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Sports Editor

Orangeburg County native Chris Clark is a graduate of North Greenville University and Coker University and played baseball for both. He worked at The Morning News and The Dillon Herald prior to joining The T&D.

Edisto runs the ball in jamboree action

Edisto's Franklin Winds (23) runs the ball in jamboree action on Friday, August 16 against Batesburg-Leesville. The Cougars were shut out 52-0 by the Panthers. Edisto opens the season on Friday at home against Hunter-Kinard-Tyler in non-region action.

With the exception of a few schools, particularly a couple from Bamberg County, the 2018 high school football season was a rough one for T&D Region programs.

Andrew Jackson Academy reached the SCISA 8-man championship game for a 4th straight year, only to see its run of titles and a state-best 48-game winning streak come to an end against Beaufort Academy.

Other limited highlights to the season included the following: the Red Raiders of Bamberg-Ehrhardt making the Class 2A Lower State semifinals in Choppee but losing in heartbreaking fashion in overtime to Carver's Bay, Bethune-Bowman winning its first region title in 18 years and Branchville tying a school record for wins and advancing to the 2nd round of state playoffs for the first time.

Meanwhile, a total of 9 programs in and around The T&D Region have undergone coaching changes over the past 8 months, including the following:

Andrew Jackson Academy - Jason Peek

Blackville-Hilda - Brandon Issac

Denmark-Olar - Greg Wright

Dorchester Academy - Thomas McAlhany

Edisto - Preston Deaver

Hunter-Kinard-Tyler - Tony Felder

Jefferson Davis Academy - Matt Lightsey

North - William Thompson

Woodland - Eddie Ford

The number 9 also signifies the number of T&D Region teams scheduled to make their 2019 debuts this Friday, in Week Zero action. The rest of the area teams will be in action by Week One, on Friday, August 30.

Keep up with your team’s progress all season at www.TheTandD.com.

PRESEASON RANKINGS

Bamberg-Ehrhardt and Bethune-Bowman were the lone T&D Region teams selected in the High School Sports Report preseason Top 15 for their respective classifications. The Red Raiders are ranked 4th in Class 2A, while the Mohawks are ranked 11th in Class A.

TOP SENIOR PROSPECTS

The HSSR publication, based in the Lowcountry, has also listed several T&D Region players and nearby players to its list of top 2020 seniors. Among them are OL Tyshawn Wannamaker (Calhoun County), defensive back K’Ron Ferrell (Woodland) and running back Daylun Dickerson (Blackville-Hilda).

COACHES IN NEW PLACES

The east central region of South Carolina is apparently a friendly haven for former T&D Region head coaches.

Nine-time SCISA state champion Don Shelley is back on the sidelines at Williamsburg Academy in Kingstree, while former Orangeburg-Wilkinson head football coach Reggie Kennedy is now at Manning High School after 4 years at Irmo High School.

S.C. Prep Football

Media Preseason Poll

Class 5A - 1. Dutch Fork (12), 2. Gaffney, 3. Fort Dorchester, 4. Byrnes, 5. Dorman, 6. T.L. Hanna, 7. Sumter, 8. Blythewood, 9. River Bluff, 10. Greenwood. Others receiving votes: West Florence, Carolina Forest, Summerville, Berkeley, Conway, Boiling Springs

Class 4A - 1. Myrtle Beach (12), 2. Greer, 3. Hartsville, 4. Daniel, 5. Ridge View, 6. North Myrtle Beach, 7. South Pointe, 8. North Augusta, 9. Belton-Honea Path, 10. Wilson. Others receiving votes: Westwood, Bluffton, Wren, York, Brookland-Cayce, Greenville, Marlboro County, Eastside

Class 3A - 1. Chester (8), 2. Dillon (3), 3. Chapman (1), 4. Union County, 5. Strom Thurmond, 6. May River, 7. Fairfield Central, 8. Wade Hampton (H), 9. Camden, 10. Woodruff. Others receiving votes: Newberry, Gilbert, Pendleton, Hanahan, Southside, Aynor, Cheraw, Broome, Manning.

Class 2A - 1. Abbeville (12), 2. Barnwell, 3. Timberland, 4. (tie) Gray Collegiate, 5. Southside Christian, 6. Bamberg-Ehrhardt, 7. Carvers Bay, 8. Oceanside Collegiate, 9. Saluda, 10. Hannah-Pamplico. Others receiving votes: Pageland Central, Cheraw, Woodland, Ninety-Six, North Central, Mullins, Whale Branch, Lee Central, Fox Creek, Blacksburg.

Class A - 1. Lamar (8), 2. Green Sea Floyds (3), 3. Wagener-Salley (1), 4. Lake View, 5. Baptist Hill, 6. Hemingway, 7. Ridge Spring-Monetta, 8. Dixie, 9. (tie) Blackville-Hilda, McBee. Others receiving votes: Williston-Elko, McCormick, C.E. Murray, Bethune-Bowman, Great Falls, St. John’s, Cross, Whitmire.

Coming Soon: Get in the game with our Prep Sports Newsletter

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Thomas Grant Jr. reported on The T&D Region sports scene for two decades as a Times and Democrat staffer. In 2014, he became sports editor of The Lexington County Chronicle and The Dispatch-News in Lexington.

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