The field is ready and the fans certainly are; Strom Thurmond coach Lee Sawyer is hoping his team is, too.
Today marks the start of the 2012 football season for some area South Carolina high schools, with the Rebels at home against Eastern Christian Academy.
The Maryland school is littered with high-end talent, including sophomore quarterback David Sills, who committed to the University of Southern California when he was in middle school.
“We hope it’ll be a big playoff-type atmosphere,” Sawyer said. “That’s what we like to have in nonregion, to get the guys used to that environment. I hope it’ll be packed.”
Fox Creek is also home as it begins the post-Marty Williams era. Williams put up more than 3,000 offensive yards and scored 37 touchdowns as a senior in 2011.
“You can’t replace Marty,” Predators coach Russell Schneider said. “Not yet, anyway.”
The Predators, a SCHSL Class A program, open up against AAA school Dreher.
It’s the first time Fox Creek has played a SCHSL AAA school since it met Midland Valley in the 2009 season.
North Augusta visits T.L. Hanna while South Aiken hopes better health means a better season. Injuries helped doom the Thoroughbreds to a nine-game losing streak to end the season after they opened 2-0.
Just like it had the previous two seasons, South Aiken begins its 2012 campaign against Richland Northeast.
But this year, Thoroughbreds coach Jeremy West wants the success to continue deep into the season.
“We know we got expectations,” West said. “We’re excited. We always want to start out on a good foot. If we can come back the first day of school 1-0, morale will be good. And with our schedule, we have to get all we can get.”