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First Baptist enters the season without star running back Michel Dukes, and with a new quarterback. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

Aspirations are still there for First Baptist to return to the SCISA title game. But they’ll have to go a different route.

The Hurricanes waved goodbye to star running back Michel Dukes, now at Clemson, and quarterback Myron Wigfall, who transferred to Pinewood Prep for his senior season. Fortunately for coach Johnny Waters’ offense, another QB is transferring in.

“Will Daniel transferred from Bishop England and had a fantastic summer,” Waters said. “He’s a junior with some experience and he’s picked up our system really well.”

After losing to Hammond High in the SCISA championship, Waters said his team wants to make amends. But the road to redemption will have to come without Dukes.

It’ll be an adjustment for the Hurricanes, but they still have experience all over the field, and should be formidable against the rest of the league.

Meanwhile, Porter-Gaud welcomes a new coach. The Cyclones went 9-3 last season, but fell to First Baptist in the second round of the playoffs.

The two teams face off on Nov. 1, the last night of the regular season.

First Baptist

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First Baptist head coach Johnny Waters lost star running back Michel Dukes to Clemson. Lauren Petracca/Staff

COACH: Johnny Waters

RECORD LAST YEAR: 11-2

WHAT TO KNOW: The Hurricanes made it all the way to the SCISA title game last season, but fell shy of the championship. They’ll look to make amends on that this season, as they return some top-tier talent from last year’s team. Granted, they lost star running back Michel Dukes to Clemson. But the team returns several veteran players at key positions, including App State commitment Sincere Brown and McKay Wilson at receiver, and defensive stalwarts Don McNeal, Devin Ray and Ross Greenhill.

Porter-Gaud

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Porter-Gaud welcomes new coach Brad Bowles this season.  File/Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff

COACH: Brad Bowles

RECORD LAST YEAR: 9-3

WHAT TO KNOW: After a successful season that ended with a second-round appearance in the playoffs, a lot has changed for Porter-Gaud. For starters, head coach Rick Reetz left to run the offense at James Island Charter. His replacement is Brad Bowles, a former St. John’s coach who is returning to Charleston after four years in Charlotte. Matt Kelley is expected to take over for Gunnar Nistad (transferred to James Island) at QB, with Holston Slack heading the offensive line and JD Key, Tobias Lafayette and Kyle Lafayette back on defense.

Pinewood Prep

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Pinewood Prep welcomes former First Baptist quarterback Myron Wigfall (right) this season. Lauren Petracca/Staff

COACH: Michael Wright

RECORD LAST YEAR: 1-9

WHAT TO KNOW: The biggest news for Pinewood Prep is the arrival of quarterback Myron Wigfall, the former First Baptist passer who led the Hurricanes last season to a state title game. It’s Wigfall’s senior year, so he has little time to help Pinewood build from its 1-9 season in 2018. Grayson Mann, Ben Brown and Addison Venittelli are back at receiver, along with Cameron Carroll and Raysheem Cherisol at running back and linebacker. Lex King and Jackson Murphy are back up front.

Dorchester Academy

COACH: Thomas McAlhany

RECORD LAST YEAR: 3-7

WHAT TO KNOW: First-year coach Thomas McAlhany inherits a Raiders squad that is looking to get back to the playoffs after missing them last season. A former quarterback himself, McAlhany will look to build the offense around senior passer Colby Weeks, receiver Rhett Mizzell and running back Ben Stokes.

Colleton Prep

COACH: Greg Langdale

RECORD LAST YEAR: 5-6

WHAT TO KNOW: The War Hawks’ 5-6 record last season was good enough to land them a playoff seed, but they were bounced in the first round. This season, they’ll return senior passer Jordan Crosby with running backs Andrew Murdaugh, Riley Smoak and Gabe Barnes in Langdale's debut season.

Northwood Academy

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Northwood Academy looks to rebound from an 0-10 record last year. File/Andrew Whitaker/Staff

COACH: Ryan Leaver

RECORD LAST YEAR: 0-10

WHAT TO KNOW: For Northwood, senior leadership and a coach with a year of Chargers football under his belt will need to be the glue to right the ship. The Chargers went 0-10 in Ryan Leaver’s first season at the helm, and gave up at least 40 points in seven of those losses. Seniors Tyvon Berry (RB/LB), Tylor Gadsden (RB/LB), Clayton Stancil (LS/DE) and Jacob Vicars (C/LB), lead the squad, along with junior Desmond Dwight (DB).

8-man

Cathedral Academy

COACH: Shawn Fagan

RECORD LAST YEAR: 1-7

WHAT TO KNOW: After a 6-4 season that included a playoff game in 2017, Cathedral slumped to 1-7 last year. The team will look to bounce back under the leadership of Shawn Fagan, the Generals’ new head coach. Defense will be key for Cathedral, as they gave up 50 or more points six times last year, and at least 60 points on three occasions.

Palmetto Christian

COACH: Kevin Rourk

RECORD LAST YEAR: 5-5

WHAT TO KNOW: Palmetto Christian appears to be a team on the rise, following a 0-10 campaign in 2017 with a 5-5 record and a playoff game in 2018. This season, they’ll return junior quarterback Connor Rourk, as well as junior and senior running backs and receivers. The team also has veteran depth on defense.

