THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE
DUTCH FORK – They have not disappointed. This team is strong at every position and with the exception of their tie to Mallard Creek, has dismantled each opponent with little effort.
Where will Dutch Fork be challenged?
It won’t be until the third round of the playoffs where they will, more than likely, see Fort Dorchester. Because brackets are predetermined, that would be a road game for Dutch Fork. If they pass that challenge, they could probably see a team like Berkeley or West Florence in the semi-finals. But I really don’t see anyone challenging them at that point.
The state title match up, however, could be another story. The upstate is loaded and the teams I like right now are Gaffney and Byrnes. One of those teams or possibly Dorman, could emerge from the up state.
DIGGING OUT OF A HOLE
Right now, there are several 1-2 teams in the Midlands who I think can dig out of this early hole and be contenders.
Brookland-Cayce is 1-2 with losses to White Knoll (5A) and Airport. The Bearcats lack consistency right now but this team has the tools and parts to win their region, as well as compete in the playoffs.
Hammond is also 1-2 but their losses were to out of state power houses. I still say no in-state SCISA school will challenge the Skyhawks and they will be staring down another 3A State Title.
Lugoff-Elgin may be the best 1-2 team in the state. They have had two close losses to two very good football teams. This team is dangerous because if they continue to mature and improve, they could end up making some noise in their region as a playoff team. Region IV after Sumter is somewhat wide open.
Batesburg-Leesville is another 1-2 team that is better than their record indicates. They lost to a very good Gilbert (3A) team and put up 35 points on them. They lost by one point to Newberry. They have the weapons, including a dangerous quarterback, to compete in their region. Abbeville and Saluda a notch above the Panthers but I believe they can compete with Silver Bluff for the third spot in that region.
MY PICKS FOR STATE AFTER THREE WEEKS
Class 5A – Dutch Fork vs Gaffney
Class 4A – Daniel vs Myrtle Beach
Class 3A – Chapman vs Dillon
Class 2A – Abbeville vs Barnwell
Class 1A – Wagener Salley vs Green Sea Floyds