The high school football season in South Carolina kicks off in two weeks with a full slate of games scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 18-20. After going 15-0 and upending Dutch Fork (Irmo)
22-19 in the AAAAA state championship contest last season, Gaffney
headlines our look at this year's contenders in the preseason MaxPreps Top 25.Edward Jefferies
reeled in a 40-yard scoring strike from Gaffney quarterback Grayson Loftis
with 3:30 left in the state title contest and the defense forced a turnover on downs to stifle Dutch Fork's streak of five straight AAAAA state championships. Now, Dan Jones' squad gets to wear the proverbial target on its back to start the 2022 season. Last year's title is the fifth since 2003 for the Indians and the 18th in school history.
Loftis, who has committed to Duke, is back for his senior season after completing 156 of 263 passes for 2,156 yards and 21 touchdowns against seven interceptions during the 15-game season. Jefferies also returns for a final year after catching seven balls for 154 yards and a pair of scores in the championship contest. Deshun Corry
caught 27 passes for 445 yards and a pair of scores a year ago.Brayshawn Littlejohn
is Jones' leading returning tackler with 87 in 2021. The senior also had 20 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks during the title run, and was credited with three passes deflected, two fumble recoveries and forced another fumble last fall.
Gaffney opens the season Aug. 19 against South Pointe (Rock Hill)
, our No. 2-ranked squad heading into the 2022 season. South Pointe bullied Beaufort 41-7 in the AAAA state title contest last fall and finished the season 12-1. Having won five state championships since 2014 Strait Herron's squad is a likely candidate to repeat and extend its winning streak beyond nine games with athletes like senior cornerback Derrick Barksdale II
back for another year.
Following a postseason run to the AAAA semifinals last fall, Greenville
finished the year with a 10-3 mark. The Red Raiders are locked and loaded for another incredible finish in 2022 with the return of junior Mazeo Bennett
, who 247Sports rates as a four-star wide receiver. Minnesota commit Tyler Brown
, a three-star wide receiver, and three-star offensive lineman Blake Franks
are back for another postseason run for Greg Porter's program.
and Dorman (Roebuck)
fill in the No. 4 and No. 5 spots, reDerrick Barksdale II
spectively. Dorman finished at 4-6 against a challenging schedule last fall. The Cavaliers dropped single-digit decisions to Gaffney (42-35), Spartanburg (28-24) and fell to T.L. Hanna (41-35) in the playoffs.
Defending AAA champion Daniel (Central)
is No. 9 after going 14-0 last fall. Last year's AA champion Gray Collegiate Academy
finished 14-1 and is ranked No. 12 ahead of the 2022 campaign. Dutch Fork
, who had won 62 straight games going into last year's final, is ranked No. 8.
Read on for a complete look at South Carolina's preseason Top 25 for 2022.
PRESEASON MAXPREPS TOP 25
, 15-0 record in 2021
2. South Pointe (Rock Hill, S.C.)
4. Hillcrest (Simpsonville)
5. Dorman (Roebuck)
6. Northwestern (Rock Hill)
8. Dutch Fork (Irmo)
9. Daniel (Central)
12. Gray Collegiate Academy (West Columbia)
13. Wren (Piedmont)
13. A.C. Flora (Columbia)
15. Fort Dorchester (North Charleston)
16. Oceanside Collegiate Academy (Mt. Pleasant)
21. Catawba Ridge (Fort Mill)
22. T.L. Hanna (Anderson)
25. Brookland-Cayce (Cayce)