Chris Myers takes over at Dorchester Academy this fall, replacing the winningest coach in SCISA history, Stanley Gruber. Gruber won more than 325 games at Dorchester, and Myers is a former player and graduate of the school.
2013: 5-6, 3-1 in Region 2-A
Coach: Chris Myers (First season)
Starters Returning: 10 (5 offense, 5 defense)
Players to watch: ATH Stokes Brownlee, QB Harley Bozard, OL/DL Reese Smoak
Aside from a few wrinkles, Myers says little will change at Dorchester this fall.
"We've changed a little but for the most part we're going to be what we've always tried to be," said Myers, who is a former assistant coach at Colleton County. "We want to be a team that runs the football and we want to be strong and aggressive defensively. We know at Dorchester Academy, the kids will come to play. Effort will never be a problem here and we think we can continue to be successful with that type of attitude."
Myers has a handful of starters back on each side of the ball and says there are several new faces out this fall.
"We had a few that have played in the past but did not play last year come back out and that's going to help a lot in terms of numbers," the coach reports.
Offensively, one of the key returners is senior Stokes Brownlee. The 6-3, 205-pound Brownlee started the season at quarterback last fall but moved to receiver near the end of the season. He will be used in a variety of positions this season, according to Myers.
Junior Harley Bozard will be under center this season and gives the Raiders a running threat off the snap. Sharing duties in the running game will be senior Austin Mizzell, junior Brody Taylor and sophomore Jacob Reeves.
Anchoring both lines is senior Reese Smoak, a strong 6-5, 210-pound tackle and end. Senior Cole Cleland will start on the offensive line and works at linebacker on defense. Junior Aron Herman will be a key defender at outside linebacker while Brownlee will work at safety and linebacker.
"I feel like we have a confident, more mature group this season," says Myers. "They seem excited about the season and I feel like we have a great chance to be very competitive."