Class 4A Spring Breakdown

1. Belton-Honea Path 2. Wren 3. Palmetto 4. Daniel 5. Walhalla 6. Pickens

I believe we see more o fthe same in this region at the top. Belton-Honea Path will be strong again on both sides of the football and return 21 rising seniors in the mix. Wren will, again, be potent on the offensive side of the football but their question, as always, will remain on defense. I like Palmetto as a sleeper team in this region because they are athletic, well coached, and have a playmaker at the quarterback position. Daniel will have a new offensive coordinator, a transfer quarterbak and an air raid offense but I’m not sure that will be enough to compete for more than third in the region. Walhalla showed improvement last season in out of region play but I believe they are a 5th spot in this region IF they can hold off Pickens.

1. Greer 2. Greenville 3. Eastside 4. Blue Ridge 5. Berea 6. Travelers Rest

Greer returns a wealth of talent to a very good football team, inlcuding what may be the best athlete in the region playing at the quarterback position. Greenville will be strong on the offensive side of the football and if they can raise the level of their defense, they can compete for the top spot. Eastside has some talented skills players and has shown great improvement in the past two seasons. Blue Ridge is simply the best of the rest, edging out Berea and Travelers Rest.

1. South Pointe 2. York 3. Ridge View 4. Westside 5. Lancaster 6. Richland Northeast

How much will attrition hurt South Pointe? They took a hit again in the playmaker category so it will be interesting to see if they can hold off York and Ridgeview as major contenders. Both the Cougars and Blazers return some strong talent and are, I believe, ready to challenge South Pointe in 2018. Westside showed improvment last season and could very well be in the top four when the smoke clears. Lancaster and Richland Northeast are both capable of a top four finish but I believe they will compete for the fifth spot.

1. Lower Richland 2. Orangeburg-Wilkinson 3. Creswood 4. Lakewood 5. Dreher 6. AC Flora

Man, these picks are completely opposite of what we would have predicted just a couple of short years ago. Lower Richland showed vast improvment over the past two seasons and last year showed they are capable of getting a region crown. Orangeburg-Wilkinson has a new sherriff in town and he knows how to win. The question is can he have a disciplined program at OW so they won’t self-destruct. Crestwood and Lakewood are both trying fight back into the days of being competitive teams. Dreher, again, loses talent but Coach Trey Sullivan keeps finding ways to make them competitive. AC Flora had some huge bumps in the road in 2017 and i”m not sure the roadwork has been done to get them back to where they were not long ago.

1. South Aiken 2. Brookland-Cayce 3. North Augusta 4. Airport 5. Aiken 6. Midland Valley

South Aiken returns some talent to their team that has played great football the past two seasons. A new quarterback, who started at TE for them in 2017, and a huge offensive line will highlight their offense. Brookland-Cayce moves up to 4A but I think they will compete in region with what may be the region’s best play maker at quarterback. North Augusta returns skills talent and speed to their team but I see a slight drop off in 2018. Airport is struggling with two losing seasons in the past two years. They will finish fourth here but will struggle. Aiken will be improved but their participation numbers have been hurting them. I feel like Aiken and Midland Valley are fighing with Airport for that fourth spot.

1. Hartsville 2. Myrtle Beach 3. North Myrtle Beach 4. Marlboro County 5. Wilson 6. Darlington

I like Myrtle Beach to be a much improved football team in 2018 but I’m still going with Hartsville in the top spot at this early time. North Myrtle Beach has been a monster for the past two seasons but I think the improvment of Myrtle Beach and Hartsville’s consistency will make it tough in that top three spot battle. Marlboro County has suffered in the trenches and to attrition in the past several seasons. The Bulldogs are not ready to challenge for the crown but I do think they are a playoff team in 2018. They will, however, have to contend with Wilson who is a team that could shock everyone else in this region. Darlington will not win a region game.

1. Beaufort 2. Bluffton 3. Hilton Head 4. Colleton County

This is a four team region so how ridiculous is that? The SCHSL needs to not worry about “travel” when they are drawing up regions. Anyway, I digress. Beaufort returns a 1,200 yards passer to their offense but will be under a new coach. How quickly they adjust to any changes he brings will be key. Bluffton returns some strong talent to their team that played good football in 2017. They will need to tighten up on defense to compete for the top spot with Beaufort. Hilton Head lost talent at key spots and will fight to finish in the third spot. Colleton County lost their best player to graduation and he was a huge impact on that team. They will struggle to finish higher than third but more than likely fourth.

About Jim Baxter

Founder of and publisher of SCVarsity and Football in the Midlands. National recruiting anlayst witih 30 years of experience in the industry.

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