HOLLYWOOD, SC (WCSC) - Championship weekend kicks off Friday night in high school football across the state with a Charleston County School representing the Lowcountry.
The Baptist Hill Middle High School Bobcats will face off against the Lamar High School Silver Foxes at 8 p.m. at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium (Benedict College) in Columbia for the 1A state final.
"The [Bobcats] are good," said Velma Moultrie, of Hollywood. "They've come a long way and I'm enjoying every minute of it!"
Signs are up wishing the Baptist Hill football team good luck on their first trip to the state finals.
For the first time in 25 years, a Charleston County School will represent the district in the state finals.
"We're the smallest, but we get to represent the greatest district in South Carolina," said Baptist Hill Principal Vanessa Brown. "So I am very pleased about that. I'm very proud about it."
Since the win against C.E. Murray last week, it's been non-stop for the school and its football team.
"The phones haven't stopped ringing," Brown said. "People are calling asking if we need anything, how they can support us. Ticket sales have been fantastic."
Brown said they're nearing the 1,000 mark when it comes to tickets sold for the championship game.
"I'm really excited to know that many people are willing to drive to Columbia to support us," she added.
"We're going to stay until the game is over," said Eugene Drayton, who went to Baptist Hill.
"I know they're going to come through," Moultrie added. "They're going to pull through and I'm going to be right there to back them up."
While the Bobcats may be going up against an undefeated team, Baptist Hill has not one, but multiple players ranked in the top 10 in categories statewide, according to Max Preps.
"The thing that is important to me is that they're student-athletes," Brown said. "So most of the stats that you see if reflective in their academic work. That's pleasing because I know it means they have a bright future."
"Anytime the kids accomplish something it's wonderful and good for the school and the community," said Pat Keating, who grew up in Hollywood.
The school will hold a send-off for the football team at 1 p.m. Friday.
If Baptist Hill gets the win, not only will it be the first time the school takes the title in history, but it will also be the first time a CCSD football team comes home with the state title in 35 years.
Tickets are $10 per person and are available for purchase at:
- Baptist Hill Middle High School, Front Office, 5117 Baptist Hill Road, Hollywood, SC 29449 (7 a.m. - 3: 30 p.m.)
- 75 Calhoun Street, Secondary Learning Community Office (first floor), Charleston, SC 29401 (Downtown) (8 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
- Michael and Company, LLC, 1114 Mazyck Street, Charleston, SC 29407 (West Ashley) (8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
The gates for parking open at 3 p.m. Friday; parking (cash only) costs $10 for cars, $15 for passenger vans, and $25 for buses. If you're bringing a grill (for tailgating), you need to pay $25 for parking, and an RV requires $50.
Gates to the stadium open to the public at 4 p.m. and bags will be searched upon entry.