Football is here. Yes. Football is here. Sertoma will be played tonight (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday).
There are eleven new coaches in the region this year; highlighted by Ike Allred at James Island and Joe Marion at Stratford. Several smaller schools are also making changes.
One venerable part of the Lowcountry football landscape is the Sertoma Football Classic. It is usually the beginning of the competitive football season in the Lowcountry. I've been going to the games for many years, and it usually gives schools a chance to work out the preseason kinks in front of a large crowd.
Sertoma has some major changes this year. Sertoma has always been held the Thursday and Friday before the official high school football season, but with the season going longer, and the emergence of Week Zero games (in order for larger schools to have a bye week during the season), several major schools will not play in Sertoma this year. Fort Dorchester, Berkeley, Woodland, Ashley Ridge and Colleton County are all playing Week Zero games, so they will not play in Sertoma this year.
Schedule (all games at 5pm each day, held at The Citadel's Johnson-Hagood Stadium, admission $12)
Porter-Gaud 15 vs. Lincoln 0
Baptist Hill 13 vs. Cane Bay 6
Hanahan 0 vs. Summerville 0
* Stratford vs. Timberland
James Island vs. St. John's
* Goose Creek vs. West Ashley
Academic Magnet vs. Stall
Palmetto Christian vs. Garrett
Burke vs. First Baptist
Pinewood Prep vs. N. Charleston
* Northwood Acad. vs. Military Magnet
* Wando vs. Bishop England
(* Scheduled for two quarters)
For the first time in many years, it looks like that the Thursday slate for Sertoma will be better than the Friday slate. Summerville, Goose Creek, and Stratford, three of the schools who bring the most fans, will all be playing on the first night.
Goose Creek and West Ashley lost some of its luster with Goose Creek QB Pedro Manigault, who transferred from West Ashley tearing two knee ligaments, and being out for the year, but it is still a very interesting rivalry game. Summerville plays rebuilding Hanahan; Stratford will play Timberland in a battle of two Berkeley County schools who rarely play each other; and James Island and St. John's will play in a preview of their regular season battle.
Stratford, James Island, Stall, Palmetto Christian, Garrett, Lincoln, and First Baptist will all be unveiling new coaches during Sertoma. This year has a lot of turnover in high school football; it will be interesting to see their debuts.
On night two, fan favorite First Baptist will play Burke, Academic Magnet will play new coach Joe Bessinger and Stall, and in the marquee game of the night, Wando and Bishop England will do battle; these two schools usually bring some of the largest crowds into Sertoma.
Hard to believe, but Sertoma is just three weeks away. I will have some new content here as we get closer to the season, including finishing up the SCISA local schedules.