Hanahan defeats Berkeley 35-18

Berkeley wide receiver DJ Chisolm has committed to East Carolina. File/Staff

Few teams in the state return as much production and talent as Berkeley does in 2018. Third-year head coach Randy Robinson hopes an explosive offense can shoulder the load while the defense matures.

Berkeley will have the league’s best offense and best defensive secondary and should set the pace in Region 7-AAAAA.

”The pieces are in place and now we have to be able to perform to our potential,” says Robinson.

Cane Bay would appear to be the second-best team in the region but will need the defense to improve.

Wando head coach Jimmy Noonan seeks more offensive balance this season. The Warriors were pass-heavy a year ago, but Wando’s best success has come when they have run the football consistently. Wando will be one of the top teams in the league defensively.

Stratford and Goose Creek have new head coaches and need a year or two before they can make a serious run at a region title.

James Island’s depth remains an issue, meaning the Trojans will struggle to win region games.

Berkeley

Coach: Randy Robinson

Number of students: 1,547

Record last year: 12-2

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Berkeley High School begins football practice

Berkeley coach Randy Robinson enters his third season with a team looking to return to the state playoffs. File/Wade Spees/Staff 

What to know: Robinson begins his third season as head coach and feels he has a team capable of contending for a state championship … The Stags were Lower State runner-ups in Class AAAA last season … Wide receiver DJ Chisolm is one of the state’s top playmakers and is an early commit to East Carolina … Running back Keyshawn Wicks rushed for more than 2,000 yards last season and has committed to Old Dominion, while seniors Eric Tuttle and Dervon Pesnell also return as starters offensively ... Last year’s leading tackler, linebacker Jake Dunn, returns as a junior … Berkeley’s secondary unit is one of the top backfields in the state, led by Tre Morrison and Cam Myers … ”The pieces are in place and now we have to be able to perform to our potential,” says Robinson.

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Cane Bay

Coach: Russell Zehr

Number of students: 1,809

Record last year: 9-3

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Cane Bay went 9-3 last year. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

What to know: The Cobras must replace two of the top players in program history in quarterback RJ Roderick and running back Kris Copeland, but Zehr has a solid core returning … Quarterbacks Elijah Bey and Alex Mart give Cane Bay two solid candidates to lead the offense … Bey, a senior, is a transfer from C.E. Murray while Mart, a junior, led a successful junior varsity team last fall … Seniors Mack Dudley and Micah Staggers will anchor the ground game, which averaged over 300 yards per game last season … Linebackers Dee Francis and Lateef Sharpe are two of the top returners on defense … Ryder Wishart returns as one of the area’s top placekickers.

Wando

Coach: Jimmy Noonan

Number of students: 4,365

Record last year: 4-7

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Wando coach Jimmy Noonan's team was 4-7 last year. Paul Zoeller/Special to the Post and Courier

What to know: The 2018 Warriors will lean heavily on a veteran defense early on as they build an identity offensively … Wando returns several key leaders on defense, including linebacker Justin Pelic, tackle Jaelan Edwards, and defensive back Ramsey Turnage … The offense will be led by a new quarterback with several candidates competing for the starting nod … Noonan’s desire is for more balance offensively this fall … Anchoring the offensive front are returners Drake Peden and Riley Hills … Andrew Weil returns as a quality placekicker.

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Stratford

Coach: Dennie McDaniel

Number of students: 1,809

Record last year: 2-9

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Stratford running back Mario Anderson fights for yardage last season against Georgetown. 

What to know: McDaniel takes over at his alma mater, seeking to bring the program back to a competitive level … The new head coach has some pieces to work with, notably senior running back Mario Anderson, who topped 1,000 yards last season …Senior Travis Lott returns at quarterback with a solid year of experience under his belt…Four seniors are slated to start along the front, anchored by center Kevin Mood … Leading the way defensively are returning linebackers Jordan Judge and Blake Marrs …Senior Brandon Simmons returns as a leader along the defensive front.

