By Tyler Shugart
Week zero is finally here. High School football is back and I am fired up and ready for a great season. Last year was great year that ended with us watching two teams that we cover play for state titles at Williams-Brice. Will this year end the same way? I for one cannot wait to find out what the 2018 season has in store. This year we add a new team to our coverage: Greer.
10 of the 12 teams we cover are in action week zero. Only Boiling Springs and Gaffney do not play this week.
We start with Woodruff at Chesnee, our Burrito Hub Game of the week. Woodruff has a new football coach. Bradley Adams replaces Trey Elder who left Woodruff to become offensive coordinator at North Greenville. Adams comes to Woodruff from Union County, where he coached for two years and led the Jackets to two playoff appearances. Adams is a lower state coach who likes to run the football a fair amount. Woodruff under Trey Elder threw the ball around a lot. Keegan Halloran is one of the best quarterbacks in our area if not the best. Terrific arm and very athletic. He missed most of last year with a knee injury and is back for his senior season. For Woodruff to be successful they will rely heavily on their senior QB. Bill Owens is in his second season as the head coach of Chesnee and I expect this team to be a lot better this year. Chesnee is moving up a classification to 3A this year. Expect Coach Owens Defense to be much improved in his second season. In my opinion Bill Owens is one of the best defensive coaches of all time in our area.
Pick: I think this one has the potential to be close. Im going to give the nod to Chesnee. I think the Eagles defense stands tall and they get enough done to win. However if Halloran isn’t rusty after missing a year he could light it up if they throw it.
Chapman at Union is another very interesting game in our coverage area. The Panthers of course are coming off back to back state title appearances, but replace almost all the players who’s names you heard last year. Union has a new head coach. Brian Thompson is now at the helm of the Yellow Jackets after spending many years as a defensive coordinator in the midlands. The Jackets will have a quarterback who will be in his second year as a starter and is a junior. Kesean Glover is very athletic and a talented kid both with his arm and feet. Expect the Jacket offense to open up a little more this year under new OC Bryan Robinson. I think the offense will more resemble a Steve Taneyhill Union offense than it has in the last two seasons when the Jackets relied heavily on the run. Expect the Chapman defense to be good and the offense to possibly have some growing pains.
Pick: Folks are going to call me a homer but thats not the case at all. I pick against Union a lot. I majored in history in college and tonight history is on the Jackets side. Dating back to Shell Dula no Yellow Jacket Coach has lost his first game as the head coach. The fact that the game is at a newly renovated Union County Stadium also Helps. Union wins.
Greer at Byrnes. Anybody want to bet me that Greer will have a good running back? I think the Yellow Jackets could have one of the best teams they have had in a few years. Byrnes under Reggie Shaw should be improved and we know they have a really good running back. The question for Byrnes is can the find good consistent quarterback play? Greer lost this game to Byrnes last year at home and it wasn’t close. I think this one is closer but the Rebels still win.
I believe Spartanburg will defeat Nation Ford despite the questions at QB for the Vikings.
Dorman will have no trouble with Wade Hampton.
Landrum goes up two classifications and beats Blue Ridge. Landrum has 20 seniors and 20 juniors on the roster, coach farmer finally has an experienced team
Broome with have no trouble with Central. Welcome back Brendan Taylor.