ashley Ridge (4-7) at (3) Summerville (9-2): This game will continue a rivalry which went Summerville's way, but by just 6, 39-33 two weeks ago at McKissick Field. They will play again with everything on the line. In 2011, it was Summerville and Fort Dorchester with everything on the line, this time it is the Green Wave and Swamp Foxes. QB Sawyer Bridges has led Summerville to this 9-2 record, becoming a capable field general through the season.

Ashley Ridge is led by Chandler Avenel, a junior. Through a rainy night two weeks ago, the two QBs battled tooth and nail before Summerville eventually ran out the clock. As is the potential in any rivalry playoff game, anything can happen. Coach John McKissick will have to have his Green Wave ready to play from the start against upset-minded Ashley Ridge.

II-AAAA (upper): (16) Wade Hampton (3-8) at (1) Goose Creek (11-0): Goose Creek begins its playoffs with a game against 3-win Wade Hampton from Greenville. The Gators had a very emotional game last week against Stratford, winning 14-7 to finish the regular season undefeated. Now, they begin the playoffs against the Generals.

The Generals won just one region game, 14-6 against Riverside. They have allowed 405 points on the season. As I said about Byrnes, anything can happen in these games, but Goose Creek looks like the better team. This site has more about their roster and some highlights from previous games:

(12) Nation Ford (7-4) at (5) Stratford (9-2): Nation Ford makes the long trip from the Charlotte area down to the Lowcountry to face Stratford, who has dropped their last two contests after starting the year 9-0. Nation Ford is 4-1 on the road this year, but have lost three games to South Pointe, York and Northwestern by at least 42 points. Last week they beat Fort Mill.

Jacob Park will be hoping to improve his performance during the playoffs, as Stratford is trying to better their performance from the last two years, when they've fallen in the second round. Nation Ford has a shot in this one if they stop Stratford's offense.

II-AAAA (lower) (11) Blythewood (7-4) at (6) Beaufort (8-3): Blythewood heads down to the Lowcountry to face off against an improving Beaufort team. After missing the playoffs last year, Coach Mark Clifford had a much improved squad this year. Beaufort won eight ball games, with the three losses Goose Creek, at Summerville and a surprise on a Thursday night at Ashley Ridge.

They will face off against a 7-4 Blythewood team led by a sophomore QB, David Israel. Since being the starter, he has thrown for 16 touchdowns. He is mostly a drop back passer. Hassan Belton is their leading tackler with 80 on the year. The Bengals won three of their last four games heading into the second season. Can Beaufort hold serve at home?

3A: Marlboro County (9-2) at Hanahan (11-0): Hanahan held serve last week as they dominated Southside, which was expected. This week though is a tougher challenge. Marlboro County comes into town, having beaten Swansea on the road last week. They finished 8-2 in the regular season but an early loss in region play to Hartsville forced them to travel in the playoffs.

Hanahan has allowed just 94 points on the season, but Marlboro County will be one of the tougher challenges they've faced in a while. They have a very good offense led by QB London Johnson. The Bulldogs could be a tough out for this Hanahan team, holding the Region 8-3A hopes singularly now.

2A: Andrews (7-4) at Bishop England (8-2): Bishop England has steadily improved throughout the season, having won eight straight since they started only scoring six points in their first two games. BE had a first round bye last week, and now face an Andrews side who beat Calhoun County last week.

Kingstree (4-7) at Woodland (9-1): Kingstree last week came in at 3-7, the #12 seed in their playoff bracket (lowest you can be) but upset fifth-seeded Mullins 50-34. Woodland is fresh off a bye, and except for their loss at Bishop England, have been a dominant team throughout the season, winning every game by at least two TDs.

Garrett (6-5) at Bamberg-Ehrhardt (5-5): Garrett surprised Lee Central last week in Bishopville with a 14-6 upset, while Bamberg had a bye last week. Bamberg-Ehrhardt is led by South Carolina commit Kevin Crosby, finally a senior this year after having been looked at his entire high school career.

1A: Timmonsville (5-6) at Cross (6-5): Cross won last week against out manned Lincoln 69-0, but face a tougher challenge this week against the hometown of former NASCAR driver Cale Yarborough. Cross has lost just once at home this year, while Timmonsville is 3-2 on the road. Something has to give.

SCISA: Palmetto Christian at Hilton Head Christian is the best game. After losing their first two games Hilton Head has won their last eight. QB J.T. Waters of Palmetto Christian, even after missing two games, still has thrown for 1,748 yards and has rushed for 2,278 yards. That's 4,026 yards, or 447 yards of total offense in just nine games.

Enjoy the playoffs all!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Todd Christensen dead

Former BYU football player and football television announcer Todd Christensen died this morning due to complications from a surgery.

A report on Twitter is that he died this morning from complications to a liver transplant.

The story hasn't been confirmed yet, but former BYU football player Reno Mahe posted this on his Facebook. A post on a BYU message board also says this:

Reno Mahe: 
Thoughts and prayers out to a BYU legend and his family. My heart is saddened for my former teammate. Nothing but love for you Toby and the Christensen family. RIL Todd!
Christensen was 57 years old. This is him pictured with Marcus Allen.

Christensen was a BYU RB from 1974-1977. He led the team in receiving for three consecutive years. He began his NFL career with stops in Dallas and New York, before moving to the Oakland and eventually Los Angeles Raiders. He caught 92 passes in 1983, when the Raiders won the Super Bowl, 82 in 1984, and 80 in 1985.

In his career, Christensen caught 461 passes for 5,872 yards and 41 touchdowns. After Christensen's football career, he eventually became a TV announcer. He was best known for teaming with Charlie Jones on NBC from 1990-94. He then went to ESPN to do college football, and he had been announcing college football since. He was a color guy on CBS Sports Network doing Navy games.

Greg Wrubell of KSL in Salt Lake City posted this statement: In message to former BYU players, Todd's family expressed gratitude "for the wonderful outpouring of love and prayers they have received."


Monday, November 11, 2013

How does the Braves move to Cobb County impact regional fans?

The Braves announced today (November 11) that they are building a brand new stadium in Cobb County, NW of downtown Atlanta, to replace Turner Field starting in 2017. The new stadium will be just inside the perimeter, at I-75 and I-285 on the northwest side of town.

The new stadium will most likely seat about 41,000.

This is where the new stadium will be:

This is where the stadium will be in relation to where Turner Field was in metro Atlanta, with 2012 ticket holders overlayed.

Many are complaining about how far the new stadium is from downtown Atlanta. A thing that hasn't really been discussed yet is how the new stadium will impact Braves fans coming from other parts of the Southeast. The Braves have one of the largest fan bases of any team in baseball, and much of it comes from other areas not in the metro area.

I will run down major metropolitan areas where the Braves have a lot of fans and compare how it will impact fans.

Northwest Georgia: The new stadium is a boon for Braves fans in northwest Georgia. The site of the new stadium is only 58 miles from Rome (where their low-A farm club is), compared to 71 miles from Turner Field. The stadium is 13 miles closer to the northwest Georgia Braves fans, which is important for weeknight Braves games. Dalton is only 77 miles from the new stadium. This will help the Braves in that area.

Athens: Many people think that Athens Braves fans will be hurt by the move. In fact, Turner Field and the new stadium are almost the exact same distance from downtown Athens (72.5 to 72.3 miles). You have Perimeter traffic to deal with, but it is a straight shot for fans down 316 to 85 to 285. Some parts of the Athens area are closer to the new stadium.

