The state’s football writers have spoken.
Their votes are surprisingly similar to a year ago.
For the second straight season, Myrtle Beach will open the year as the No. 1 team in South Carolina’s Class AAA. The Seahawks led a talented group of squads that include defending state champion South Pointe and Lower State champion Hartsville.
Those three teams were also Nos. 1-3 in last year’s preseason poll. Myrtle Beach’s postseason hopes were dashed when its top two quarterbacks, including Drayton Arnold, were sidelined with hand injuries last November.
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The Seahawks return Drayton, fellow Old Dominion verbal commitment Brandon Sinclair and four offensive linemen to this year’s team.
The only other Grand Strand team appearing in the preseason polls was Loris. Jamie Snider’s team chimed in at No. 7 in Class AA. North Myrtle Beach started the year in the Class AAA receiving votes category for the second consecutive season.
1. Spartanburg; 2. Fort Dorchester; 3. Dutch Fork; 4. Hillcrest; 5. Northwestern; 6. Dorman; 7. Byrnes; 8. Westwood; T9. York; T9. South Florence
Others receiving votes: Goose Creek, Greenwood, Westside, Lexington
1. Myrtle Beach; 2. South Pointe; 3. Hartsville; 4. Greer; 5. Seneca; 6. Marlboro County; 7. Belton-Honea Path; 8. Chapin; 9. Union County; 10. Berkeley
Others receiving votes: A.C. Flora, Daniel, Wren, Orangeburg-Wilkinson, North Myrtle Beach
1. Dillon; 2. Timberland; 3. Newberry; 4. Abbeville; 5. Fairfield Central; 6. Batesburg-Leesville; 7. Loris; 8. Chesnee; 9. Pendleton; 10. Woodruff
Others receiving votes: Chesterfield, Ninety Six, Central, Powdersville, Blacksburg, Cheraw
1. Christ Church; 2. McBee; 3. Williston-Elko; 4. Bamberg-Ehrhardt; T5. Lamar; T5. Hunter-Kinard-Tyler; 7. Lake View; 8. Calhoun County; 9. Allendale-Fairfax; 10. Lewisville
Others receiving votes: St. John's, Southside Christian, Hemingway, Cross, Fox Creek
The S.C. Prep Media Football Poll is conducted by the Spartanburg Herald-Journal with voting from Andrew Macke, Greenwood Index Journal; Bob Castello, Greenville News; Mike McCombs, The Island Packet; Chris Clark, Orangeburg Times and Democrat; Chris Dearing, The State; Ian Guerin, Myrtle Beach Sun News; Kevin Melton, Spartanburg Herald Journal; Lou Bezjak, The State; Lake Morris, Anderson Independent Mail; David Shelton, Charleston Post and Courier; Bret McCormick, The Herald (Rock Hill) and Eric Russell, Aiken Standard.