HSFB: Five Things I Think I Know After Week 1

This might prove to be an exercise in futility, because it’s nearly impossible to *know* anything based on one game in August, but high school football is all about tradition, and trying to make sense of what happens every Friday night in the fall has been a tradition since this website launched in 2017. 

So, disregard the small sample size and fire up the hot take machine, because it’s time for 2019’s first installment of Five Things I Think I Know

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1. Thomas Heyward is still really good. I know, I’m really going out on a limb here, but even with as much talent as the Rebels returned there was some reason to wonder whether they could still be as dominant as last year after losing 14 seniors (that’s a TON for a SCISA 1A school). Wonder no more. THA manhandled a solid Hilton Head Christian Academy team, rolling up 326 rushing yards and 46 points, and an inexperienced secondary held its own against what is likely the best passing attack the Rebels will see all season. 

2. Please let Hilton Head High stay healthy. The Seahawks are light on depth, but boy is that first string going to be fun to watch. Cole DeMarzo is a monster, Elijah Thompson is poised for a big year, and Christian Miller is going to give opposing QBs and OCs nightmares … and that’s just the defense. Quarterback Gaston Moore was sharp (8-for-11, 165 yards, 2 TDs) and Lavarus Brown rolled up the yards on the ground (16 carries, 148 yards, 2 TDs). I’m already looking forward to the Seahawks’ trip to May River on Sept. 13.

3. Hilton Head Prep is no longer a one-man band. We kind of knew this last season, but now it has been hammered home. When quarterback Stone McDonald suffered a season-ending injury two years ago, the Dolphins were lost without him, but with McDonald sidelined with a broken nose Friday, HHP rolled to a 37-27 win over Memorial Day. Tommy Stauffer was the star (245 yards from scrimmage, 2 TDs), but Sam Liberatore did an admirable job stepping in behind center and getting a number of players involved in the offense, and Tristan Bonomo anchored a solid defensive effort. This adversity will only make the Dolphins stronger if and when McDonald comes back.

4. Whale Branch and Battery Creek are going to get after it. Neither Jerry Hatcher nor Walter Wilson is going to be jumping up and down about the execution when they watch the film from the Warriors’ 9-6 win at Battery Creek on Friday, but I suspect both will be pleased with the effort (for the most part). It was a predictably sloppy game for two teams with a lot of key holes to fill, but both teams played with intensity and heart. If they keep it up, both will be unpleasant opponents by October.

5. Bluffton coach John Houpt did something really cool. The Bobcat Walk has been my favorite pre-game tradition in the area since Ken Cribb introduced it during the 2011 season, and now it’s even more special for the players. If you haven’t attended a Bluffton home game, the Bobcats march in front of the home grandstand and gather in a tunnel at the far end of the field before bursting out of the tunnel through a cloud of smoke to enter the field. It’s a great entrance. And now the inside of the tunnel pays tribute to all the past senior classes who wore the Green and Black going back to the inaugural 2004 team. It’s pretty cool to see a tradition being born in real time. Check it out.

That’s all I think I know after Week 1. Check your syllabus, because Week 2 starts now, and we’re about to start learning a lot more.

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