Chattanooga: The new stadium will be a big help for Chattanooga area fans. It will be just over 90 minutes and 13 fewer miles to the new stadium (1:47 to 1:34). With Reds games being televised in Chattanooga, plus a Dodgers farm club, the Braves needed this move to get closer to their fans in that area, where they've been a stronghold since 1966. You also won't have to deal with downtown traffic.

Birmingham: For most of the Birmingham area, another major metro area with a lot of Braves fans, it is about 3-5 miles more to go to the new stadium than it is to go to Turner Field. It is not that big of a difference there, but as you get into northeastern Alabama that changes. It will be as much as 15-20 miles closer for places like Guntersville and Fort Payne. It is 3 miles farther from the Tuscaloosa area.

Upstate South Carolina: For Braves fans in the Upstate of South Carolina (where they dominate) it is almost the exact same distance that it will be to the new stadium. Instead of going on 85, you'll have to go 285 on the north side of town. Even to Spartanburg and Gaffney, it will be almost the exact same distance.

Augusta: A place where the new stadium will hurt is Augusta, long a stronghold of Braves fans. Now it will be 14 miles farther to go to the new stadium than it is to go to Turner Field. It still will be under 2 1/2 hours from most of the area.

Macon: It will also be 14 miles farther to the new stadium from the Macon area. It is still a straight shot up I-75 for most of the area though, so there won't be as much of an impact there as the Braves have dominated for generations.

Columbus: It will be just 8-10 miles farther to go to the new stadium from metro Columbus. Columbus. It will also be about the same amount farther from the Auburn area.

Knoxville: The new stadium is a boost to Knoxville. Now, the area will be 13 miles closer to Major League Baseball. It will now be under a 3 hour drive while you had to drive through the downtown traffic to get to Turner Field, often making commutes long. The Braves and the Reds both have followings in the area.

Huntsville:  The new stadium will have the same impact on fans in the Huntsville area as it did for Chattanooga. It will be 13 miles closer to the new stadium than it is to Turner Field.

Nashville: This is a boost to Middle Tennessee Braves fans (which there are a lot of) but it hurts the cause of Nashville getting a MLB expansion team. The team is 13-15 miles closer to most of Middle Tennessee. Nashville is an area which in the past few years has not been a strong baseball area. The Braves hope that moving closer will provide more attendance for folks from that area.

Montgomery: The new stadium will be 9 miles farther away from the Montgomery area than it is now. It is a straight shot up 85 to 285 to go to the new stadium. 

Savannah: The new stadium will be 14 miles farther away from the Savannah area than it is now. Most fans in the Savannah area tend to trek in for weekend games, so it won't be as big of an impact for those folks, but it still will be about 15 minutes longer than it is now. It is 15 miles farther from the Brunswick area

Columbia: The new stadium will also be 14 miles farther from most of the Columbia area than it is now. Columbia is an area which has long rooted for the Braves. For northern parts of the Columbia metro area (places like Newberry and Chapin) it will be about the same distance to the new stadium as Turner Field. You will have to go through Greenville now.

North Carolina: The new stadium is exactly the same distance (246 miles) from Charlotte as it is now. It won't have a large impact on the possibility of Charlotte getting a MLB expansion team down the road. The new stadium is actually a mile closer from Greensboro and Winston-Salem. It is also about the same distance for those from the Asheville area.

Charleston: Most Charleston area Braves fans make the long trek to Atlanta for weekend games. It will be 14 miles farther to go to the new Cobb County stadium than it is now. It already is close to a 5 hour drive, but as the Braves have lost a few fans in the past few years (not having a radio affiliate there this year), it will hurt some.

Jackson: Jackson, Mississippi, where the Braves double A farm club is (Mississippi Braves) has become a Braves area in the past few years. It is still a very long trek (5 1/2 hours) from the area, but it will only be 3 miles farther with the new stadium.

The new stadium is also about 9 miles farther from most Northwest Florida towns, such as Panama City, Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola.

Comment here on what you think about the move.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Week 11 preview/Wk 10 recap

Hard to believe, but we are here. The final week of the regular season. For smaller schools, playoff time is here. The season has flown by. Stratford, Goose Creek and Hanahan have been the three dominant teams in the Lowcountry throughout the season. All entered last week with perfect records. Only Goose Creek and Hanahan escaped.

In other news, James Island football coach Randy Hilyer has stepped down after three seasons at the school. The Trojans finished 2-8 this season after losing to Orangeburg-Wilkinson last week. The news was announced Tuesday night. They will begin searching for a coach after the playoffs. In 2014, the Trojans are moving back up to 4A to play in a region with Cane Bay, Goose Creek, Stratford, Wando and West Ashley. Hilyer will still teach at the school.

Last week, South Florence beat Stratford in a quagmire in Florence. Jacob Park did not play well, but he still has great stats so far this year: 27 touchdowns, 4,200 yards, and a 60% completion rate. South Florence stayed undefeated at 10-0 with the 26-14 win. Now they face West Florence to try and complete the undefeated season. Summerville clinched their region with a win over Ashley Ridge. Goose Creek took care of business against West Ashley. Wando beat win-less Cane Bay.

Beaufort got the win against Fort Dorchester last Friday night, creating a four-team tie at 2-2 for second place in 8-4A headed into the final week. Beaufort hosts Colleton County; Fort Dorchester travels to Ashley Ridge; while Bluffton hosts Summerville. A lot will be decided in this final week, with one biggie game that will be the best so far in the Lowcountry this year.

In 3A, everything's decided for regular season. Hanahan beat plucky Stall to finish a perfect 10-0 regular season. Orangeburg-Wilkinson beat JI to take second place. Berkeley upset Hilton Head at Hilton Head to take third. Hilton Head, who was in the running for winning region a few weeks ago, now is fourth in the region and have to make the long trip to Socastee Friday.

Things were less clear-cut in 2A; Bishop England though went to Ridgeland-Hardeeville and won, clinching their region. They had to win, or they could risk not even hosting their first round game. They earned a bye in the playoffs, along with Woodland. Timberland and Lake Marion also earned byes in the 2A playoffs locally.

In 1A, Cross is the top seed in Division II. They face Lincoln. They bounced back under Coach Shaun Wright. Military Magnet also gets a home game. Branchville travels on the road. In Division I, St. John's hosts a playoff game, while Baptist Hill goes on the road.

SCISA has several interesting stories this year. Porter-Gaud travels to Hammond in AAA play; Northwood Academy hosts Spartanburg Christian; Palmetto Christian travels to Calhoun Academy; Colleton Prep hosts St. Andrews, and Dorchester Academy hosts Trinity-Byrnes. James Island Christian hosts Clarendon Hall in 8-man play, while Cathedral goes to Patrick Henry and Beaufort Academy goes to W.W. King.

Here is the full schedule:

My top 5 playoff games of the week in the Lowcountry and Lower State:

5. Southside (6-4) at Hanahan (10-0) (3A): Hanahan starts their playoff quest with Southside. Many people have very high expectations with the Hawks this year. Hanahan has run through their schedule, only giving up 87 points through the entire season. Against two of their region rivals, O-W and Hilton Head, they gave up 42 combined points. The rest of the year, they've only allowed 55 points. They have the best defense of any school in the area.

