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For T&D Region high school football programs in South Carolina High School League play that chose to start the season on Friday - here in Week Zero - there will be early results now and a bye week later.

Two of the area teams suiting up for game one in Week Zero are the Edisto Cougars and the Orangeburg-Wilkinson Bruins.

Edisto opens at home against Hunter-Kinard-Tyler. O-W opens at Calhoun County.

The Cougars will be playing their first contest under the guidance of first-year head coach Preston Deaver, who came to Cordova from the Airport High School program. Meanwhile, O-W will be starting its second season under the leadership of Butch Crosby, after a 4-6 record and Class 4A playoff appearance in 2018.

The combined 7-21 record Edisto posted the past three seasons are far from impressive numbers. However, the 2019 team has grown in number from 29 players in spring workouts to right at 50 players on varsity entering Friday's kickoff.

"We've seen a lot of improvement in each scrimmage and jamboree, but we still feel like our biggest opponent is ourselves," Deaver said. "We have a lot of young kids and lot of first-time varsity football players, but the attitudes and effort are great.

"We are very young, with just 10 players who have played in a varsity-level football game before. We do have some seniors with experience who have been through some battles and are ready to lead, but we have a big sophomore class we're expecting to play a lot."

THURSDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK: Week Zero gives some an early season start

Some of the seniors expected to guide the young team include RB/LB Marques Farrison, P/K Bailey Files, DE Dontrell Praytor and WR/DB Dawn Muller. 

"I like starting in Week Zero and having a break in the season when you have a week to practice and work on things," Deaver said. "The big thing now is the (SCHSL) rules let you do so much doing the summer, you are capable of being prepared for playing Week Zero.

"I think you're going to see a disciplined football team that gives maximum effort and has a great attitude. Everybody here at Edisto is excited and we have a pep rally (Friday), looking to end the first week of school right, with a great football game."

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Edisto could start the season right, with a home win against the H-K-T Trojans and their first-year head coach Tony Felder, formerly head coach at Manning High School.

For the Bruins, however, winning game one will mean taking a victory in St. Matthews against the Saints, who are led by second-year CC head coach Wayne Farmer.

The Bruins finished Crosby's first season at the helm in 2018 with a 4-6 record and a Class 4A playoff game, despite losing in the first round to York.

In his second year since coming to O-W from Bamberg-Ehrhardt, Crosby has some expectations for the Bruins program.

"Physicality is the biggest thing; I thought last year we were physical at times, but we just have to be consistent, where we give a hit in the mouth or take a hit and keep playing hard," Crosby said. "In scrimmages and jamboree play, we saw some stuff to work on, and Week Zero puts that extra pressure on you.

"Hopefully we can take care of turnovers in the first game and get started well."

The Bruins only have 12 seniors, a small number for a Class 4A program. But the 9th-grade through 11th-grade group is a large group. Including varsity and junior varsity players, O-W has 95 football players in the program this season.

"The big group of young guys we have on varsity will have a lot of say in how we will do this season," Crosby said. "For Week Zero, you start early and it cuts your preparation time down, but hopefully they took in all that we have coached them to do.

"I like starting on the road, because it makes you focus on the game, there's really no dead time; you have the pregame meal, get on the bus and go to play, so there's no time to think about much else. I expect us to be a lot better than we were last year. We can't talk championships, but i expect us to be a lot more consistent than we were last year."

Other area SCHSL second-year head coaches at their current programs who kick off the season Friday include William Davis at Lake Marion, as the Gators host Military Magnet, and Glynn Darby at Bethune-Bowman, as the Mohawks play host to Blackville-Hilda.

ORANGEBURG-WILKINSON

8/23 - at Calhoun County

8/30 - vs. Bamberg-Ehrhardt

9/6 - at Lake Marion

9/13 - vs. Colleton County

9/20 - vs. Woodland

10/4 - at Lakewood

10/11 - at Dreher

10/18 - vs. A.C. Flora

10/25 - vs. Crestwood

11/1 - at Lower Richland

EDISTO

8/23 - vs. Hunter-Kinard-Tyler

8/30 - vs. Timmonsville

9/13 - at Scott's Branch 

9/20 - vs. Bamberg-Ehrhardt

9/27 - at C.A. Johnson

10/4 - at Strom Thurmond

10/11 - vs. Pelion

10/18 - at Garrett Academy (N. Charleston)

10/25 - vs. Gilbert

11/1 - at Swansea

BETHUNE-BOWMAN

8/23 - vs. Blackville-Hilda

8/30 - at Denmark-Olar

9/6 - vs. North

9/13 - at Hunter-Kinard-Tyler

9/27 - vs. Whitmire

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10/4 - vs. Military Magnet Academy

10/11 - at Scott's Branch

10/18 - vs. Cross

10/25 - at C.E. Murray

11/1 - vs. Branchville

BRANCHVILLE

 

8/23 - vs. Colleton Prep

8/30 - at North

9/6 - at Denmark-Olar

9/13 - vs. Charleston Math & Science

9/20 - at Whitmire

9/27 - vs. Military Magnet Academy

10/4 - vs. Scott's Branch

10/11 - vs. Cross

10/18 - at C.E. Murray

11/1 - at Bethune-Bowman

CALHOUN COUNTY

8/23 - vs. Orangeburg-Wilkinson

8/30 - at Pelion

9/6 - vs. North Charleston

9/13 - at Fairfield Central

9/20 - vs. Swansea

9/27 - at Bamberg-Ehrhardt

10/4 - at Eau Claire (Richland One Stadium)

10/11 - vs. C.A. Johnson

10/18 - at Gray Collegiate (West Columbia)

10/25 - vs. Columbia

HUNTER-KINARD-TYLER

8/23 - at Edisto

8/30 - at Eau Claire (Richland One Stadium)

9/13 - vs. Bethune-Bowman

9/20 - vs. Wagener-Salley

9/27 - vs. Estill

10/4 - at Blackville-Hilda

10/11 - vs. Williston-Elko

10/18 - vs. Denmark-Olar

10/25 - at North

11/1 - at Ridge Spring-Monetta

LAKE MARION

8/23 - vs. Military Magnet

8/30 - at Woodland

9/6 - vs. Orangeburg-Wilkinson

9/13 - at Bamberg-Ehrhardt

9/20 - at C.E. Murray

9/27 - at Cross

10/4 - vs. May River

10/11 - at Battery Creek

10/18 - vs. Wade Hampton

11/1 - at Ridgeland-Hardeeville

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