It's amazing to think that with their successful histories, that Myrtle Beach and Marlboro County have never played each other. But Friday all that history will collide at Doug Shaw Stadium with a state championship game berth on the line.
When Marlboro moved down to AAA three years ago, you got the feeling that the state ittle appearances would just come rolling into Bennettsville. But this is the first time they've even go to the Lower State title game. But if the Bulldogs are itching for a state title berth, then the Seahawks are starving for one. Myrtle Beach has not reached the big game in 23 seasons. But there are signs that this may be the Seahawks year. They've all ready exorcised some demons by beating Crestwood, the team that knocked them our last year. The Hawks say this battle is the ultimate test on the road to a state title.
"This is going to be a really exciting game, I've always wanted to play Marlboro County, with how good they've always been," says Myrtle Beach Sr. cornerback Demazio Skelton. "This is going to be a real exciting game."
"When they were in AAAA, they were the class of AAAA. Then they moved to AAA, and they're always preseason number one," adds Myrtle coach Scott Earley. "They're a measuring stick for the rest of the teams in AAA. It's good for our kids to play what's considered the best team in AAA, and I think the two best teams are playing on Friday night."
Going just on stereotypes, on the outside this looks like a physical vs. finesse game. Of course, the Bulldogs are characterized by their size and toughness. Even though Myrtle Beach runs a spread offense, they don't like being labeled as soft.
"That really bothers me, if anyone watched that Crestwood game, they would've seen us play a physical game." says Earley. "I think you get labeled with what you do on offense. I think over the last 8 or 9 years we've gone to the Pee Dee and beat the teams that have been quote, unquote physical. Now our team likes playing that role of what's thought not be a physical team.
Myrtle Beach has all ready shown they can beat the teams from Marlboro's region - they've taken down Lakewood and Crestwood in the playoffs, two teams Marlboro lost to during the regular season. But Marlboro, with it's tough history, will be an entirely different test.