Two nights, 24 high school football teams, a thousand players dreaming of glory while hoping not to mess up.
At least 76 trombones.
More than 480 pom-poms and a good cause.
If you missed the first 43 Sertoma Classics, you missed Lowcountry football jamborees including A.J. Green, Roddy White, Robert Quinn, Carlos Dunlap, Stanford Jennings, Keith Jennings, Dexter Coakley, Travis Jervey, Rod Wilson, Ovie Mughelli and a bunch of other players on their way to the NFL.
Here's another chance to see national treasure John McKissick coaching the Summerville Green Wave. Harry Truman was the president in 1952 when McKissick got the first of his 613 victories, so his Summerville coaching tenure predates Sertoma and most of the schools involved.
But the storylines Thursday night and Friday night go beyond McKissick trivia questions at the 44th annual Sertoma Classic set for Johnson Hagood Stadium.
Does annual state championship contender Goose Creek have an extra coat of mental toughness after last year's early playoff exit?
Can Hanahan defensive line prospects Corbin Heyward, Dominique Green and Jacob Garibay match up effectively with South Carolina-bound Zack Bailey and the rest of Summerville's offensive line?
Wando's rebuilt secondary is looking for a confidence boost against Bishop England. The Bishops are up to the task, but must find a ballcarrier or several to replace departed workhorse Nick Shiver.
Timberland has Sertoma's latest father-son act, head coach Art Craig and Newberry-bound tight end Wyatt Craig.
But are any of the performers capable of outshining Burke's High Steppin' Bulldog Band?
Path to the Orange Bowl
Sertoma is all about August opportunity.
A fortunate few junior varsity players arrive at Sertoma hoping for a few snaps.
First-year cheerleaders are nervous.
Proud parents get there early.
Stanton Seckinger took advantage. A large fish in the small Porter-Gaud pond, Seckinger served notice with a big-play Sertoma touchdown. His latest score came for Clemson against Ohio State in the Orange Bowl.
Cane Bay didn't win any games last year, but leading tacklers Matt Rudy and Paul Peart will make sure the Cobras don't go 0-for-2014. It won't be easy Thursday night, however, as Baptist Hill comes to Sertoma aiming for another playoff season under head coach Marion Brown.
Stratford's Jamison Mobbs and Summerville's Sawyer Bridges will appear at Sertoma as quarterbacks but will wind up as Clemson teammates. Both are pitchers committed to play baseball for the Tigers.
McKissick vs. the field
Baptist Hill and St. John's, which plays Thursday night against James Island, have developed one of the best little rivalries in the Lowcountry as both teams scramble for Region 6-A superiority.
Big changes for Palmetto Christian and First Baptist. Freshman Cale Lewis, a terrific football/baseball talent, takes over for record-setting J.T. Waters (Newberry College) at quarterback for Palmetto Christian. Waters' father, Johnny Waters, is the new head coach at First Baptist.
Sertoma often means counting the number of Lincoln players in uniform to make sure the McClellanville school has enough. What the Yellow Jackets lack in numbers, they always make up for with All-Sertoma enthusiasm.
Sertoma spirit? Keep an eye on North Charleston senior lineman Demetrius Jenkins. He has started since the ninth grade. He plays almost every snap as a center/defensive end.
If that's not exciting enough, there are always more McKissick numbers to ponder.
Total number of seasons at their respective schools for the 11 head coaches (not counting McKissick) scheduled to appear at Sertoma on Thursday night: 52.
Total number of seasons at their respective schools for the 12 head coaches scheduled to appear at Sertoma on Friday night: 35.
McKissick seasons at Summerville: 62.
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff
Notice about comments:
The Post and Courier is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point.