CLASS 1A SOUTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
THIS PAST NOVEMBER, CHRIST CHURCH BECAME a member of an elite group of football teams in the Palmetto State, earning its fourth consecutive Class A championship.
With that goal in their possession, the Cavaliers set their
sights on a new prize – one only they can hold.
Another Class A title this November will make Christ Church
(14-0) the first program to win five consecutive state titles.
However, in the more immediate future is the program’s attempt
to keep its state record 54-game winning streak intact.
It seems that regardless of the names that flow through
the program, head coach Don Frost continues to create
gems. This year is no different as the Cavaliers find them-
selves absolutely stocked in the trenches.
On the offensive side of the ball, Zach Epting, Isaiah Alston and
Evan Lutes have proven to be up to the task, while Zach Idris and
Ryan Putnam are immovable objects along the defensive line.
But the cupboard full of goodies doesn’t stop there as senior
wide receiver Braxton Westfield is expected to be the next in a
long line to use his gift of catching passes for a college education.
However, if there is one thing that could trip up Christ Church
– especially early in the season – it is a lack of experience.
LOWER STATE RIVALS
As for Allendale-Fairfax and Bamberg-Ehrhardt, the biggest obstacle for either of them in Lower State Class A is each other. Last
season, the two teams waged battle in a pair of physical contests
– Allendale-Fairfax winning the first, but Bamberg-Ehrhardt topping
the most important matchup a few weeks later in the playoffs.
In all of South Carolina, it is unlikely you will find two teams
that are as familiar with each other. In the same vein, it can
be argued there are no other rivals as successful and who
play each other in more high-stakes matchups as Allendale-Fairfax and Bamberg-Ehrhardt.
The Region V-A rivals both largely rely on their ground
games to get the job done.
Allendale-Fairfax ( 12-1) will be keyed by junior running back
Richard Garvin, who in a sensational sophomore campaign
racked up 2, 102 yards and 25 touchdowns. Bamberg-Ehrhardt
( 12-2) has a solid junior back of its own in Jamari Dunbar, who
rushed for 1,400 yards and 17 touchdowns as a sophomore.
The mirror images continue for the squads with both of
their defensive units being among the most stingy in the
state. While Allendale-Fairfax yields just shy of nine points
per contest, Bamberg-Ehrhardt was even better, giving up
just over seven points per contest.
With a Week 7 contest on tap this season, it won’t only be for
bragging rights, but a region title and an inside track at hosting a
Class A-Division I Lower State championship game may be at stake.
It can be argued that McBee ( 11-2) overachieved a bit last
season with only five seniors on the roster. That didn’t matter
though as the Panthers notched 11 wins and advanced to
the Class A-Division I Upper State title game.
With that in mind, head coach Charlie Poole believes the sky
is the limit for his young squad that largely consists of sophomores and juniors. The wishbone offensive scheme rules the
day at the Pee Dee school, with a pair of studs at the running
back position making things difficult for opposing defenses.
McBee’s Dashonnell Wright and Jordan Fair rushed for a
combined for 3,068 yards and 46 touchdowns a season ago.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the two of them do more this
fall with a veteran offensive line in front of them.
The Panthers also have their eyes set on getting retribution
on Christ Church, which dismantled them 35-8 in the 2014.
THE RIGHT MEDICINE
A move back to Class A appears to have been perfect elixir
to cure Calhoun County’s ills. After a pair of campaigns at
the Class 2A level brought only a single victory, the Saints
returned to winning form last fall, bringing home eight
victories and, most importantly, a trip to the postseason.
Quarterback Terrence Brunson is back to give defensive
coordinators nightmares following a dazzling sophomore cam-
paign in which he racked up nearly 3,000 all-purpose yards.
The St. John’s defense is
anchored by T.J. Givens.
QB Terrence Brunson, Calhoun County
RB Richard Garvin, Allendale-Fairfax
RB Jordan Fair, McBee
RB Mataeo Durant, McCormick
RB Jamari Dunbar, Bamberg-Ehrhardt
WR;Braxton;Westfield, Christ Church
WR Darius Hammonds, Hunter-Kinard-Tyler
TE Ozante Fields, Denmark-Olar
OL Drew Wilson, Bamberg-Ehrhardt
OL Daniel Smith, Williston-Elko
OL Malcolm Garrett, Cross
OL Jamariquoi Barr, C.E. Murray
DL Nate Grampus, Lincoln
DL Deon Priester, Allendale-Fairfax
DL Mack Nickles, Dixie
LB Kahl Gagum, Bamberg-Ehrhardt
LB Will Ward, Allendale-Fairfax
LB DaJohn Bamberg, Bamberg-Ehrhardt
LB Khalid Jones, Christ Church
DB Savalas Cann, Bamberg-Ehrhardt
DB T.J. Givens, St. John’s
DB Davonta Porter, Latta
DB KeShawn Orr, Bamberg-Ehrhardt
ATH Shakur Chisolm, Allendale-Fairfax
TOP 5 TEAMS
1. Christ Church
5. Calhoun County