Southside has limped into the playoffs with three straight losses. The Tigers started 4-0 but have lost four of their last six. But you can throw out the records in the playoffs. Everybody's 0-0. Major upsets have happened before in the playoffs. Unfamiliar opponent with a week to prepare? The Hawks don't want their season to end with the upset bug.

4. Clarendon Hall (7-3) at James Island Christian (8-1) (SCISA 8-Man): Living on James Island, it is easy to follow the fortunes of your local teams. I can hear the JI football games from my house, and only a stone's throw away is the field where First Baptist and James Island Christian play. James Island Christian has been a nice story this year. They got their coach from the Citadel, Chad Wheeler, in August.

Nobody expected much; but they have delivered with an 8-1 record and their only loss a 4-pointer to Beaufort Academy. They have some very good athletes, and light up the scoreboard in 8 man. The least amount of points they've scored in a game are 28. They face Clarendon Hall this week, a team with two guys over 1000 yards rushing; Dustin Way and Tilton McCrea. This will be a very good game to watch in this fun brand of football.

3. North Myrtle Beach (8-2) at Orangeburg-Wilkinson (9-1) (3A): Orangeburg-Wilkinson has been a very good team this year in 3A football. O-W started the year with a soft schedule, not facing a larger school until Richland Northeast in late September, but since then they have played all 3A opponents. They gave Hanahan their best game of the year, only losing by seven points in Orangeburg. They dominated Stall and Hilton Head, got a big win at Berkeley, and pulled away last week at James Island to win their 9th game.

North Myrtle Beach will make the nearly 3 hour drive from the Grand Strand armed with an 8-2 record, but because of their region losses are third in their region, thus drawing a road playoff game. The Chiefs lost last week to Myrtle Beach, but were on a 3 game winning streak prior, with two of those wins shutouts. This will be a good one.

2. Baptist Hill (6-4) at Carvers Bay (9-1): Carvers Bay, one of the best teams in the Pee Dee, hosts Baptist Hill in a battle of winning teams. Carvers Bay has improved each of the past three years, to this year winning nine games. Baptist Hill started out fast, but slumped lately. They did beat Military Magnet last week to clinch a winning record. This week they head to Hemingway to face Carvers Bay.

Here is an article from the Sun-News with a little more about Carvers Bay:

1. Berkeley (5-5) at Myrtle Beach (6-4): This is a very interesting playoff game for many reasons. Berkeley improved over the past weeksafter suffering an embarrassing 18-point loss to O-W at home. They upset Hilton Head last Friday night to earn their fifth win of the season. Berkeley finished third in the region with a 3-2 mark with the win. Therefore, instead of having to play undefeated Socastee, they get to face 6-4 Myrtle Beach in the first round.

Myrtle Beach is on a three-game winning streak, but started the season 1-3. They beat North Myrtle Beach last week 30-28. QB Drayton Arnold is only a sophomore, but he's thrown for 14 touchdowns this year. The Seahawks are also led by HB Brandon Sinclair, another sophomore, who's run for over 1500 yards this year. This looks like it will be an interesting, evenly-matched game.

Now, on to the 4A ranks. Here are the games. The scenarios I have are from the wonderful bracketologists at

West Ashley (5-5, 0-3) at Cane Bay (0-10, 0-3): West Ashley has had an improved season this year, but probably won't make the playoffs even with a win at Cane Bay. The Cobras season has been very poor. They've scored just 118 points and allowed 337 going to the final game.

Wando (4-6) at Sumter (5-5): Wando makes a trip to the Gamecock city to face Sumter Friday. Wando looks likely to be in the playoffs, but as a low seed. Sumter has improved lately, winning three straight games to salvage their season. Sumter can get a winning record with a win.

Colleton County (2-8, 0-4) at Beaufort (7-3, 2-2): The Eagles look to have clinched a playoff berth with their seven wins already on the season. The concern is seeding. Beaufort with some help Friday can clinch an automatic spot in the playoffs. They need a win though, otherwise they could be a low seed having to travel.

Summerville (8-2, 4-0) at Bluffton (6-4, 2-2): Summerville has already clinched their region with a win last week against Ashley Ridge, but this week travel to Bluffton hoping to improve their playoff seed. Bluffton needs a win and a lot of help to make the playoffs. The results have to go just right for them to have a shot, but anything can happen.

Fort Dorchester (6-4, 2-2) at Ashley Ridge (4-6, 2-2): In a rare Friday night televised game, the Swamp Foxes host Fort Dorchester basically needing a win to make the playoffs. Fort Dorchester needs a win to improve their playoff position. From scenarios I've seen, a loss would make Fort D the 14th seed in their playoff bracket. A win would make them the 11th or 12th seed. With our complicated points system for playoffs, that could change though, since almost every 4A game is connected with the playoff picture.

This is still a huge game between two huge Dorchester County rivals.

Goose Creek (10-0, 3-0) at Stratford (9-1, 3-0): This is the biggest game of the season in Lowcountry high school football. For weeks, everything has been pointed toward this football game. Likely the two best teams in the area, a neighborhood rivalry, both undefeated until last week when Stratford lost to South Florence. The Region 7-4A title will be determined on the field Friday night, along with a top playoff seed, likely in front of a huge crowd.

The battle between Jacob Park and Dantez Bennamon will be interesting to see. It will be the most intriguing part of this game, even as Goose Creek's backup RBs have become an integral part of their offense. Last week, both Caleb Kinlaw and Evan McField were out. The top RB was Tyrik Johnson, a junior. All he did was run for five touchdowns. Even though Johnson only touched the ball twice in a two-game stretch, he's had twenty touchdowns on the year.

The Knights have to slow down Goose Creek's running game to have a chance to win. Goose Creek's defense also has to step up against Jacob Park. With his passing ability, he can test the Gators secondary unlike any other QB.

Carolina and Clemson are both off this weekend. Charleston Southern and SC State are the only local games. Come support your local high school team. Enjoy the games!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Former South Carolina RB shot in Irmo

Former South Carolina RB Kenny Miles has been shot in the Columbia area today. Sportstalk SC, one of the most reputable sources of sports news in the state, reported it first.

Miles was a RB for the Gamecocks for four seasons, 2009-2012. He is one of the more popular former players in the area.

Apparently, he was shot after a robbery. Just now: @sportstalksc: Richland County Sheriff department says Miles is in critical condition and his injuries are considered life threatening.

From the Kevin McCrarey story: "According to a reliable source who asked not to be identified, former USC running back Kenny Miles was shot early Monday afternoon in Columbia. The source said the injury isn’t believed to be life threating.
More details from our source: The shooting took place on or near Broad River Road. Miles was shot in the forearm. After he was shot, Miles entered a business and the people working there attempted to help to stop the bleeding. Miles initially asked that no one call the police, but the person or persons helping him insisted they call 9-11 because of the gunshot. Police arrived at the scene and collected evidence from Miles’ car."

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Week 10 preview/wk 9 recap

It seems like just a few weeks ago we were talking about late July practices in 90 degree heat as teams started getting ready for the high school football season. Now, the Coastal Carolina Fair is starting. It is hard to believe, but the end is almost upon us. 4A teams have just two regular season games left; while all other schools are down to their last game of the regular season. Cross is already finished with its regular season.

