Each Berkeley County School District football program kicks off freshman campaigns on Aug. 19.
However, no one does it more brilliantly than Stratford High School. The Knights travel to Orlando, Fla., for their first out-of-state clash. Kickoff from the Universal Studios Sports Complex against Avon, Ohio, is set for 6 p.m.
“I’m very thankful for our administration,” Stratford coach Dennie McDaniel said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance for our kids to come down and play at Universal Studios. We have some kids who have never been down there. It kind of fell into our laps. Our kids are very excited about the challenge.”
Riders are driving on the morning of the game and staying overnight. McDaniel has to rush back the next day to help his daughter transfer to Anderson University on Saturday. He expects some on the team to take a quick break from him in The Sunshine State.
On the field, Avon presents a tough test for the Knights. The Eagles haven’t enjoyed losing much in the last dozen seasons. Avon has 12 straight campaigns of 10 wins or more with a 136-19 record since 2010.
“We know they have a very solid program,” McDaniel said. “I have some friends from above who say they have been very good for a long time. We’ve had a chance to exchange some film from last year and they’re a spread team. Defensively, they are 4-3. They are very trained and disciplined.”
Stratford takes extra time to recover and prepare for a Sept. 2 game in Lexington. The Knights will leave on August 26.
Closer to home, Berkeley travels to Timberland, Cane Bay heads to Beaufort, Cross heads to Calhoun Academy, Goose Creek hosts South Florence, Hanahan welcomes Georgetown, Northwood Academy travels to Greenwood Christian, Philip Simmons rotates to Andrews and St. The King’s Academy.
More on the August 19 matches below:
Berkeley at 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 the series, 22-15, in 2014… Stags lead all-time , 13-3… Four of Timberland’s six non-region games are against larger schools.
Cane Bay in Beaufort
Notes: The Cobras finished 9-3 last season … Beaufort played for the Class AAAA title last year … The Eagles have dropped to Class AAA in a region with Philip Simmons and Hanahan … The first meeting between the two schools … Cobras offensive lineman Kameron Durant is committed to East Carolina.
Cross at Calhoun Academy
Notes: First meeting between the two teams since 2009, a 24-13 victory for Calhoun County … Cross was 2-5 last year … Calhoun County finished 7-5 last season … Saints won their region and advanced to the round third last year for coach Wayne Farmer.
Goose Creek vs. South Florence
Notes: Goose Creek has won three straight region titles… The Gators last played South Florence, topping the Bruins, 48-27, in the 2019 playoffs… South Florence is led by Syracuse commit LaNorris Sellers at quarterback… Quarterback of Goose Creek Drew Moore is committed to Mercer.
Hanahan vs. Georgetown
Notes: The two teams last played in 2019, with Georgetown winning 20-6… The Hawks finished 8-3 last season and advanced to the second round of the playoffs… Georgetown was 0-10 in 2021… Coach Hanahan , Art Craig begins the season with 241 career wins.
Northwood at Greenwood Christian
Notes: Northwood is led by new head coach Karl Lamont, who coached at Weiss High School in Texas last season… Chargers did not win a game last season… Greenwood Christian was 2-8 in 2021… Northwood is a Class AAA school SKETCH.
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 … Meet first between two schools.
St. John’s Christian vs King’s Academy
Notes: St. , 43-0, last season.
Stratford vs. Avon, Ohio (at Orlando, Fla.)
Notes: Played in Orlando, Fla., at the Universal Studio Sports Complex, this will be Stratford’s first overseas game … The Knights won their first playoff game in seven years last season … Avon has 12 straight seasons of 10 wins or more with a 136-19 record since 2010.