Reigning state champions Dutch Fork and AC Flora enter this football season once again as the top teams in their respective classifications.
The five-time defending champion Silver Foxes were the unanimous choice for the preseason SC Prep Football Media Poll released Tuesday. Dutch Fork received all 10 first place votes and will open the season Friday at fifth ranked Class 3A Wren.
The Silver Foxes currently own the following winning streaks:
- 50 straight wins without a loss
- 49 straight in-state victories
- 27 straight region and road victories
- 24 straight playoff wins (a state record)
River Bluff ranked 10th in the Class 5A poll after reaching the Lower State semifinals last season. The Gators will travel to Lugoff-Elgin Friday.
Fresh off winning its first state title in school history, the Falcons received seven out of 10 first place votes in Class 4A. They open the season on the road against Brookland-Cayce, who ranked ninth in Class 3A a spot behind last year's Lower State runner-up Gilbert.
Irmo ranked ninth in the Class 4A preseason poll. Due to COVID-19 protocol, the Yellow Jackets postponed its season-opener at home against Chapin (which received votes for the Class 5A poll) and will announce the status of the Aug. 27 game versus Dutch Fork.
Airport received votes for Class 4A and will open the season at home against Crestwood, which replaced quarantined Swansea.
The Midlands had three teams ranked in Class 3A, led by Lower State champion and state runner-up Camden. The Bulldogs, tied with Chapman for second, open the season Friday at Zemp Stadium against Class 2A second-ranked Gray Collegiate Academy.
Newberry was sixth and Saluda and Batesburg-Leesville ranked eighth and ninth, respectively, in Class 2A with Andrew Jackson, North Central and Pelion receiving votes.
CA Johnson was the lone Midlands team ranked in Class A at number 9. The Green Hornets will have their third head coach in three seasons in former Camden and Fairfield-Central assistant coach Scotty Dean.
PRESEASON SC PREP FOOTBALL MEDIA POLL
(number of first place votes in parentheses)
1. Dutch Fork (10), 2. Fort Dorchester, 3. Northwestern, 4. (tie) Dorman, 4. (tie) T.L. Hanna, 6. Ridge View, 7. Gaffney, 8. JF Byrnes, 9. Sumter, 10. River Bluff
Others receiving votes: Spartanburg, Chapin, Hillcrest, Nation Ford, Mauldin, West Ashley.
1. A.C. Flora (7), 2. Myrtle Beach (2), 3. Greenville (1), 4. Catawba Ridge, 5. South Pointe, 6. North Myrtle Beach, 7. Westside, 8. Beaufort, 9. Irmo, 10. Greer
Others receiving votes: North Augusta, May River, Greenwood, Airport
1. Daniel (10), 2. (tie) Chapman and 2. Camden, 4. Oceanside Collegiate, 5. Wren, 6. Dillon, 7. Chester, 8. Gilbert, 9. Brookland-Cayce, 10. Union County
Others receiving votes: Aynor, Woodruff, Clinton, Fairfield Central, Hanahan, Palmetto
1. Abbeville (10), 2. Gray Collegiate, 3. Marion, 4. Barnwell, 5. Chesnee, 6. Newberry, 7. Andrews, 8. Saluda, 9. Batesburg-Leesville, 10. Christ Church
Others receiving votes: St. Joseph’s, Andrew Jackson, Woodland, Pelion, Cheraw, North Central, Chesterfield, Silver Bluff, Blacksburg
1. Southside Christian (10), 2. Lake View, 3. Lamar, 4. Whale Branch, 5. Bamberg-Ehrhardt, 6. Blackville-Hilda, 7. Baptist Hill, 8. Wagener-Salley, 9. C.A. Johnson, 10. Lewisville
Others receiving votes: Carvers Bay, Johnsonville, McBee, North/Hunter-Kinard-Tyler, Ridge Spring-Monetta, Allendale-Fairfax, C.E. Murray, Great Falls, Denmark-Olar