Last week seemed to be a boring week with not a lot of interesting games, but anything can happen any week in HS football. Bishop England was an underdog to Woodland at home, but blew them out 35-7 on Daniel Island to take control of their region and probably earn another region title. Wando gave Goose Creek one of its biggest scares in the season. QB Dantez Bennamon was knocked out in the first half, and Goose Creek went to its backup.

The Gators though had a quick stretch late in the second quarter with two TDs in less than a minute, then coasted through the second half to win 49-21. Summerville is peaking at the right time. They blew out Colleton County 56-21, a game that was expected to be a little closer. Stratford looked to be sleepwalking thru the first half of their game at West Ashley, only leading 7-0 at half, but the defense strengthened in the second half as they shut out the Wildcats 21-0. Fort Dorchester blew out Bluffton, while Ashley Ridge stole a game from Beaufort with a late TD.

Cane Bay continued its losing ways, going down 27-3 to West Florence. They have two chances (@ Wando and West Ashley) to avoid a win-less season. In 3A, Hanahan clinched their region title, blowing out Hilton Head 55-21. Orangeburg-Wilkinson went into Moncks Corner and beat Berkeley; while James Island got their second win of the year beating Stall. James Island hosts Orangeburg-Wilkinson this week, while Berkeley travels to Hilton Head.

In 2A, North Charleston beat Academic Magnet; Garrett lost again, this time to Ridgeland/Hardeeville, and Burke lost again, to Battery Creek. Two weeks ago, Burke scored 26 against Academic Magnet. In their other 8 games, they have scored only 20 points. They have to beat North Charleston this week to avoid a win-less year. In 1A, St. John's suffered a heartbreaking loss to Whale Branch; Cross beat Baptist Hill, and Military Magnet blew out Lincoln.

In SCISA play, James Island Christian lost their first of the year to Beaufort Academy, Palmetto Christian and Northwood Academy lost; while Pinewood Prep lost again. They have to beat Porter-Gaud to avoid a win-less season. Charleston Collegiate travels to JI this week.

Weather could be a factor Friday night. The NWS forecast shows a chance of rain for most of the area. Already a couple of games in the Pee Dee have been moved to Thursday. Except for a couple garden-variety showers over Mt. Pleasant which cancelled a Palmetto Christian game and a few other showers, weather has not been a factor in the Charleston area this year. It could be one Friday.

Here is the complete schedule:

Quick hits: Lincoln (1-8, 0-3) at St. John's (5-4, 3-0): St. John's controls its own destiny headed into this game with Lincoln. They can clinch at least a couple home playoff games with a win here.

Battery Creek (4-5, 3-3) at Academic Magnet (3-6, 1-5): This game is mainly for playoff positioning, but Battery Creek can clinch at least its second straight five-win season after just four wins the previous three seasons.

Bishop England (7-2, 6-0) at Ridgeland-Hardeeville (6-3, 5-1): Bishop England can officially clinch a outright region title with a win, but this comes with the long trip to Jasper County. Ridgeland-Hardeeville is playing for a possible tie for the region title with a win.

Bluffton (5-4, 1-2) at Colleton County (2-7, 0-3): Bluffton was bludgeoned last week by Fort Dorchester; now they face a hungry Colleton County team on their senior night. There's a chance for an upset here.

Cane Bay (0-9, 0-2) at Wando (3-6, 1-2): Wando hosts their final region game against winless Cane Bay before going to Sumter next week. Winning here probably means a playoff berth.

Baptist Hill (5-4, 1-2) at Military Magnet (4-5, 1-2): Another big game for playoff placement. Baptist Hill can clinch a winning season with a win, while Military Magnet can get its best record since 2009.

Top games: 5. West Ashley (5-4, 0-2) at Goose Creek (9-0, 2-0) (Thursday): West Ashley has been an improving team throughout the season, but last week lost to a suffocating Stratford team 21-0. Goose Creek went through a lot of adversity against Wando, but eventually won by four touchdowns, overwhelming the Warriors like what they have done to most opponents.

This could be an interesting game. Halloween night, on a short week, with a hungry West Ashley team looking for an upset. The Gators better not be looking forward to next week's battle at Stratford. West Ashley has some talent. Will the ghosts and goblins be out?

4. Berkeley (4-5, 2-2) at Hilton Head (7-2, 2-2): Hilton Head has run into a tough stretch of games recently. They started 7-0, but had to go in consecutive weeks to Orangeburg-Wilkinson and Hanahan. That's a combined 224 miles on the bus in two weeks. They were blown out in both games. Now, the Seahawks are back with their home fans for the final game of the regular season.

Berkeley needs this game to avoid another losing season. Jeff Cruce is on the hot seat no matter what happens; they will have to travel on the road for the playoffs if they make it. Hilton Head, even with seven wins, most likely will travel for the playoffs as well. This is still a very important game in-region to close the regular season.

3. Fort Dorchester (6-3, 2-1) at Beaufort (6-3, 1-2): Beaufort was in a very good position two weeks ago; 6-1 with a chance to take control of the region with a win over Summerville. Instead, they have laid two Dorchester County eggs. They were shut out by the Green Wave, and inexplicably lost to Ashley Ridge last Thursday night as their K missed a FG and an XP.

Now, Fort Dorchester is surging; they could get the second-place spot in Region 8-4A, which would probably mean hosting their first playoff game. Beaufort is on the downturn; they could face having to go on the road for the playoffs, or if they somehow lose their final two, maybe miss the playoffs altogether. The Eagles want to right the ship Friday night.

2. Ashley Ridge (4-5, 2-1) at Summerville (7-2, 3-0): On the other hand, both Ashley Ridge and Summerville are surging teams. The Swamp Foxes started the year 0-4, but they've won four of their last five to set up a very important game Friday night. Summerville has only lost to Goose Creek and Stratford, and showed their might last week against a pesky Colleton County team.

Summerville has suffered several injuries to some of their key players, but like many old John McKissick teams, they have depth. Summerville is playing some 9th and 10th graders at RB after Davon Anderson left prior to the season (his Glenville team didn't allow a single point in October). Summerville's young team is gelling this year, and could be a force in the next couple seasons. They still have business to take care of in their final two regular season games.

1. Stratford (9-0) at South Florence (9-0): It is rare that two teams this late in the season play a non-conference game, let alone one with two teams still undefeated. Several people on message boards I read were underestimating this game because both schools have important region battles next week; Stratford against Goose Creek, and South Florence against West Florence. Still, this is a battle between the #5 and #6 teams in the state in 4A. Stratford coach Ray Stackley has done this for years, playing opponents from other parts of the state, but other coaches should try and play opponents from other areas.

But Stratford and South Florence are doing that Friday night. This might be the biggest game in the Pee Dee so far this year. South Florence averages nearly fifty points a game. Other than a 28-21 win against Sumter, the Bruins have won every game this year by at least 27 points. Stratford is led by QB Jacob Park, the Georgia commit who has thrown 19 TDs this year; while South Florence is led by QB Nick Jones, a junior who has thrown for 28 touchdowns against just 5 interceptions, and has also run for 10 touchdowns.

This game will be a battle of the QBs. Whoever has the better game will win for their team, and will advance to their cross-town battle next week with an undefeated record.

Enjoy the games!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Week 9 preview/wk 8 recap

The weather is getting cooler. The games are getting bigger. This year is heading toward a climax with region play heading toward its end. A couple of regions will be decided this week, and games in other regions will play important parts toward the end of the season.