Stratford names Dennie McDaniel new head football coach

Goose Creek

Coach: Jason Winstead

Number of students: 1,990

Record last year: 2-7

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New head coach Jason Winstead takes over at Goose Creek High School. Wade Spees/Staff

What to know: Jason Winstead takes over as the new head coach after spending the last seven seasons as the defensive coordinator at state powerhouse South Pointe … Winstead was a part of five state championship teams at South Pointe, including four consecutive titles … The coach inherits a rebuilding project but feels good about the potential of his team … ”They’ve been great all summer, great attitudes, and a willingness to work hard,” the coach says … Running back Dante Smith is the top returning player and will be a focal point offensively…Goose Creek returns four starters on each side of the ball…leaders defensively are projected to be safety Tyler Ravenel, end Jameel McGee and middle linebacker Jekiah Wigfall.

South Pointe’s Jason Winstead to be Goose Creek’s next football coach

James Island

Coach: Ike Allred

Number of students: 1,632

Record last year: 1-9

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James Island and head coach Ike Allred were 1-9 last year. Alex Holt / Special to the Post and Courier

What to know: The Trojans have potential to improve on last year’s win total, starting with experience at quarterback in senior DQ Vinson, who has started games in each of the last two years … Center Tereis Drayton, a Citadel commitment, anchors the offensive line while RJ Hamilton and Jaden Scott are proven pass-catchers … The defense is a bit inexperienced but will be led by tackle Quavon Frasier and linebackers John Chestnut and Mark Walker.

Region 7-AAAAA schedules 

Berkeley

Aug. 17 Berkeley at R.B. Stall

Aug. 24 Ashley Ridge at Berkeley

Aug. 31 Berkeley at West Ashley

Sept. 14 Fort Dorchester at Berkeley

Sept. 21 Berkeley at Summerville

Sept. 28 Wando at Berkeley

Oct. 5 Goose Creek at Berkeley

Oct. 12 Berkeley at James Island

Oct. 19 Stratford at Berkeley

Oct. 26 Berkeley at Cane Bay

Cane Bay

Aug. 17 West Ashley at Cane Bay

Aug. 24 Cane Bay at Fort Dorchester

Sept. 7 Ashley Ridge at Cane Bay

Sept. 14 Cane Bay at Summerville

Sept. 21 R.B. Stall at Cane Bay

Sept. 28 Cane Bay at Goose Creek

Oct. 5 Cane Bay at James Island

Oct. 12 Cane Bay at Stratford

Oct. 19 Wando at Cane Bay

Oct. 26 Berkeley at Cane Bay

Goose Creek

Aug. 17 Goose Creek at Ashley Ridge

Aug. 31 Summerville at Goose Creek

Sept. 7 Goose Creek at West Ashley

Sept. 14 Goose Creek at R.B. Stall

Sept. 21 Fort Dorchester at Goose Creek

Sept. 28 Cane Bay at Goose Creek

Oct. 5 Goose Creek at Berkeley

Oct. 12 Wando at Goose Creek

Oct. 19 James Island at Goose Creek

Oct. 26 Goose Creek at Stratford

James Island

Aug. 17 James Island at South Florence

Aug. 24 West Ashley at James Island

Aug. 31 Bishop England at James Island

Sept. 7 R.B. Stall at James Island

Sept. 14 James Island at Ashley Ridge

Sept. 28 James Island at Stratford

Oct. 5 Cane Bay at James Island

Oct. 12 Berkeley at James Island

Oct. 19 James Island at Goose Creek

Oct. 26 James Island at Wando

Stratford

Aug. 17 Timberland at Stratford

Aug. 24 Stratford at R.B. Stall

Aug. 31 Stratford at Ashley Ridge

Sept. 7 Summerville at Stratford

Sept. 21 Stratford at West Ashley

Sept. 28 James Island at Stratford

Oct. 5 Stratford at Wando

Oct. 12 Cane Bay at Stratford

Oct. 19 Stratford at Berkeley

Oct. 26 Goose Creek at Stratford

Wando

Aug. 24 Wando at Summerville

Aug. 31 R.B. Stall at Wando

Sept. 7 Wando at Fort Dorchester

Sept. 14 West Ashley at Wando

Sept. 21 Ashley Ridge at Wando

Sept. 28 Wando at Berkeley

Oct. 5 Stratford at Wando

Oct. 12 Wando at Goose Creek

Oct. 19 Wando at Cane Bay

Oct. 26 James Island at Wando