Tick tock, tick tock.
The clock is ticking down toward the start of the winter sports season for area high schools.
The first official day of practice and tryouts for both basketball and wrestling teams is on Monday, Nov. 4.
Dec. 2 is slated as opening night for winter sports teams.
Last season, the area produced two Lower State team championships. The Goose Creek Gators boys basketball team lost to Irmo in the Class AAAA championship game and the Hanahan wrestling team lost to Eastside in the Class AAA championship.
Individually, Hanahan’s Dennis Flores (170) and Stratford’s Nicholas Young (132) captured state championships for their respective programs. Both wrestlers are now freshmen at NCAA Div. II power Newberry College.
In preseason polls, both the Hawks and Knights are highly regarded entering the season.
Hanahan is ranked No. 3 in SCMAT.com’s Class AAA poll, while Stratford is 12th in Class AAAA.
In basketball, Goose Creek point guard Dantez Bennamon was tabbed one of the top senior players in South Carolina. Last season, he averaged over 20 points and six rebounds to power the Gators.
And Stratford boys basketball coach Troy Johnson was selected as the coach for the South squad for the annual North-South all-star game after the season.
The preseason basketball polls will be released in November.
In coming weeks, the Gazette will feature season previews on area basketball and wrestling teams.