Last week was a week where the favorites mostly won. Summerville shut out Beaufort 17-0, which was a huge step in them locking up Region 8-4A. Fort Dorchester was thought to be on upset alert... they beat Colleton County on their homecoming 56-14. Bluffton beat Ashley Ridge, 41-28.

Goose Creek traveled to win-less Cane Bay and won 55-7; Stratford beat Wando 35-7 in a game that wasn't expected to be that lopsided; and West Ashley blew out Conway 49-14 to get their 5th win.

In 3A, Hanahan continued to prove themselves as one of the top teams in the area, blowing out James Island 41-8 on their homecoming. Berkeley beat Stall as expected, while Orangeburg-Wilkinson beat Hilton Head. O-W, Hanahan and Hilton Head are competing for the region title, but Hanahan has a huge upper hand. They host Hilton Head, and with a win clinch the region title. James Island and Stall also play this week, at Stall.

In 2A, Woodland and Bishop England each got big wins which led up to their major showdown this week on Daniel Island; while in 1A, St. John's continues to surprise, moving to 3-0 in region with a win over Military Magnet. They have just one region game left against one-win Lincoln.

In SCISA, James Island Christian has stayed undefeated, with a win over Faith Christian.

This week's schedule, with a rare sight, two Thursday games. It is a stacked week of games, with almost every game playing an important part in a region race.

Quick hits: Cane Bay (0-8) at West Florence (4-4) (Thursday): Winless Cane Bay heads to Florence to face West Florence on Thursday because another Florence team is home Friday.

Cross (4-5, 2-1) at Baptist Hill (5-3, 1-1): Cross, amazingly, is playing their last regular season game Friday night. It still has meaning, because it could determine playoff positioning in 1A. A Baptist Hill win would clinch a winning season.

Thomas Heyward (6-3) at Northwood Academy (6-2): Northwood Academy has an important home game in SCISA against Thomas Heyward, who are both battling for hosting a playoff game.

Summerville (6-2, 2-0) at Colleton County (2-6, 0-2): The Green Wave can get ever closer to a region title with a win at Colleton County Friday night. They are a steadily improving ball club who is playing well at the right time.

Stratford (8-0, 2-0) at West Ashley (5-3, 0-1): In a stacked week for games, this is still a very good one. West Ashley came back with a big homecoming win over Conway, while the Stratford train has kept on rolling with a win over Wando. West Ashley will be hoping to ruin the Knights' perfect season.

Goose Creek also hosts Wando this week in 4A play at John Fulmer Field.

Top games: 5. Beaufort (6-2, 1-1) at Ashley Ridge (3-5, 1-1) (Thursday): A very important Thursday game in Region 8-4A. Ashley Ridge has played their share of Thursday games since the TV package started back in 2010. They have played at least one each year, and this year have this game, along with a televised game on November 8. Ashley Ridge lost last week to Bluffton, but have improved throughout the season.

They can still make an impact in their region. Beaufort is coming off a shutout loss against Summerville where they have several good chances, but missed two FGs and had a TD called back. Beaufort is on a short week, playing in Summerville on a Thursday night. This could be a closer game than thought.

4. Orangeburg-Wilkinson (7-1, 2-1) at Berkeley (4-4, 2-1): One of two big games in Region 8-3A. Orangeburg-Wilkinson beat Hilton Head last week, and already have as many wins as they had all of last year. Berkeley under Jeff Cruce has been a team searching for an identity. Last week, they beat Stall as expected, and they have won two home games this year, as many as they won last year.

Coach Cruce is on the hot seat by many in Moncks Corner, and a win here would go a long way toward loosening the buckle on him. This game is also big for playoff positioning, possibly determining if a team will go on the road or stay home. But will the Bruins spoil senior night in Moncks Corner?

3. Hilton Head (7-1, 2-1) at Hanahan (8-0, 3-0): This is basically the Region 8-3A title game. A Hanahan win will clinch the region title for the Hawks; a loss would allow Hilton Head and Orangeburg-Wilkinson back into the race. Hanahan though is one of the best teams in the state. The Hawks have allowed just 66 points after 8 games; with 51 of those 68 points allowed in 3 games. In other 5 games combined, they've allowed just 17 points.

Hilton Head lost last week at O-W, denying them a chance to take the region title with a win, but it is still a very impressive season along US 278. They have come a long way from 2011, when they won just four games. The home crowd in Hanahan will look to be a major factor against the Seahawks.

2. Bluffton (5-3, 1-1) at Fort Dorchester (5-3, 1-1): People on the Palmetto Football Talk message board frequently reference Doodle's Doodles, a feature on the High School Sports Report website. Every game has a favorite or underdog in this system. This game is a complete toss-up on that system. You rarely see that this late in the year. This is a big game for points purposes.

Both teams, especially Bluffton (after playing several smaller schools) need points in order to ensure a playoff berth. Fort Dorchester is a young and steadily improving team, while Bluffton was used to dominating their division in the past few years. Reality has set in this year, as they've already lost 3 games, including to one of their main rivals, Beaufort. A win for Fort Dorchester would likely give them a big boost for a playoff berth. Look for this to be a very close game.

1. Woodland (8-0, 5-0) at Bishop England (6-2, 5-0): This game is one of the games of the week, and for good reason. The Region 6-2A title will be determined in this game most likely. Woodland has looked impressive, beating Colleton County early in the season, while BE's two losses have been to an improved West Ashley and Hanahan at the beginning of the year.

Bishop England started the year with a retooled offense, but have become a very good team later on with players like Nick Shiver (who's scored 12 rushing TDs on the year along with 1 on defense). The Bishops very rarely throw. They've only thrown 68 times all season, while Woodland loves to light up the scoreboard. Except for the Colleton County game, they haven't scored less than 34 points in a game all season. This will make this game a very interesting one.

Can the Bishop England defense stop the Woodland offense? Or what is often the case, the opposite? This will determine who wins this very important game.

Enjoy the games!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Titans owner Bud Adams dies

The owner of the Tennessee Titans and the former owner of the Houston Oilers, Bud Adams, has died in Houston today, according to .
Bud Adams has passed away in Houston, a source has told Brett. According to Zwerneman: All early indications are that Bud Adams' death is of natural causes, source said. Also stressed 'early indications.' Fox 17 in Nashville has confirmed that Bud Adams has passed away.
Fox 17 has confirmed Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams has died. We will have more on the story as it develops.

Read More at:
Fox 17 has confirmed Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams has died. We will have more on the story as it develops.

Read More at:

Bud Adams was 90 years old.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week 8 preview/wk 7 recap

High school football is moving into the homestretch. Every season seems like it flies by, even though most schools begin in late July or early August with practice. Non-4A schools have just three regular season games left, mostly in-region. 4A schools have four games to go.

Last week was one with some very intriguing games. Summerville beat Fort Dorchester again, with a quick third-quarter surge. Ashley Ridge beat Colleton County. Don't look now, but the Swamp Foxes, once left for dead, are now 3-4 with a game at now-vulnerable Bluffton next. Wando saved their season with a win over West Ashley. They are also 3-4, but face the gauntlet of @ Stratford and @ Goose Creek next. Stratford beat Cane Bay as expected, while Bluffton fell again to Beaufort, now 6-1 and one of the bigger surprises of the season.

In 3A, Hanahan whitewashed Berkeley in one of the games of the week, 36-0. Hilton Head stayed undefeated by defeating James Island. Orangeburg-Wilkinson got the win at Stall. Hanahan goes to James Island for their homecoming this week while Berkeley hosts Stall.

