QB Avery McCall Dillon
RB Chad Gilchrist Strom Thurmond
RB Terrance Wilson Batesburg-Leesville
RB Rod Johnson Ninety-Six
WR Eri’Reon Hayes Dillon
WR Eric Freeman Battery Creek
WR James Valdez Lake Marion
TE Wyatt Craig Timberland
OL Shaq Crouch Johnsonville
OL Kevin McCray Timberland
OL Hudson Little Bishop England
ATH Joseph Young Fairfield Central
DL Nyles Pinckney Whale Branch
DL Treyvon Bryan Whale Branch
DL Paul McKiever Batesburg-Leesville
DL Michael Barnett Woodland
LB Tarron Jackson Silver Bluff
LB Leron Carn Woodland
DB Freddie Phillips Pelion
DB Quan Welch Central
DB Dontavious Morris Batesburg-Leesville
DB Rodrick Jones Keenan
DB Tank Robinson Lake Marion
ATH Shakur Chisolm Barnwell
ALL-CLASS 2A TEAM
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM, THERE’S ARGUABLY NO MORE hotly contested classification than Class 2A. And despite it all, one program has set itself above the rest when it comes to gridiron excellence.
The winner of four Class 2A crowns over the past six years — in-
cluding titles the last two seasons — Dillon goes for another this fall,
hoping to further solidify itself as a bona fide Palmetto State dynasty.
Few have been able to stop the Wildcats in their pursuit of great-
ness. Will anyone do so this year?
Each of the past two years, Fairfield Central believed it had
what it took to slow Dillon. On both occasions, the Griffins were
Fairfield Central will take another shot at an elusive state title,
again placing a talented group on the field in Winnsboro. Newberry
may have the best opportunity among clubs in the Upper State to
beat Dillon should the teams meet, as the program has the size and
skill necessary to give the Wildcats fits.
And don’t count out Timberland. The last team to leave Dillon
out of the championship round in 2011, no one plays the Wildcats
closer. Expect the Wolves to be there at the end, with Dillon wel-
coming the challenge.
Strom Thurmond may have a lot to say about things as well.
THE FORGOTTEN ONES
Lost in the shuffle of Dillon adding new chapters to its dynasty
last year was Batesburg-Leesville, which held on in the final sec-
onds to claim the Class 2A-Division II title. It was the program’s
first state crown since 2005.
But the offseason was anything but smooth for the program, as
head coach Jerry Brown stepped away in the spring and then accepted the job at Class 4A Spring Valley days later. Taking Brown’s
place is Perry Woolbright, who helped breathe life into a foundering
North Myrtle Beach program, leading it to the playoffs last season.
Key cogs return, but all will soon learn exactly how much Brown’s
presence meant to the Panthers’ success.
Come this fall, Woolbright will not be the only new face roaming
Also, Strom Thurmond hired longtime assistant and alum Ant-
the sideline in Region II-2A, or the classification as a whole. During
the offseason, Mike Doolittle returned to Ninety Six where he previ-
ously served as coach and athletic director for 14 seasons, taking
the Wildcats to consecutive state titles in 2000 and ’01.
waun Hillary and Saluda brought in Stewart Young to lead its team.
With those movements, Abbeville’s Jamie Nickles is now the senior
member of the conference’s coaches, followed by Jeff Murdock.
Outside of Region II-2A, the most prominent coaching move was
made in Chesterfield, where Chris Arnoult takes the reins from Ike
Allred, who departed for James Island.
CAN PERENNIAL POWERS REBOUND?
It is anything but a normal season when schools such as Abbeville
and Central-Pageland struggle on the gridiron. In 2013, the two pe-
rennial powerhouses were riddled with injuries and youth and neither
squad earned more than a single win in their respective playoff runs.
In most places, that is enough. But championships are expected at
these two schools, and getting back to the gold standard is a must.
The 2014 season begins with hopes and expectations for both.
TOP 5 TEAMS
1DILLON: The Wildcats try to add another chapter to their dynasty with a
third straight championship.
2NEWBERRY: Blessed with size, talent and experience, the Bulldogs try to get
over the hump this fall.
3STROM THURMOND: Despite a coaching change, the Rebels have
the talent and experience to make a deep
4TIMBERLAND: Dillon has proven to be a hurdle for the Wolves the past few
seasons. Can they finally clear it?
5BATESBURG-LEESVILLE: Coach Perry Woolbright inherits a Panthers
roster with a championship pedigree.
Dillon wide receiver Eri’Reon Hayes had 15 touchdowns last season.