Let me drop some knowledge on you...
It is October and we are finally starting to see the cream rise to the top in high school football. Here are some things that have caught my eye.
We don't talk a lot about our South Carolina schools, but there are some schools south of the border making some big noise in the Palmetto State.
Chesterfield off at a 5-1 start
From 2006 to 2011, one of the best programs in the state was the Chesterfield Golden Rams. During that stretch, they won 68 games, 4 straight region titles, and 3 straight state championships. They would also have a state runner up in 2006.
For the last few years, they have been around a .500 team, but 2015 is looking like the days of old.
They are 5-1 behind a sophomore quarterback who only took over as the starter 2.5 games ago.
Back on September 11th, Chesterfield was taking on Anson Senior and was losing 26-7 at the half.
Coach Chris Arnoult would switch quarterbacks from Danzel Rivers (who was the Region Player of the Year last year) to sophomore Savion Watson. The Rams would come back and win the game 27-26.
What this team has done since then with Rivers at RB and Watson at QB has been impressive.
The next week after beating Anson, they put 36 points on the board and last Friday, they put 61 points on the board on a previously unbeaten Indian Land team.
Watson has been on FIRE throwing for 1019 yards and 16 TD-- IN 2.5 GAMES.
The game last Friday against Indian Land, Watson was 20 for 33 passing for 456 yards and 9 TD. That's right, I said 9 PASSING TOUCHDOWNS!
That is 1 shy of the state record of 10.
This team is clicking offensively right now and is the clear favorite to win the Region 4-2A title. But they do have a few tough games still left in region play including tonight at North Central and next week against Buford. The other opponents in the region have none or just one win overall.
Lancaster is off to their best start since 2009
It is year 2 of Bobby Collins at Lancaster and he has his Bruins off to their best start since 2009 as they are 5-0 on the season.
Due to their great start, Lancaster is ranked #8 in 3A football in South Carolina.
But some might say the 5-0 record is a bit inflated due to the competition they have played. The combined record of the teams Lancaster has beat thus far is 6-20.
The Bruins begin region play this week as they host 2-3 Chester.
They will get their biggest test on October 16th when they pay a visit to the defending region and 3A state champs in South Pointe.
But bottom line, you can only beat who you play and thus far, the Bruins are beating the teams they are suppose to beat. They are doing it in impressive fashion as well as they have an average margin on victory of 25. If the trend continues, they could be 10-0 or 9-1 and would get a great seeding in the ALWAYS TOUGH 3A playoff bracket in South Carolina. And being in a position to challenge for a region and state championship is the focus for coach Collins and the Bruins.
East Burke is 3-2
Let's take it back up to North Carolina and another coach in his 2nd year at his school. Coach Tom Brown has his Cavaliers playing some great football as they are now 3-2 on the season and more importantly 2-0 in South Mountain Athletic Conference (SMAC) play.
A winning record is not out the question for this team and it would be their first since 2009 when they went 8-4.
In 2009, East moved from 4A to 2A and you would think that would equal great success in football, but it was the exact opposite as the opening of Draughn and Patton took a lot of football talent from the halls of East.
To compound the problem, they were dropped into the now Southern District 7 Conference and then the SMAC-- 2 of the toughest conferences in football in the state.
The following years after their last winning season, the Cavs went 0-11, 4-7, 5-7, 2-9, and 3-8.
This year's East team is leaning heavily on RB Brandon Clark who has 9 TD in the last 2 weeks.
Last Monday in a win over Burns, he had 216 yards and 5 TD.
As I said before, this team has a great shot at a winning record. Friday, they will be major under dogs against undefeated Shelby and will play the same role in 2 weeks at undefeated Crest. Both Shelby and Crest are defending state champs by the way making this conference a beast to compete in. But the other 4 games are very winnable even against improved teams in Draughn, R-S Central, and Kings Mountain.
In closing, I have the same wish as I did last Friday... Rain, rain, go away! But if it doesn't, going to be fun watching the guys slip and slide and get a little dirty in the beautiful game we call football. Bring an umbrella folks-- going to be a wet one.
If there is football on Friday (and I know it will be), we will have a FULL hour of the best high school football highlights in our area on Football Friday Night at 11:35 on WBTV. Rain or no rain, we will have you covered!