CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - High school football practices begin the final week of July and throughout the week, Live 5 News will give a preview of the Lowcountry’s teams. Beginning on Monday with SCISA leading through 5-A on Friday.
First Baptist Hurricanes
Head Coach: Johnny Waters (6th season)
Last Season: 11-2 (State Runners-up)
Top Returners – Sincere Brown (WR, Sr.), Don McNeal (SS, Sr.), McKay Wilson (WR, Sr.), Devin Ray (DT, Sr.), Ross Greenhill (LB, Sr)
Top Newcomers – Will Daniel (QB, Jr.), Sevaughn Washington (S, Sr.), Jamar Blandin (DE, Jr.), Amari Jenkins (OL/DL, Jr.)
After losing one of the state’s top players from last season in running back Mikey Dukes, Johnny Waters wants his offense to be more balanced this year. He’s hopeful new quarterback Will Daniel, who transferred from Bishop England, will be able to do more through the air and connect with Sincere Brown who’s one of the top receivers in the state. Waters also says this years offensive line is the best he’s had since he’s been at the school.
Pinewood Prep Panthers
Head Coach: Micheal Wright (7th season)
Last Season: 1-9
Top Returners – Lex King (OL/DL, SR), Cameron Carroll (RB/LB, Jr.), Raysheem Cherisol (RB/LB, Sr.), Jackson Murphy (OL/DL, Jr.), Wesley Chapman (OL/DL, Jr.), Grayson Mann (WR/DB, Sr.), Ben Brown (DB/WR, Jr.), Addison Venittelli (WR/SS, Jr.)
Top Newcomers – Myron Wigfall (QB, Sr.), Clayshon Small (OL/DL, Sr.), Logan Stern (TE/DE, Sr.), Josh Higuchi (WR/DB, Sr.)
After a tough 2018 season, Michael Wright is leaning on experience this year to try and help the Panthers bounce back. Led by an experienced line on both sides, Pinewood has a solid running duo of Cameron Carroll and Raysheem Cherisol returning. Quarterback Myron Wigfall, who helped lead First Baptist to the state title game last season, has transferred over and will be leading the Panthers offense this season as well.
Head Coach: Brad Bowles (1st season)
Last Season: 9-3
Top Returners – Holston Slack (C, Sr.), JD Key (LB, Sr.), Tobias Lafayette (CB, Sr.), Kyle Lafayette (CB, Sr.)
Top Newcomers – Matt Kelly (QB, Jr.)
Former St. John’s head coach Brad Bowles returns to the Lowcountry to take over for Rick Reetz who left the Cyclones after a decade. Bowles said he hopes to move towards more of a balanced offense and be efficient in both the run and the passing game. Junior Matt Kelley takes over at QB this season with a solid offensive line protecting him led by Holston Slack. Defensively, Bowles said the team will move to a 4 man front and hopes to be more dynamic there.
Head Coach: Ryan Leaver (2nd season)
Last Season: 0-10
Top Returners: Tyvon Berry (RB, LB, Sr.), Tylor Gadsden (Sr., RB/LB), Clayton Stancil (Sr., LS/DE), Jacob Vicars (Sr. C/LB), Desmond Dwight (JR. DB)
Second year head coach Ryan Leaver knows there’s nowhere to go but up at Northwood. The Chargers went winless last season, but hope a year of experience leads to different results in 2019. Of the 23 players on last year’s team, only seven had experience playing at the varsity level. Leaver will lean on a core group of seniors, especially in the backfield and linebacking position. Northwood will be led by seniors Tyvon Berry, Tylor Gadsden, Clayton Stancil and Jacob Vicars.
Colleton Prep War Hawks
Head Coach: Greg Langdale (1st season)
Last Season: 5-6
Top Returners: Jordan Crosby (QB, Sr.), Andrew Murdaugh (RB, So.), Riley Smoak (RB, Sr.), Gabe Barnes (RB, Sr.)
Top Newcomers: Noah Caterton (FB/LB, Fr.), Gus Warren (TE/DE, Fr.)
Greg Langdale takes over as head coach for the War Hawks and returns a solid nucleus on the offensive side of the ball led by quarterback Jordan Crosby. The duo or Gabe Barnes and Andrew Murdaugh rushed for over 700 yards each last season as well. But Langdale says they’ll be a more open offense as they make the switch to the spread which he says the team has been picking up at a good pace so far in the offseason.
Dorchester Academy Raiders
Head Coach: Thomas McAlhany (1st season)
Last Season: 3-7
Top Returners: Colby Weeks (QB/LB, Sr.), Rhett Mizzell (WR/S, Sr.), Ben Stokes (RB/DB, Sr.)
Top Newcomers: Hunter Hartzog (WR/DB, So.), Hayden Hartzog (WR/DB, So.), Dylan Price (OL/DL, So.)
Former Raiders captain Thomas McAlhany takes over as Dorchester Academy’s new head coach and he brings some experience back led by starting senior QB Colby Weeks. McAlhany has been a JV coach in the program for several years so the kids know what to expect although he does plan to move towards a more balanced offense than what they’ve done the past few seasons.