2018 SCISA High School Football Preview

VIDEO: First Baptist begins football practice

2018 SCISA Football Preview

3-A

First Baptist Hurricanes

Head Coach: Johnny Waters (5th Season)

2017 Record: 11-0 (State Champs)

Top Returners: Michel Dukes (RB, Sr.), McKay Wilson (WR, Jr.)

Returning Starters: 8 on off, 8 on def.

Outlook: The defending 2A state champion Hurricanes are now in 3A. Their expectation isn't changing, "We expect to compete for a state championship again," says head coach Johnny Waters. "We feel like we're strong on offensive line. If we stay healthy, we got a chance to compete." The Hurricanes return maybe the best all around player in Michel Dukes. The senior running back has received Division I offers in both football and basketball.

Porter-Gaud Cyclones

Head Coach: Ricky Reetz (10th season)

2017 Record: 6-6

Top Returners: Andrew Thomas (ATH, Sr.), Caleb Pierce (RB, Sr.), Walker Coleman (WR, Sr.), Jack Trouche (WR, Sr.), Legend Waring (WR, So.), Thomas Allen (OL, Sr.), Parker Murphy (DE, Jr.), CJ Simmons (DE, Sr.), Laree Walpole (NT, Sr.)

Key Newcomers: Gunnar Nistad (QB, Jr.), Holston Slack (OL, Jr.), JD Key (LB, Jr.)

Outlook: Rick Reetz returns a slew of experienced players who possess a lot of speed this season. Led by last seasons starting quarterback Andrew Thomas who will now shift around the field with the arrival of Gunnar Nistad from James Island. The Cyclones also have a bunch of skill players who should give Nistad plenty of targets.

Pinewood Prep Panthers

Head Coach: Micheal Wright (6th season)

2017 Record: 5-6

Top Returners: Ethan Hirsch (QB, Sr.)

Returning Starters: 4

Key Newcomers: Michael McVeigh (WR/DB, Sr.), Ben Dilillo (WR/DB, Sr.), Ben Diffley (WR/TE/DE/FS)

Outlook: The Panthers graduated a big class after last season. Now they have to find players to step up. "Having lost 16 guys, it's always very difficult," notes head coach Michael Wright. "When you don't have them returning at the rate you have them going out, it's a challenge."

2-A

Northwood Academy Chargers

Head Coach: Ryan Leaver (1st season)

2017 Record: 2-8

Top Returners: Rick Newman (SR, WR), Matt Lewis (SR, QB), Clayton Stacil (JR, DE), Tyler Gadsden (JR, RB/LB), Sullivan Watkins (JR, DE), Will Mullins (JR, OL/DL)

Outlook: The Chargers welcome in a new coach this season in Ryan Leaver who brings back a solid core of guys from last season led by senior quarterback Matt Lewis. "We truly feel like we have a group of guys here that want to get better and do things that right way" Leaver said. So we are excited to see what is to come this season."

1-A

Colleton Prep War Hawks

Head Coach: Rob Gorrell (4th season)

2017 Record: 4-7

Top Returners: Connor McMillan (DE, Sr.), Jason Dennis (DE, Sr.), Dylan Kinard (S, Sr.), Gabe Barnes (RB/S, Jr.), Hunter Hudson (LB, Jr.)

Key Newcomers: Jacob Breeland (LB/TE, So.), Drew Murdauh (QB, Fr.)

Outlook: With a young quarterback and experienced linemen returning, head coach Rob Gorrell expects to lean on the running game at least early on in the season as the War Hawks attempt to bounce back from a disappointing 2017. Defensive line is one of the teams biggest strengths overall with McMillan and Dennis returning for their senior seasons.

Dorchester Academy Raiders

Head Coach: Chris Myers (5th season)

2017 Record: 6-4

Top Returners: Chase Way (WR, Sr.), Rhett Mizzell (WR, Jr.), Colby Weeks (QB, Jr.), Cory Judy (OL/DL, Sr.), Chris Mullican (OL/DL, Sr.)

Key Newcomers: Wyatt Judy (RB, So.), Ben Stokes (RB, Jr.)

Outloook: Chris Myers says his team is not hurting for athletic skill guys on the field and with receivers like Way and Mizzell returning, he's right. Colby Weeks makes the shift from running back to quarterback this season. Myers says they'll focus on running the ball early in the season until Weeks is more comfortable dropping back and throwing.