LAKE CITY, S.C. - The Lake City High School Panthers opened preseason football practice July 29, opting to practice in the mornings to take advantage of slightly cooler temperatures and lower humidity.

Head coach Terrell Fleming returns seven starters on offense and seven on defense from last year’s 6-4 squad that just missed the 3A playoffs. Also, beginning this school year, the Panthers will play in a new region with defending 2A state champions Dillon High School, Aynor, Loris, Georgetown and Waccamaw.

“We are finally in a region with schools that are our size; however, this is an extremely well coached and tough region,” Fleming said. “We have to stay healthy and play our best football to have a chance to make it to the playoffs.”

Fleming said Lake City’s key to success this season is the offensive line play. “We have to replace four of five starters from last year,” he said. “We are pretty solid everywhere else; however, we do not have much depth. Therefore, we need to stay healthy.”

The Panthers will host the Lake City McDonald’s Jamboree Saturday, Aug. 13, at 6 p.m. at Ward  Memorial Stadium with Hemingway facing Timmonsville followed by Hannah-Pamplico vs. Andrews and Lake City vs. East Clarendon.

Lake City Panthers coaches helping Fleming out include Ed Brogdon, working with wide receivers and serving as offensive coordinator; Jamison Estep, linebackers, defensive coordinator; James Wilson, wide receivers and JV head coach; Lorenzo McFadden and Jeremy Gerken, defensive line; Kevin Graham, running backs and special teams coordinator; Casey Davis, defensive backs; and Kevin Graham Jr. and Joshua Harrison, offensive line.