Faith/Ridge Christian

COACH: Ben Greene

RECORD LAST YEAR: 5-5

WHAT TO KNOW: In the first year of combining Faith Christian and Ridge Christian into one team, the Knights went 5-5. With a season under their belt, they’ll look to revamp some areas on the field, starting with a defense that gave up more than 60 points in four of their five losses.

St. John’s Christian

COACH: John McCall

RECORD LAST YEAR: 9-3

WHAT TO KNOW: After a turnaround season in 2018, McCall’s Cavaliers will look to build on their playoff berth behind a veteran quarterback and a host of seniors on both sides of the ball. Look for St. John’s Christian to continue dominating their region, after a 4-1 performance last season.

SCISA Schedules

First Baptist

Aug. 16 Trinity-Byrnes

Aug. 23 at North Florida Christian

Aug. 30 at Burke

Sept. 6 Wilson Hall

Sept. 13 at Ben Lippen

Sept. 20 Cardinal Newman

Sept. 27 at Hammond

Oct. 4 Laurence Manning Academy

Oct. 11 Pinewood Prep

Oct. 18 at Heathwood Hall

Oct. 25 at Augusta Christian

Nov. 1 Porter-Gaud

Porter-Gaud

Aug. 23 Charleston Math & Science

Aug. 30 at Cardinal Newman

Sept. 6 Pinewood Prep

Sept. 13 Wilson Hall

Sept. 20 at Laurence Manning Academy

Sept. 27 Orangeburg Prep

Oct. 4 Heathwood Hall

Oct. 11 at Hammond

Oct. 18 Augusta Christian

Oct. 25 at Ben Lippen

Nov. 1 at First Baptist

Pinewood Prep

Aug. 23 at Ben Lippen

Aug. 30 Trinity-Byrnes

Sept. 6 Porter-Gaud

Sept. 13 Hammond

Sept. 20 Heathwood Hall

Sept. 27 at Wilson Hall

Oct. 4 Cardinal Newman

Oct. 11 at First Baptist

Oct. 18 at Northwood Academy

Oct. 25 at Laurence Manning Academy

Nov. 1 Augusta Christian

Dorchester Academy

Aug. 23 King’s Academy

Aug. 30 at Carolina Academy

Sept. 6 at Pee Dee Academy

Sept. 13 Northside Christian Academy

Sept. 20 at Spartanburg Christian Academy

Sept. 27 Hilton Head Christian Academy

Oct. 10 at Colleton Prep Academy

Oct. 18 Hilton Head Prep

Oct. 25 at Thomas Heyward Academy

Nov. 1 Bethesda Academy

Colleton Prep

Aug. 22 at Branchville

Aug. 30 at Hilton Head Prep

Sept. 6 at Thomas Heyward Academy

Sept. 13 Pee Dee Academy

Sept. 20 Northwood Academy

Sept. 27 Spartanburg Christian Academy

Oct. 4 at Bethesda Academy

Oct. 11 Dorchester Academy

Oct. 18 at Hilton Head Christian Academy

Oct. 25 at Northside Christian Academy

Nov. 1 John Paul II

Northwood Academy

Aug. 23 Academic Magnet

Aug. 30 at Dillon Christian

Sept. 6 at Bethesda Academy

Sept. 20 at Colleton Prep Academy

Sept. 27 Thomas Heyward Academy

Oct. 4 at Hilton Head Christian Academy

Oct. 11 John Paul II

Oct. 18 Pinewood Prep

Oct. 25 at Hilton Head Prep

Nov. 1 Orangeburg Prep

8-man

Cathedral Academy

Aug. 30 at Richard Winn Academy

Sept. 6 at Tri-Academy Academy

Sept. 13 Wardlaw Academy

Sept. 20 Palmetto Christian Academy

Sept. 27 at Holly Hill Academy

Oct. 4 Northside Christian

Oct. 11 Patrick Henry Academy

Oct. 18 at Beaufort Academy

Oct. 25 Andrew Jackson

Nov. 1 at St. John’s Christian Academy

Palmetto Christian

Aug. 30 Tri-Academy

Sept. 6 at Wardlaw Academy

Sept. 13 King Academy

Sept. 20 at Cathedral Academy

Sept. 27 St. John’s Christian Academy

Oct. 4 Andrew Jackson Academy

Oct. 11 at Holly Hill

Oct. 18 at Patrick Henry Academy

Oct. 25 Beaufort Academy

Nov. 1 at Faith/Ridge Christian

Faith/Ridge Christian

Aug. 30 at Laurens Academy

Sept. 6 Richard Winn Academy

Sept. 13 Tri-Academy

Sept. 20 Patrick Henry

Sept. 27 at Beaufort Academy

Oct. 4 at Cathedral Academy

Oct. 11 St. John’s Christian Academy

Oct. 18 at Andrew Jackson

Oct. 25 at Holly Hill Academy

Nov. 1 Palmetto Christian Academy

St. John’s Christian

Aug. 30 Wardlaw Academy

Sept. 6 King Academy

Sept. 13 at Lauren’s Academy

Sept. 20 at Andrew Jackson

Sept. 27 at Palmetto Christian Academy

Oct. 4 Beaufort Academy

Oct. 11 at Faith/Ridge Christian

Oct. 18 Holly Hill Academy

Oct. 25 at Patrick Henry Academy

Nov. 1 Cathedral Academy

Reach Derrek Asberry at 843-937-5517. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry

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