A trio of Lowco squads are represented in the top 10 of their classifications in the preseason S.C. Prep Football Media Poll released Monday.
Defending Class 3A champion Beaufort High opens the season ranked second behind Dillon, which received 11 first-place votes to Beaufort’s two. The Eagles beat the Wildcats 30-21 in Dillon in last year’s Lower State final, but coach Bryce Lybrand and Co. have a number of huge holes to fill, most notably those left by stars Kacy Fields (S.C. State) and Colton Phares (Appalachian State).
Hampton County hopes to emerge as a Class 2A power after two programs who enjoyed great success last season merge with Wade Hampton and Estill coming together to form a new school. The Hurricanes open at No. 7 as they return the bulk of the key contributors from Wade Hampton a year ago and add impact players from Estill, including QB Xaviar Garvin and DL KaVon Chisolm.
In Class 1A, Whale Branch begins the season ranked 10th after having a promising campaign derailed by key injuries last fall. The Warriors return plenty of talent, led by ATH Keith Chisholm and defensive standout Bradford Thompson, who looks to make the move from the defensive line to linebacker this season.
The 2023 season opens Saturday with the 1team1cause Football Showcase at Charleston Southern, where Beaufort Academy will face Trinity Collegiate at 8:30 p.m. The first full slate of Friday Night Lights comes on Aug. 18, and we’ll have you covered on LowcoSports.com and wrap up the action with Lowco Pigskin Live after the dust settles every Friday night.
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2023 S.C. PREP FOOTBALL MEDIA POLL (PRESEASON)
|1||Dutch Fork (15)||1||Northwestern (7)||1||Dillon (11)||1||Abbeville (11)||1||Christ Church (11)|
|2||Gaffney||2||Greenville (4)||2||Beaufort (2)||2||Gray Collegiate (4)||2||Lewisville (2)|
|3||Summerville||3||South Florence (4)||3||Daniel (1)||3||Oceanside Collegiate||3||Bamberg-Ehrhardt (2)|
|4||Fort Dorchester||4||South Pointe||4||Clinton (1)||4||Fairfield Central||4||Lamar|
|6||Sumter||6||AC Flora||6||Chester||6||Andrew Jackson||6||Johnsonville|
|7||TL Hanna||7||James Island||7||Belton-Honea Path||7||Hampton Co.||T7||St. Joseph’s|
|8||Spartanburg||8||Catawba Ridge||8||Powdersville||8||Silver Bluff||T7||Lake View|
|10||Dorman||10||West Florence||10||Manning||T10||Barnwell||10||Whale Branch|
|RV||Hillcrest||RV||Myrtle Beach||RV||Chapman||RV||Woodland||RV||Carvers Bay|
|RV||Ridge View||RV||Crestwood||RV||Ninety-Six||RV||Baptist Hill|
|RV||Indian Land||RV||Philip Simmons||RV||Timberland||RV||Great Falls|