PAMPLICO, S.C. – As most high school football players will attest, by the second week of practice they’re usually tired of facing each other and ready to go against someone else.
Coaches, meanwhile, are eager to see if what they watch in practice can translate to the field.
Thursday likely made both sides happy as high school scrimmages began in earnest around the state with a number of area teams in the mix.
Three all saw action at Hannah-Pamplico High School as the Raiders welcomed Timmonsville, Hemingway and Waccamaw for a four-team scrimmage.
HP coach Jamie Johnson was looking for “full-speed execution” on both sides of the ball.
“We looked full speed on defense, but we need that same intensity on offense,” Johnson said after his squad faced Waccamaw in the opening scrimmage of the evening. “I know we controlled the clock there for a while, but we need to line up and be ready to go a little bit faster.”
Still, Johnson knows it’s just the first one and there’s plenty of work left to be done.
“We’ve got to get better at blocking on the perimeter and pass protection,” he said. “You think you’ve worked on it enough, but it’s different when (things are) live.”
Timmonsville coach Thomas McFadden echoed those sentiments as he was looking to see which of his players looked comfortable at different positions during the Whirlwinds’ matchup with Hemingway.
“This is when you find out who is really playing well,” McFadden said. “A lot of times in practice you think this kid would be good for this position, and then you get out here and find out who really steps their game up.”
First-year Tigers coach Charlie Richards was focused on seeing who was going to step into playmaking roles for a young, inexperienced Hemingway squad.
“Today, I’m going to find out who can produce,” Richards said. “I have an idea of who a couple of the playmakers are, but I’m going to try to get them the ball as much as I can in as many different instances.
“I’ll know a lot more about this team by about 8:30 tonight.”
The same could not be said for Jody Jenerette and his West Florence Knights.
West intended to travel to a scrimmage at Loris High School to play against the Lions and defending Class 4A state champion Myrtle Beach.
But the Knights did not make it because the team’s two buses were stuck in traffic for more than three hours on I-95 North after an automobile accident happened far in front of them, according to West athletic director Greg Johnson.
“We just pulled back to the school,” West Florence athletic director Greg Johnson said around 8 p.m., not long after Thursday’s scrimmage ended. “We were about 10 miles outside of Florence and we just sat there on the bus.”
West Florence’s next scheduled outing is 6 p.m. Monday at Lexington.
Other area scrimmages included South Florence taking the field against Woodruff early Thursday morning while Lamar and Marion hit the gridiron at the same time in Lamar in a four-team matchup.
Wilson High took on Lakewood on Thursday morning in Sumter while Chesterfield hosted Lake City and Christ Church.
In the evening, Darlington traveled to Blythewood while Latta, Lake View and Mullins faced off at a scrimmage in Cheraw.
Powerhouses Hartsville and Dillon were also slated to meet on Thursday at DHS.
Scrimmages continue today with several SCISA schools in action. Pee Dee Academy will be at The King’s Academy’s four-team scrimmage at 6 p.m. while Carolina Academy will host Williamsburg Academy and Robert E. Lee at 6 p.m. as well.
Defending SCISA 2A state champion Florence Christian is also in action with a 6 p.m. evening matchup at Wilson Hall.