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Hanahan takes the field in a new region with a new coach this season. Paul Zoeller/Special to the Post and Courier

Pulling names from a hat might be as good a method as any when trying to pick a clear favorite in the race for the Region 8-AAA football championship.

Realignment has revamped the league considerably and due to graduation losses, none of the six teams could be considered a clear-cut favorite as the season begins.

Hanahan, Manning and Georgetown should be at the top of the list of potential champions, but which of those three teams can survive the gauntlet remains to be seen. It is possible that the region champion could end up with at least two league losses, and the battle for the four playoff berths will be hotly contested.

Bishop England could be a darkhorse, but the Bishops lost 22 seniors to graduation. Academic Magnet is moving up from AA and could struggle. Waccamaw should be improved while Georgetown has a new head coach this fall.

Manning

Coach: Keith Stewart

Number of students: 831

Record last year: 7-4

What to know: The Monarchs will start four seniors along the offensive front, a good place to start for a team that likes to run the football … Seniors Caleb Wright (5-11, 210) and Darias Williams (5-11, 245) will share the load in the run game … Senior Jack Owens will be the starting quarterback … Senior safety Keilan Dupree is the top returner defensively … Senior linebacker Chris Livingston and senior end Anthony Gibbs will be leaders as well.

Hanahan

Coach: David Morbitzer

Number of students: 970

Record last year: 4-8

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Citadel graduate David Morbitzer is the new coach at Hanahan High School. Brad Nettles/Staff

What to know: The Hawks are under new leadership as The Citadel graduate Morbitzer takes over after nine years as an assistant … The Hawks should be solid along the offensive front and would like to be successful on the ground … Seniors Matt Murray, Kevy Bell and Kevin Johnson all return as starters up front … Hanahan lost speedster Quincy Mitchell from the running game, but seniors Gale Ball and Hunter Mills look to pick up the load … Star defensive end Cooper Dawson will miss at least half of his season due to summer knee surgery … Senior Andre Brewington and sophomore Kobi Buffalo will take up the slack … Senior Luke Mills is back as a starting linebacker and senior Chris Wright returns in the secondary.

Georgetown

Coach: Jordan Ward

Number of students: 1,030

Record last year: 7-5

What to know: Ward is another of the league’s first-year head coaches and should have a physical, competitive team in 2018 … The Bulldogs will be led by Melquan Cromedy, a receiver with the ability to play several positions offensively … Left tackle Ryan Drayton is the leader of the offensive and defensive lines … Brett Kirtley enters preseason camp as the starting quarterback while Paul Lance and Ismail Taylor are the running backs … Look for linebackers Isaiah Pringle, TJ Muhammad and Nasir Funnye to lead defensively.

Bishop England

Coach: John Cantey

Number of students: 683

Record last year: 7-4

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Bishop England lost 22 seniors from last year's team. (Marlena Sloss/Staff)

What to know: Twenty-two graduating seniors is a lot to replace, especially considering the production lost on both sides of the ball … Cantey anticipates only a handful of senior starters this fall as a younger crop of players takes their turn …Sophomore Will Daniel will compete for the nod at quarterback but the Bishops received a late summer transfer that could figure into the mix … Senior Chris Dengler is the top returning receiver, while seniors Nolan Hickey and James Busche will anchor the offensive line … Seniors Carter Rogers and Creston Tawes are back with experience at linebacker … Junior defensive backs Sullivan Clair and Jarren McCoy figure to be solid in the back.

Waccamaw

Coach: Shane Fidler

Number of students: 866

Record last year: 0-10

What to know: Fidler expects better results in year two as head coach… The Warriors return solid experience and had a productive offseason… Senior Brandon Stecz will handle quarterback duties this fall, with Kaimon Skinner expected to fill a key role as a sophomore running back … The Warriors averaged just 13 points per game last season while allowing nearly 44 points per game … Senior left tackle Cohl Young and senior center Trey Davis will anchor the offensive front … As many as eight underclassmen will start on defense, led by end Kyle Pence, a junior … Seniors Austin Hansmeyer should provide leadership at linebacker.

Academic Magnet

Coach: Steve Kamp

Number of students: 655

Record last year: 3-6

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Academic Magnet's Steven Schlosser is back for the Raptors. Paul Zoeller/Staff

What to know: Kamp begins his second season with two key returners offensively in running back Steven Schlosser and quarterback Will Jordan …Schlosser, who accounted for more than 1,500 all-purpose yards in 2017, is also a key returner at linebacker on defense … Also returning defensively is junior linebacker Jack Patterson … Several underclassmen saw extensive playing time last season and will take on bigger roles this fall.

Region 8-AAA Schedules

Academic Magnet

Aug 17 Northwood at Academic Magnet

Aug. 24 Charleston Charter at Academic Magnet

Aug. 31 Military Magnet at Academic Magnet

Sept. 7 Academic Magnet at Baptist Hill

Sept. 21 Academic Magnet at Garrett

Sept. 28 Academic Magnet at Manning

Oct. 5 Hanahan at Academic Magnet

Oct. 12 Academic Magnet at Bishop England

Oct. 19 Academic Magnet at Waccamaw

Oct. 26 Georgetown at Academic Magnet

Bishop England

Aug 17 First Baptist at Bishop England

Aug. 31 Bishop England at James Island

Sept. 7 Philip Simmons at Bishop England

Sept. 14 Timberland at Bishop England

Sept. 21 Bishop England at Woodland

Sept. 28 Bishop England at Hanahan

Oct. 5 Waccamaw at Bishop England

Oct. 12 Academic Magnet at Bishop England

Oct. 19 Bishop England at Georgetown

Oct. 26 Bishop England at Manning

Georgetown

Aug. 24 Philip Simmons at Georgetown

Aug. 31 Carvers Bay at Georgetown

Sept. 7 Georgetown at Andrews

Sept. 14 Georgetown at St. James

Sept. 21 Socastee at Georgetown

Sept. 28 Georgetown at Waccamaw

Oct. 5 Manning at Georgetown

Oct. 12 Hanahan at Georgetown

Oct. 19 Bishop England at Georgetown

Oct. 26 Georgetown at Academic Magnet

Hanahan

Aug. 24 Hanahan at Myrtle Beach

Aug. 31 Woodland at Hanahan

Sept. 7 Bluffton at Hanahan

Sept. 14 Hanahan at Garrett

Sept. 21 Hanahan at Timberland

Sept. 28 Bishop England at Hanahan

Oct. 5 Hanahan at Academic Magnet

Oct. 12 Hanahan at Georgetown

Oct. 19 Manning at Hanahan

Oct. 26 Waccamaw at Hanahan

Manning

Aug 17. Manning at Scott's Branch

Aug. 23 Manning at Wilson

Aug. 31 Lakewood at Manning

Sept. 7 Manning at Crestwood

Sept. 14 Manning at Lake City

Sept. 28 Academic Magnet at Manning

Oct. 5 Manning at Georgetown

Oct. 12 Manning at Waccamaw

Oct. 19 Manning at Hanahan

Oct. 26 Bishop England at Manning

Waccamaw

Aug 17. Waccamaw at Carvers Bay

Aug. 24 Aynor at Waccamaw

Aug 31. Waccamaw at Andrews

Sept. 14 North Charleston at Waccamaw

Sept. 21 Waccamaw at St. John's

Sept. 28 Georgetown at Waccamaw

Oct. 5 Waccamaw at Bishop England

Oct. 12 Manning at Waccamaw

Oct. 19 Academic Magnet at Waccamaw

Oct. 26 Waccamaw at Hanahan