Football season begins for real for two local football teams on Friday.
Cane Bay and Hanahan high schools open up the 2014 season a week before the first full slate of games.
Cane Bay hosts Colleton County and Hanahan opens at home against James Island.
“We’ve been doing that since I got here,” said HHS coach Charlie Patterson, whose team finished 11-1 last fall. “I like it… It gives you a week off during the regular season. You can kind of go back and focus on fundamentals, and if you have anybody hurt you can get them healed up.”
The Hanahan game will be televised on MyTV Charleston.
“Hopefully that will add a little more to it,’ Patterson said.
Last season, the Hawks defeated James Island 41-8.
“I think we’re ready to go,” Patterson said. “We’ve had some good practices and good scrimmages.”
On offense, leading receiver Sam Denmark returns for the Hawks along with slot receiver Saaehim Brooks. Denmark had 40 grabs for 912 yards and Brooks 23 catches for 439 yards.
Leading tackler Tre Smalls also returns for the Hawks after making 125 stops.
Cane Bay is looking to get the ship righted after going winless in 2013. Colleton County defeated Cane Bay 34-20 last season.
“They’re anxious to prove last year was an anomaly and that’s not what Cane Bay is all about,” Cobras coach Russell Zehr said of his players. “We’ve got the components to be successful. It just depends on how focused they are and how hard they’re willing to work.”
Among Cane Bay’s leading returners is senior linebacker Matt Rudy, the school’s career leader in tackles.
On offense, the Cobras have turned to the flexbone to try and get things turned around after scoring just 125 points (11.3 PPG) last season.
For more information on both teams, please see our annual high school football edition on Aug. 28.