In 2A, Timberland continued a winning streak by beating Lake City. Bishop England and Woodland stayed undefeated in their regions; so did Ridgeland/Hardeeville. Garrett also won to go 5-2. In 1A, St. John's improved to 4-3 and 2-0 in region play with a big win over Cross. James Island Christian also remained undefeated with a 72-0 win over Coastal Christian; they head to Faith Christian this week.

Here is this week's schedule. There is no Thursday night game this week:

Quick hits: St. John's (4-3, 2-0) vs. Military Magnet (at North Charleston HS) (3-4, 0-1): Military Magnet, the team where everyone is named Eagles, hosts St. John's in an important 1A game. If St. John's wins and Cross finds a way to lose at Lincoln, the region could be controlled by the Islanders.

Conway (1-6) at West Ashley (4-3, 0-1): If West Ashley wants to get a winning season, they have to win games like this one. Conway has lost six straight, while West Ashley has lost three in a row after starting 4-0.

Garrett (5-2, 2-2) at Bishop England (5-2, 4-0): Few thought heading into the season that this would be a battle of five-win teams. Coach Dirk Thomas though has greatly improved Garrett this season. They face a tough challenge with Bishop England Friday night.

Ridgeland-Hardeeville (5-2, 4-0) at Woodland (7-0, 4-0): A battle of unbeatens in St. George. Woodland has rolled through most of its competition so far, with only two of their seven wins by less than nine points. Will the Jaguars be a tougher challenge?

Goose Creek (7-0) at Cane Bay (0-7, 0-1): Goose Creek begins region play with Cane Bay. Stratford overwhelmed the Cobras last week; will another one of Cane Bay's crosstown rivals do it again?

Top 5: 5. Fort Dorchester (4-3, 0-1) at Colleton County (2-5, 0-1): This game will be an interesting one in Walterboro. Fort Dorchester may be mentally drained after last week's game against Summerville, where Coach LaPrad brought out all the stops, including special black uniforms. This didn't work, as Summerville continued its winning streak over the Patriots.

It is Colleton County's homecoming. The fans will be extra excited in Walterboro as the Cougars try to get their first region win since 2009. With Colleton's dynamic offense, the Cougars have a chance in this game. Players like Ramon Hall and Latrell Nieves can match up with most schools in the area.

4. Ashley Ridge (3-4, 1-0) at Bluffton (4-3, 0-1): Ashley Ridge has helped their season with three straight wins. What looked hopeless after an 0-4 start has gotten better. They head to Bluffton with a chip on their shoulder, hoping to stay undefeated in region play. After being one of the hunters the past few seasons, a team few knew about, they have become the hunted.

They've had several injuries, and went to OT with A.C. Flora, escaped 1-6 James Island by one point, and lost at Beaufort last week. Bluffton will be hoping to turn around their recent woes this week with the Swamp Foxes.

3. Wando (3-4, 1-0) at Stratford (7-0, 1-0): In this week's region 7-4A slate, this is the best game. Wando has had more injuries than almost any other team in the state. They've lost about 20 guys to some sort of injury this year. Their starting QB at the beginning of the year, Dalton Stubbs, is now starting at safety. In 4A football. Bailey Hart has become the new starting QB. Even with these injuries, they still beat West Ashley last week in their rivalry game.

Stratford with Jacob Park has gotten better every game. They won 42-7 last week, and this week Park got his commit to the U.S. Army All-American Game on Tuesday in a ceremony at Stratford. He was also named a Mr. Football finalist, the only one from the Lowcountry. Even though there are bigger games ahead, you can't overlook any games in region play.

2. Hilton Head (7-0, 2-0) at Orangeburg-Wilkinson (6-1, 1-1): Going into the season, few could have thought that a battle between these two would be with teams with a combined one loss. Hilton Head though has proved many wrong throughout the season. They upset Bluffton in the Bridge Bowl 33-32, and won their first two region games. Poona Ford, one of the best players in the state, has scored TDs on offense and defense this year.

However, O-W is their toughest game to date. They lost by just seven to Hanahan, and already have almost matched last year's win total with three games left. If Hilton Head wins this game, it will set up a battle of unbeatens next week at Hanahan. If O-W wins, Hanahan will have the inside track for the region title most likely.

1. Beaufort (6-1, 1-0) at Summerville (5-2, 1-0): This game is a battle for region supremacy as Summerville has their homecoming game. Beaufort has surprised to start the year. At 6-1, they have won all four of their road games so far this season. However, Summerville on homecoming is one of the toughest challenges in the state.

Summerville played well last week against Fort D, winning 24-7 as QB Sawyer Bridges improved, and Coach John McKissick has his team back in their usual position of competing for not just region titles, but high playoff seeds and home field advantage. Beaufort, on the other hand, won just four games last year and five in 2011. They've already won more this year. This will be a close game in my opinion. Beaufort has played well on the road this year, and will hang in for a little bit, but Summerville's home crowd may be the difference in this one.

Enjoy the games!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Week 7 preview/wk 6 recap

High school football gets into its most important part of the season starting this week for the 4A schools. Region play begins. Last week was a very interesting week in high school football. Stratford escaped over Summerville, 30-28, in what was probably the best game of the year so far. Fort Dorchester came back from being down 21-0 at West Ashley to win.

Berkeley got a big win over James Island. Colleton County earned their second win of the year, beating Cane Bay during their homecoming. Hilton Head stayed unbeaten, and Hanahan went into Orangeburg-Wilkinson and beat the Wolverines in what was regarded as one of the biggest games in years there. Ashley Ridge upset West Florence 20-0 in Florence. Have they turned the corner?

Here is this week's schedule:

Some interesting games this week.

Quick clips: Augusta Christian (2-4) at Porter-Gaud (2-5) (Thursday): Augusta Christian makes the long trip from Martinez, GA to Charleston to face Porter-Gaud on Thursday Night Lights. After starting 2-1, PG is on a four-game losing streak.

Woodland (6-0, 3-0) at Battery Creek (2-4, 1-2): Undefeated Woodland heads to Burton to play Battery Creek. The Dolphins played well against BE last week, but were shut out, 17-0. What will we see this week from them?

Goose Creek (6-0) at Carolina Forest (1-5): Goose Creek tries to continue their undefeated streak as they head to Carolina Forest. They gave then undefeated Beaufort a run for their money before falling 49-35 at home. This is the Gators last game before region play.

James Island (1-5, 0-1) at Hilton Head (6-0, 1-0): Hilton Head tries to continue its undefeated streak against the Trojans. Region 8-3A is one of the best in the state; three teams are currently ranked in the top 10 in 3A (Hanahan, Hilton Head and OW).

Bishop England (4-2, 3-0) at Burke (0-6, 0-3): Bishop England heads to Burke to try and continue their winning ways. Burke has only scored 20 points in 6 games. The most they've scored in ANY game was 8 last week at Woodland.

Cross (3-4, 1-0) at St. John's (3-3, 1-0): A big game in 1A on Johns Island Friday night. Cross beat Military Magnet last week, while St. John's traveled to Baptist Hill and won. The winner will take control of Region 6-1A.\

Bluffton and Beaufort also have a very important game in Beaufort starting their region play.

