Knights open in Florida; Deer travel to Timberland

Every Berkeley County school district football program kicks off new gridiron campaigns on Aug. 19.

However, none do it with more brilliance than Stratford High School. The Knights travel to Orlando, Florida for their first-ever out-of-state matchup. Kickoff at the Universal Studios Sports Complex against Avon, Ohio is scheduled for 6 p.m.

“I appreciate our administration so much,” said Stratford coach Dennie McDaniel. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance for our kids to go and play at Universal Studios. We have kids who have never been there. It kind of fell into our laps. Our kids are really excited about the idea. to meet the challenge.

The Knights drive the morning of the game and spend the night. McDaniel is due back the next day to help his daughter move into Anderson University on Saturday. He expects some team members to make it a quick vacation to The Sunshine State.

On the field, Avon presents a tough test for the Knights. The Eagles haven’t tasted much defeat in the last twelve seasons. Avon has 12 straight 10-or-more win campaigns with a 136-19 record since 2010.

“We know they have a very strong program,” McDaniel said. “I have a few local buddies who say they’ve been very good for a long time. We had the chance to swap movies from last year and they are a loose team. In defense, it’s a 4-3. They are very well trained and disciplined.

Stratford gets extra time to recover and prepare for a Sept. 2 game at Lexington. The Knights are out Aug. 26.

Closer to home, Berkeley goes to Timberland, Cane Bay goes to Beaufort, Cross goes to Calhoun Academy, Goose Creek welcomes South Florence, Hanahan welcomes Georgetown, Northwood Academy goes to Greenwood Christian, Philip Simmons comes to Andrews and St. John’s Christian hosts The King’s Academy.

More information on the matches on August 19 below:

Berkeley to Timberland

Notes: Timberland finished 9-2 last year and Berkeley 2-6…The teams haven’t met since 2017, a 28-0 win at Berkeley…Timberland last won in the series, 22-15 , in 2014… The Deer lead all-time, 13-3… Four of Timberland’s six non-regional games are against bigger schools.

Cane Bay to Beaufort

Notes: Cobras finished 9-3 last season…Beaufort played for Class AAAA title last year…Eagles dropped to Class AAA in an area with Philip Simmons and Hanahan…First meeting between the two schools…The Cobras offensive lineman Kameron Durant is committed to East Carolina.

Cross at Calhoun Academy

Notes: First meeting between two teams since 2009, a 24-13 win for Calhoun County…Cross was 2-5 last year…Calhoun County finished 7-5 last season…Saints won their region and advanced to the third round last year for coach Wayne Farmer.

Goose Creek Against South Florence

Notes: Goose Creek has won three straight region titles… The Gators last played in Florence South, moving past the Bruins, 48-27, in the 2019 playoffs… Florence South is led by Syracuse hires LaNorris Sellers at quarterback… Goose Creek quarterback Drew Moore is committed to Mercer.

Hanahan vs. Georgetown

Notes: Both teams last played in 2019, with Georgetown winning 20-6…The Hawks finished 8-3 last season and made the second round of the playoffs…Georgetown was 0-10 in 2021…L Hanahan’s coach Art Craig begins the season with 241 career wins.

Northwood to Greenwood Christian

Notes: Northwood is under new coach Karl Lamont, who coached at Weiss High School in Texas last season…Chargers didn’t win a game last season…Greenwood Christian was 2-8 in 2021 …Northwood is a Class AAA SCISA school.

Philip Simmons at Andrews

Notes: Philip Simmons moves up to Class AAA after making the third round of the Class AA playoffs last season…The Iron Horses finished 11-2 and were the last Berkeley County team alive last season…Andrews finished 2-6… First meeting between the two schools.

St. John’s Christian vs. The King’s Academy

Notes: St. John’s Christian is now coached by Kevin Brown…Former Cavaliers head Brandon Clontz has become defensive coordinator…Cavaliers have advanced to the SCISA Class A Semifinals each of the past two seasons…St. John’s Christian won the last game, 43-0, last season.

Stratford vs. Avon, Ohio (at Orlando, Florida)

Notes: Played in Orlando, Fla. at Universal Studio Sports Complex, this will be Stratford’s first-ever game out of state…The Knights won their first playoff game in seven years last season…Avon has 12 straight seasons of 10 or more wins with a 136-19 record since 2010.

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