Has Academic Magnet replaced Bishop England as the Lowcountry’s top Class AA soccer program?
It’s early, but the South Carolina High School Soccer Coaches’ Association voted that way.
The Raptor boys are No. 1 in the preseason poll, while the Bishops are No. 2.
In the girls’ poll, Christ Church is No. 1, Academic Magnet No. 2 and BE No. 3.
The Magnet boys won their first state title last spring. The Raptors went 22-2 and have numerous talented players, including Jonathan Glenn, who set a school record with 34 goals.
The Raptors’ girls are bidding for the second state title in three years.
“I would love to be able to say that we are the team, but there is a lot of pressure to stay on top,” Academic Magnet girls coach Anna Merriman said. “It’s one thing to get to the top. It’s another to stay on top. Bishop England was the top team for all those years. We just hope to show that we can be successful over a long period of time.”
The Raptors’ girls seemed like a shoo-in to win the state title last year after winning three playoff games by a combined score of 20-0, including a 6-0 dismantling of the Bishops in the Lower State championship. But Christ Church stunned the Raptors, 2-0, in the championship.
Two years ago, The Raptors beat Bishop England 2-1 and captured the championship with a 2-1 victory over Christ Church.
Academic Magnet lost six players to graduation and another player moved, but Merriman is encouraged that a half dozen freshmen could make an impact this season.
The team also gets a boost with the return of Kallie Peurifoy, who collected 30 goals and 12 assists for the Raptors her junior season.
Wando is No. 2 behind J.L. Mann in the boys’ Class AAAA poll. T.L. Hanna holds the top spot in girls’ Class AAAA. Wando is third and West Ashley is ninth.
Eastside is the top-ranked boys’ Class AAA team, while Hilton Head is No. 1 in the girls’ poll.
St. Joseph’s is No. 1 in the boys’ Class A poll.
In SCISA, Porter-Gaud is No. 1 in the boys’ Class AAA poll. Pinewood Prep is second.
Cardinal Newman holds down the top spot in the girls’ poll. Porter-Gaud is No. 2 and Pinewood Prep is No. 3.
Northwood Academy is No. 1 in the boys’ Class AA-A poll and James Island Christian is fourth. Oakbrook Prep is No. 1 in the girls’ poll, while James Island Christian is fourth.