Wednesday, June 25, 2014

2014 Lowcountry football schedules: 4A

Hard to believe, but football practice for all high school football teams in the state of South Carolina is beginning very soon. Football practice officially begins August 1. Many teams have had 7 on 7 drills throughout the summer. This year will be a very interesting year in the Lowcountry for high school football. Several schools will have new coaches; including Stratford with Joe Marion, one of the highest profile openings in the state; and James Island with Ike Allred.

There was also a high profile QB transfer in the area. West Ashley QB Pedro Manigault, one of the best in the area last year, has transferred to Goose Creek, who is replacing QB Dantez Bennamon (a Clayton State basketball commit).

The regions have changed this year. Beaufort is out of 4A: James Island rejoins after a 2-year absence. The 3 Dorchester County schools will be in the same region; while Charleston County's 3 4A schools will be joined by the 3 Berkeley County 4A schools. Region 8 will only have four region games, making every game ultra-important.

Region 7: Cane Bay; Goose Creek; James Island; Stratford; Wando; West Ashley
Region 8: Ashley Ridge; Bluffton; Colleton County; Fort Dorchester; Summerville

Now, onto the schedules. I will make a post for each division in order to make it easy to find your favorite school's schedule, and give some analysis. Region games will be bolded. All games will start at 7:30pm on Fridays unless noted. The schedule is subject to change as games could move to Saturday or Thursday.

Cane Bay

8/22: Colleton County
8/29: Summerville
9/5: @ Fort Dorchester
9/12: @ Berkeley
9/19: @ Hanahan
9/26: Ashley Ridge
10/10: @ Stratford
10/17: @ Goose Creek
10/24: James Island
10/31: Wando
11/7: @ West Ashley

A very tough schedule for Cane Bay. Between August 29 and October 24, the Cobras are only home once out of six games. They also get Stratford and Goose Creek back to back games on the road. They start the season earlier than most, playing home the Friday night of Sertoma.

Goose Creek 

8/30 (Saturday, 4pm): Pickerington Central (OH)  (at Centerville, OH)
9/5: @ Ridge View
9/12: Summerville
9/19: @ Fort Dorchester
9/26: Eastern Christian Academy (MD)
10/3: Ashley Ridge
10/10: James Island
10/17: Cane Bay
10/24: @ Wando
10/31: @ West Ashley
11/7: Stratford

The Gators start off with a game against one of Ohio's best, Pickerington Central, then head to Ridge View. Their home opener is not till September 12, one of the latest in the area. They have a stretch of four straight home games from September 26 thru the first two games of region play. Watch for Halloween night. The game at West Ashley will be a crazy atmosphere.

James Island

8/22: @ Hanahan
8/29: Ashley Ridge
9/5: Colleton County
9/12: Stall
9/19: @ St. John's
9/26: Bishop England
10/10: @ Goose Creek
10/17: West Ashley
10/24: @ Cane Bay
10/31: @ Stratford
11/7: Wando

A lot of changes for the Trojans as they move back to 4A from 3A. They start off with a game at Hanahan (a region mate for the last two years), then have four of their next five at home, with the only road trip a short one, to St. John's. They will also play Bishop England, for the first time since '95. Wando, a game that has begun the season the last two years, will end this season.


8/29: at Berkeley
9/5: Sumter
9/12: Ft. Dorchester
9/19: at Ashley Ridge
9/26: Hanahan
10/3: at Summerville
10/10: Cane Bay
10/17: at Wando
10/24: West Ashley
10/31: James Island
11/7: at Goose Creek

New Stratford Head Coach Joe Marion will start off with a trip to Moncks Corner to play Berkeley, then the home opener at Stackley Field will be against yearly opponent Sumter. The Knights get three region games at home; Cane Bay, West Ashley and James Island. They do have to travel to Wando and Goose Creek.


