2023 High School Football
Tale of the Tape
Clinton Red Devils
Last year: 13-1 overall, 4-0 Region 4-3A
Region 4-3A Champions, Class 3A Upper State finalists
This week: at Batesburg-Leesville
Outlook: While there may be question marks with the departure of 25 graduated seniors from last year’s squad, the biggest question is whether anyone in Region 4-3A will or can step up to the Red Devils this season.
Clinton is ranked No. 4 in the Class 3A preseason media poll and a scrimmage against Class 5A Chapin turned into a lopsided rout for the Red Devils, who followed that up with a 14-0 jamboree win at York.
Yes, those were scrimmages, but it also could be a harbinger of things to come as the Red Devils celebrate their 100th year of football.
Key Returnees: RB/DB Jayden Robinson, LB/RB Kason Copeland, DE/TE Nyze Byrd, DB Zay Johnson, WR/TE Kadon Crawford, LB Brett Young, OL Rion Gordon, PK Keegan Fortman, RB/DB Tray Cook, DB/RB M.J. Henderson, LB/TE Carson Glenn.
Newcomers to watch: QB Tyshuwan Richardson, RB/DB Kendarious Copeland, WR/DB Chris Boyd, OL/DL Tre Aiken, OL/DL Hunter Lawson, OL/DL Adarell Swindler.
Aug. 18 – at Batesburg-Leesville
Aug. 25 – at Laurens
Sept. 1 – Newberry
Sept. 8 – Aiken (Homecoming)
Sept. 15 – Chapman
Sept. 22 – at South Aiken
Sept. 29 – Union County*
Oct. 13 – Woodruff*
Oct. 20 – Chester*
Oct. 27 – at Emerald*
* — denotes Region 4-3A contest
Laurens District 55 High School Raiders
Last year: 4-7 overall, 3-1 Region 2-4A
Co-region champions, 1st round of Class 4A playoffs
This week: Hillcrest
Outlook: The Raiders are coming off a share of the Region 2-4A championship and look to be contenders once again.
Three of the Raiders’ four victories last season came in region play, and they must once again get through a gauntlet of a non-region schedule, starting with three home games against against familiar but tough opponents, including Clinton and Class 5A Hillcrest.
Against Fort Mill in last week’s Bill Pate White Rose Classic in York, the Raiders showed big-play ability on offense with two long touchdown passes in a 17-7 victory. The defense also looked stout with eight returning starters led by linebacker Malik Jackson.
It all starts Week 0 at home against Hillcrest, which has won the last four straight meetings against the Raiders and seven of the last eight.
Key Returnees: QB Nick Fowler, WR/S Josh Goodwin, LB Malik Jackson, LB Noah Mosley, DB Travija Austin, LB Hugo Avila, LB Collin Holt, OL Daniel Baker, OL Odarrious Grant, DL Jaxon Tinsley.
Newcomers to watch: RB Denarl Lee-Jackson, RB Dashawn Webb, K Brock Franklin, WR Rodrick Payne, DB TyJ Jones, DB Nideaz Williams, WR/DB Ricarious Stephens.
Aug. 18 – Hillcrest
Aug. 25 – Clinton
Sept. 1 – Belton-Honea Path
Sept. 8 – at Chapman
Sept. 15 – at Union County
Sept. 22 – at T.L. Hanna
Sept. 29 – Greer*
Oct. 6 – at Riverside*
Oct. 13 – Wade Hampton*
Oct. 20 – at Eastside*
* — denotes Region 2-4A contest
Laurens Academy Crusaders
Last year 4-7 overall, 1-3 SCISA 8-man Region 4-1A
This week: at Augusta Eagles
Outlook: Head coach Jolly Doolittle arrived at LA during the offseason, taking over after a year the Crusaders spent in flux with interim head coach/athletic director Travis Plowden at the helm.
Doolittle, a SCISA veteran and former Greenwood Christian head coach is returning to the 8-man game, and is tasked to getting LA back atop the region and turning the Crusaders into a state title contender.
A lot of LA’s success this season will be determined by how quickly the Crusaders can learn Doolittle’s system, but they will be helped by the return of Plowden and Luke Tollison and Gerald Kirton as assitant coaches.
“You’re never as far along as you’d like,” Doolittle said of his team’s progress. “We’re not satisfied with where we are, but one thing I can say is that they’re intelligent, they’re hard workers and they’re coachable. When you combine those three things, you have the ability to get more in and go from there.”
Key Returnees: WR/DB Buddy Baker, WR/LB Garrett Murphy, OL/DL Hack Hardy, OL/DL Garrison Vaughan.
Newcomers to watch: ATH Jared Willard, QB Ethan Collins.
Aug. 18 – at Augusta Eagles
Aug. 25 – Richard Winn
Sept. 1 – at Newberry Academy
Sept. 8 – Oakbrook Prep
Sept. 15 – at Wardlaw*
Sept. 22 – at Jefferson Davis
Sept. 29 – Faith Christian
Oct. 13 – W.W. King* (Homecoming)
Oct. 20 – Newberry Academy*
Oct. 27 – at Richard Winn*
— * denotes region contest