My top 5:

5. Stratford (6-0) at Cane Bay (0-6): Region 7-4A play starts this week, and Stratford is coming in after a extremely emotional two-point win last week over Summerville, one of the best games of the year, and now they head up US 176 to Cane Bay. They have never hosted the Knights before, and there will be a raucous crowd for this one.

Will Stratford be in for a possible trap game? Jacob Park was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and he threw for two TDs last week in the win over the Green Wave. Every region game is important, but especially in Region 7-4A, where one slip-up probably means you're out of the race with just four region games.

4. Colleton County (2-4) at Ashley Ridge (2-4): This game has suddenly become very important at the beginning of Region 8-4A play. The winner of this one will have a lot of momentum headed into the rest of the season. Both teams had big wins last week, and the Cougars have steadily improved throughout the season since their upset over Wando.

Kenny Walker's team has won two straight since being left for dead after an 0-4 start. The winner of this game will be 3-4, and 1-0 in region play heading into a tough stretch. That's why this game is big.

3. West Ashley (4-2) at Wando (2-4): West Ashley has stumbled, losing their last two after starting 4-0. Wando had a bye week last week, much needed after a 41-13 loss against Fort Dorchester two Fridays ago. This rivalry is one of the bigger ones in the Lowcountry, in both football and basketball.

As we start region play, this is a huge game. If Wando wants to start a turnaround and head back to the playoffs, they have to do it here. West Ashley and Bobby Marion on the other hand, need a win. They do not want to start on one of their late-season swoons which have perplexed them in the past few seasons. Add in the atmosphere of West Ashley students traveling over the bridge, and it should be fun.

2. Berkeley (3-3, 1-0) at Hanahan (6-0, 1-0): A huge game in Region 8-3A, one of the stacked regions of the state. Slicker and the Stags fans were very happy last week as Berkeley went into The Backyard and beat James Island 40-14. Hanahan has remained one of the best teams in the area all season.

Channel 5 named this game as their game of the week, and I don't blame them. Berkeley has won two straight, and their offense has started to click with all of their options running the ball. Hanahan has stayed steady all season with QB Mason Schwerzler. Only a junior, he should get some looks from several Division I colleges in the next year or so. He threw 3 TDs at Orangeburg-Wilkinson. This will be a very interesting ball game. The team who takes care of the ball will come out on top.

1. Summerville (4-2) at Fort Dorchester (4-2): This may be the biggest rivalry in the Lowcountry. Both schools hate the other. Fort Dorchester hasn't beaten Summerville since 2001. This year may be as good a chance as any. Summerville just finished an emotional game against Stratford, while Fort Dorchester is surging.

The Patriots have won two straight, including a comeback from 21-0 down to West Ashley. They will be improved as they face their biggest rival. QB Kobe Garrett is not Kobe Bryant just yet, but he's steadily improved throughout the season and will be one of the best QBs in the Lowcountry next season. A win here would be huge for Fort Dorchester's students, players, and their morale, and probably would put them as the Region 8-4A frontrunner.

It will be a great game in North Charleston.

Hope you enjoy all the games!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Week 6 preview/week 5 recap

Hard to believe, but it is already October. For teams in 3A and smaller divisions, there is only one month left in the regular season for high school football. Most schools there are done with half their season.

Six games remain for teams in 4A. Region play will start for all but 4A schools this week. Last week was a fun one for fans of high school football. In what was probably the game of the week in the state, Goose Creek beat Dutch Fork, the best team on their schedule so far, 35-21. Nearly 8,000 showed up at Goose Creek for their homecoming, as the Gators trailed at halftime for the first time in a long time.

Fort Dorchester beat up Wando on their homecoming, while Summerville handed West Ashley their first loss, coming back from a kickoff returned for a TD by the Wildcats on the first play. Stratford did away with Colleton County, while Ashley Ridge got its first win over Cane Bay.

The story so far of local football is Beaufort County. Hilton Head went in unbeaten hosting their biggest rival, Bluffton in the battle of 278. Hilton Head was down 18-0 in the 2nd quarter, but came back to earn a 33-32 upset. There's more about this game here in a Beaufort Gazette article:

Beaufort bussed to Carolina Forest in Myrtle Beach, always tough when you have to go 4 hours on a Friday, and won 49-35 to stay unbeaten. Their game this week may be the best of the week. This week is one of the best in the season coming up. Your schedule:

My quick hits:

Ashley Ridge (1-4) at West Florence (3-2): Ashley Ridge finally got their first win of the year last week. Now they head to Florence to face a West Florence team on a three-game win streak.

St. John's (2-3) at Baptist Hill (4-2): St. John's and Baptist Hill battle in their first region game of the year. Baptist Hill has lost its last two, both on long road trips (to Midland Valley and Charlotte Latin).

Hilton Head (5-0) at Stall (1-4): Hilton Head takes their perfect 5-0 record to North Charleston and Stall as Region 8-3A play begins. Stall stumbled at Andrews last week.

Bible Baptist (3-2, 0-1) at Palmetto Christian (4-1, 1-0): Bible Baptist makes the long trip from Savannah to face one of the top QBs in the Lowcountry, J.T. Waters and Palmetto Christian.

Garrett (4-1, 1-1) at North Charleston (0-5, 0-2): Garrett football has had a resurgence so far, with a 4-1 record heading into their third region game. A win here would be important for Garrett.

Colleton County (1-4) at Cane Bay (0-5): This is a big game for Cane Bay. Colleton County is hoping for their first road win in four seasons, while Cane Bay's homecoming is this week. This game is almost a must-win for the Cobras; a loss and they could be facing a win less year unless they pull an upset in Region 7-4A. 

Top games:

5. Berkeley (2-3) at James Island (1-4) (Thursday): Berkeley and James Island start Region 8-3A play on Thursday night with each playing their only televised game of the season. Berkeley had a nice win over a rebuilding Timberland squad last week, while two weeks ago, James Island took Bluffton on homecoming to the last minute before falling 35-34.

This series has been one of the most interesting in the Lowcountry in the past few years, as the Trojans last year won by two TDs, spoiling Berkeley's homecoming. Before that, they hadn't played since 2009, when in one of the best games of the past few years, Bruce Ellington's amazing last-second TD was the difference in a 34-33 win. Both teams will be looking for a big win Thursday.

4. Hanahan (5-0) at Orangeburg-Wilkinson (5-0): The Hawks will be facing by far their toughest challenge of the year in Orangeburg Friday night. OW didn't play as well as they hoped last week in their homecoming, getting by Richland Northeast 28-21. Hanahan QB Mason Schwerzler threw for six touchdowns last week against Wade Hampton, and was named the Post and Courier Offensive Player of the Week.

This week, both the Hawks and the Bruins will be primed to continue their unbeaten streak in a huge game for Region 8-3A implications.

3. Fort Dorchester (3-2) at West Ashley (4-1): Has Fort Dorchester finally turned the corner? A big win last week over Wando may have been the answer. The team has steadily improved in their past few games; giving Stratford a tough fight before succumbing 26-13, and playing very tough against Goose Creek before last week. West Ashley started 4-0, and to begin last week's game against Summerville, ran a kickoff back for a touchdown.

The Wildcats though, like many teams trudging into John McKissick Field, eventually got overwhelmed by the Wave, as a blocked punt was a huge turning point in the game for Summerville. West Ashley has their biggest home game of the year so far, hosting the Patriots. They start a stretch of three of four games at home before going on the road for two games to end the year. Thus, this is a big game before their region starts.