8/29: White Knoll
9/5: @ Ashley Ridge
9/12: @ Lexington
9/19: @ Summerville
9/26: Fort Dorchester
10/3: Bluffton
10/10: @ West Ashley
10/17: Stratford
10/24: Goose Creek
10/31: @ Cane Bay
11/7: @ James Island

Wando has one of the tougher 4A schedules in the state. They start off hosting White Knoll, a school who beat them in the playoffs 2 years ago; then have a difficult 3 game roadie, with Ashley Ridge, Lexington and Summerville. They get Stratford and Goose Creek at home, but have to travel to West Ashley and to James Island.

West Ashley

8/29: @ Bishop England
9/5: Hilton Head
9/12: Ashley Ridge
9/19: @ Colleton County
9/26: Summerville
10/3: @ Fort Dorchester
10/10: Wando
10/17: @ James Island
10/24: @ Stratford
10/31: Goose Creek
11/7: Cane Bay

The Wildcats start off with three of five at home, including Summerville and Hilton Head, and close the season with Goose Creek and Cane Bay. This team showed steps last year, but have to replace Manigault. If the Wildcats play to their potential, they will have a chance in most of their games.

Region 8

Ashley Ridge

8/22: Woodland
8/29: @ James Island
9/5: Wando
9/12: @ West Ashley
9/19: Stratford
9/26: @ Cane Bay
10/3: @ Goose Creek
10/10: @ Colleton County
10/17: Bluffton
10/31: Summerville
11/7: @ Fort Dorchester

Ashley Ridge, after their opener hosting Woodland, has four of their next six on the road, with the only home battles Wando and Stratford. They do get Summerville at home after a bye along with Bluffton off of a long trip.


8/22: Battery Creek
8/29: @ Effingham County (GA)
9/5: Beaufort
9/12: Sol C. Johnson (GA)
9/18 (Thursday, 7:30): @ Whale Branch
9/26: Hilton Head
10/3: @ Wando
10/17: @ Ashley Ridge
10/24: Fort Dorchester
10/31: Colleton County
11/7: @ Summerville

Bluffton is kind of hamstrung as far as scheduling goes, being required to play all the other Beaufort County schools, along with the Savannah area schools they play every year. They have to travel to both Ashley Ridge and Summerville, but could get off to a strong start due to their weaker non-region slate.

Colleton County

8/22: @ Cane Bay
8/29: Beaufort
9/5: @ James Island
9/12: Orangeburg-Wilkinson
9/19: West Ashley
9/26: @ Stall
10/3: South Aiken
10/10: Ashley Ridge
10/17: @ Fort Dorchester
10/24: @ Summerville
10/31: @ Bluffton
Colleton County drew the short end of the scheduling stick this year. They will play 11 games with no byes, and only have one of their four region games at home, ending their home season on October 10, probably the earliest in the area. They have to travel the final three games, including trips to Fort D and Summerville.

Fort Dorchester

8/22: @ South Florence
8/29: Carolina Forest
9/5: Cane Bay  
9/12: @ Stratford
9/19: Goose Creek
9/26: @ Wando
10/3: West Ashley
10/10: @ Summerville
10/17: Colleton County
10/24: @ Bluffton
11/7: Ashley Ridge

Will this be the Patriots year? They have to travel to Summerville and Bluffton, but get a bye after the Bluffton game before Ashley Ridge, which usually means a lot. The Fort gave Goose Creek a scare in 2012; will they do it again?


8/22: @ Providence (NC)
8/29: @ Cane Bay
9/5: Berkeley
9/12: @ Goose Creek
9/19: Wando
9/26: @ West Ashley
10/3: Stratford
10/10: Fort Dorchester
10/24: Colleton County
10/31: @ Ashley Ridge
11/7: Bluffton

Coach John McKissick and the Green Wave made a valiant run last year, coming within an eyelash of the state championship game. Now, with a team a year more experienced, could this be one of McKissick's final runs at a state title? The Green Wave get a very good travel schedule, only having to leave Dorchester County four times all season, none after September 26.

I will continue this series with 3A soon.

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