It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, on and off the football field, so I haven’t had a chance to post my usual reflections on the Friday night happenings.
With things getting back to normal and teams moving into region play, let’s get back to it.
Here are Five Things I Think I Know after Week 6 of the high school football season:
1. Region 7-4A is up for grabs. Every team has talent. Every team is flawed. Every team has a real chance to win the region. Beaufort High and Bluffton have played brutal schedules and taken their lumps. Hilton Head High has beaten up on weaker competition and been overmatched in its two losses, but the Seahawks have some key pieces coming back for region play. I legitimately believe that anything is possible in this region, and it’s going to be a fun ride.
2. May River and Thomas Heyward will be challenged, eventually. Although it doesn’t seem like it at the moment, the Sharks and Rebels do have tougher days ahead. May River will host Beaufort High in a non-region game in two weeks and travel to Wade Hampton on Oct. 26 for what is shaping up to be a region-title clash. Thomas Heyward faces its biggest remaining challenge this week against Bethesda Academy, but the Rebels might not be truly tested until the SCISA 1A playoffs.
3. Whale Branch is in trouble. It pains me to say this, because I’m a big fan of Jerry Hatcher and think the Warriors are one of the most talented teams in the area, but Friday’s loss to Woodland is not a good sign. The Warriors will have to face two top-five teams in their region, meaning they need to upset at least one of them to have a chance at avoiding a No. 1 seed in the first round of the playoffs. They have the necessary talent to do it, but they need to figure out how to play as a team to make it happen.
4. John Paul II and Hilton Head Christian Academy are on course for a region-title showdown. Going into the season, most of the local coaches in SCISA Region 2-2A indicated Orangeburg Prep was the team to beat in the region. Well, JPII beat the Indians 28-27 on Friday, and HHCA gets its chance to do the same at home this week. If the Eagles pass that test — and their recent performance indicates they have a great chance to do just that — it will set up a Lowco-on-Lowco showdown for the region title on Oct. 19 at HHCA. Let’s do it.
5. We’re about to find out just how good Beaufort Academy is. Make no mistake, the Eagles are good. Really good. But this week will tell us whether they’re SCISA 8-Man state championship good. BA has scored at least 58 points in each of its four straight wins, including 71 (!!!) on Friday. Now the Eagles travel to Andrew Jackson Academy on Friday to face a Confederates team that has won 42 consecutive games dating to 2014 and is outscoring opponents by an average of 45 points. If BA can compete – not necessarily win, but compete – the Eagles will establish themselves as a serious state title contender.
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