2. Goose Creek (5-0) at Beaufort (5-0): This is a huge game for both sides. Dutch Fork proved last week that Goose Creek can be beaten if you have the right personnel and play mistake-free football. DF led at halftime before succumbing to the Gators in the second half. Goose Creek won by 14, their closest win since last year's 8 point win against Stratford. Beaufort is 5-0, with four of those wins on the road.

Beaufort is playing just their second home game of the year Friday night. That has to be among the lowest in the state. They haven't been home since August 30. With the Eagles undefeated start, there will be a huge crowd at this one. The Eagles are hoping to feed off the home crowd in order to hoist the upset of the top team in the Lowcountry. This will be very interesting.

1. Summerville (4-1) at Stratford (5-0): I was conflicted between the Goose Creek-Beaufort game and this game as my game of the week. They both are really good games. But I decided on Summerville-Stratford because both teams come in with lots of momentum. Stratford had a nice shutout of Colleton County, while Summerville won big. This is one of the biggest rivalries in the Lowcountry, with the two most legendary coaches, John McKissick and Ray Stackley.

This is a video of their 1991 game. Look at how young Ray Stackley is.

This game will be a battle between Jacob Park and Sawyer Bridges. The offense that makes more big plays in this one will have the advantage. Stratford's home crowd has been told to wear all red for this one. This game will be one of the best of the year so far, with a raucous crowd, two of the biggest rivals in the Lowcountry, and a potential for a lot of big plays.

Enjoy the games!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Colorado to play Charleston Southern Oct. 19

Colorado has done the almost impossible task of scheduling a new opponent during the regular season. Their game against Fresno State was canceled due to floods. Now, they will host Charleston Southern Oct. 19.

Charleston Southern is currently 5-0, having beaten The Citadel and Appalachian State on the road this year.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Week 5 preview/Wk 4 recap

In the world of high school football, there were many interesting stories and story lines last week. Schools are getting into the time of year where Homecoming celebrations become a part of the color of the community.

Wando had theirs last week. Their top OL (a Florida commit), Nolan Kelleher, was named to the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl during a pep rally last Friday. However, the team didn't live up to the lofty expectations, losing 36-10 to Summerville, allowing 29 straight after leading 10-7 late in the first quarter.

Bluffton was expected to blow out James Island for their homecoming. This wasn't the case. The Trojans had one of their best games of the season, leading 34-21 in the fourth quarter, but they missed an XP that would have made it a two-touchdown game. The Bobcats came back with two quick TDs and XPs to get a 35-34 lead, but James Island drove down to the 30 yard line at the end of the game. They missed a potential game-winning FG, as Bluffton escaped with the 35-34 win.

Goose Creek was impressive against a Fort Dorchester team which has potential, winning 49-28 after being tied 7-7 after 1. Stratford also had a nice win against Ashley Ridge, earning a 42-27 W. Berkeley had a bad game against Manning and the wishbone, losing 33-9. Patience is wearing thin in Moncks Corner.

My team of the week is West Ashley. After winning just one game last year, they've won their first four games this year. They got a big win over Colleton County, 35-28 last week, but this week, face their toughest opponent of the year so far.

Here's this week's schedule:

Quick picks: North Charleston (0-4, 0-1) at Bishop England (2-2, 1-0) (Thursday): Another region game on Daniel Island, as Bishop England hopes to impress the television viewers.

Beaufort (4-0) at Carolina Forest (1-4): A 4-0 Beaufort team that has really flown under the radar heads to Myrtle Beach to face a Carolina Forest team who upset Myrtle Beach last week. Beaufort goes to Goose Creek next week.

Wilson Hall (4-0) at Porter-Gaud (2-3): Porter-Gaud plays in an important SCISA game in West Ashley against Wilson Hall, who has blown out their first four opponents. QB Steven Duncan of the Cyclones (only a sophomore) is already one of the best QBs in the area.

Cane Bay (0-4) at Ashley Ridge (0-4): This battle of 0-4 teams is big because the winner of this one will gain some momentum to use for region play.

Stratford (4-0) at Colleton County (1-3): Colleton County has a chance to impress its home fans again, but Stratford will be a very tough opponent. QB Jacob Park, who likes to draw, has thrown for over 1,200 yards this year, and continues his ascent as the top QB in the state.

Top games: 5. Wando (2-3) at Fort Dorchester (2-2) (Channel 2 game of the week): This game is the ultimate PROVE IT game. Both are on two game losing streaks. Fort Dorchester has lost to Stratford and Goose Creek the last two weeks, while Wando has lost to Colleton County and Summerville.

You have to think the pressure will be on Fort Dorchester for their homecoming. The rabid Patriots fans will want to see a win. Wando lost just twice last year in 12 games. They've already lost three times this year.

4. Bluffton (4-1) at Hilton Head (4-0): This is a huge game in Beaufort County. The area has had a renaissance this year. Bluffton has been good almost every year since they split up from Hilton Head, and has become hated by many in the Lowcountry. Hilton Head has come a long way. They haven't faced tough competition like Bluffton though so far this year.

Bluffton has several good players, like Shameik Blackshear, one of the top DEs in the nation, a South Carolina commit. Hilton Head has improved under new coach BJ Payne. The battle of Highway 278 will come down to the end most likely.

3. Timberland (3-1) at Berkeley (1-3): A huge game for Jeff Cruce and the Berkeley Stags this week. Timberland has beaten Berkeley two of the last three years, and last year, it took an almost unfathomable ten Timberland turnovers for Berkeley to escape St. Stephen with a one point win. This is one of the bigger rivalry games in the Lowcountry; and Berkeley needs a win in the worst way heading into a short week with a Thursday night battle next week.

People say Timberland is in a "rebuilding" year, but with Art Craig, one of the best coaches in the state at the helm, he finds the next players up to achieve the job. This has been the case this year. Timberland has an extra week to prepare for one of their biggest rivals. Will it equal a win?

2. West Ashley (4-0) at Summerville (3-1): Very few people thought that West Ashley would be undefeated at this time. Even though they have only beaten two 4A opponents (Ashley Ridge and Colleton County), they have done so in a big way. They led the entire game over Colleton County, and played very well against Ashley Ridge.

For Summerville, all their home games are big nights at John McKissick Field. Most fans expect to see a big win for the Green Wave. This year may be different. West Ashley has some skill players which they have rarely had since the splitting up of Middleton and St. Andrews. Pedro Manigault has been a capable field general for the Wildcats. Bobby Ruff ran a huge fake punt for a TD last week to lead West Ashley to a win. Can the Wildcats spring the upset in Summerville? There's a chance.

1. Dutch Fork (4-0) at Goose Creek (4-0): This could very well be the biggest game in state this week. In both state rankings, Dutch Fork and Goose Creek are within the top five. Dutch Fork is the top team in the Columbia area; they face the top team in the Charleston area, Goose Creek. Last week, their RB, Matt Colburn, ran for 286 yards and five TDs against Dorman. That's no easy feat. They also have a very good senior QB in Derek Olenchuk, who has thrown 13 TDs this year.

Goose Creek had a tough time with Fort Dorchester early last week. Against a well-coached team like Tom Knotts and Dutch Fork, they'll have to be more careful in order to avoid a tough loss. The game is at John Fulmer Field, a place where they haven't lost to an in-state team on the field since 2010 against Northwestern. This will be a battle that will go down to the final minutes.

Enjoy your games!