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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Raiders hungry for third title

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Country singer Mac Davis once wrote, “O Lord, it’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way.”

Holly Hill Academy is looking to complete its third-consecutive perfect season Friday when they face Wyman King Academy in the SCISA 8-Man state championship.

“It feels great,” senior running back Tyler Wright said of making it back to the finals. “The team has worked hard all season, and the coaches keep reminding us to stay humble.”

Holly Hill Academy head coach Michael Nelson said his program never uses the word "dynasty" when talking about its accomplishments.

“We just want to go out, compete and win every game,” Nelson said. “The guys have done a great job (this year) of staying hungry and not getting complacent.”


Holly Hill Academy's Tyree James rushed for 333 yards and five touchdowns against Wyman King Academy earlier this season. The Raiders will face W.W. King Friday for the SCISA 8-Man state championship.

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After playing its last two state championships at a neutral site, Holly Hill Academy will face the Knights Friday at Charleston Southern University.

“I think it’s great that the 8-Man championship gets to experience playing at CSU,” Nelson said. “It helps that this team has been in these situations before, and the moment should be familiar to them.”

The Raiders also handed Wyman King its lone loss earlier in the season, 62-18.

“It’s tough to beat a team twice in the same season,” Wright said. “We have to be disciplined against their triple-option attack.”

Nelson said he expects the Knights will add some wrinkles on offense.

“They run the option, and have had success with it all season,” Nelson said. “We have to play assignment football, but I think we’ll be fully prepared for anything.”

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On offense, the Raiders are led by the rushing attack of Wright and Tyree James. When Holly Hill faced the Knights earlier this season, HHA rushed for over 554 yards and eight touchdowns. James led the way with 333 yards and five touchdowns. Wright did not play in the game.

“We look to expand the offense each week,” Nelson said. “Tyree and Tyler are just so explosive out of the backfield, we usually rely on them, but we still have plenty left in the tank.”

As the Town of Holly Hill begins to see growth, so does the fan base of the Raiders.

“It’s huge for the town,” Nelson said of playing for another state title. “Winning adds to the excitement. 37 wins in a row, it’s been a fun ride.”

Holly Hill Academy and Wyman King Academy are scheduled to kick off Friday at 4 p.m. at Buccaneer Field at Charleston Southern.

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