AT THE TOP, Region IV, Class 3A will be a competitive conference.
Last year, A.C. Flora struggled early in the season and finished third. But the Falcons return one of the most talented rosters in the Midlands and are the favorite in the region for 2014.
With an experienced quarterback in Brendan Green and at least four Division I prospects on defense, this team is poised to be a contender in the Upstate 3A.
Chapin won the region last year and will battle for that crown again this season. The Eagles will break in a new quarterback on offense but can rely on their ground game. There is a solid core of defensive players. The Eagles are strong up front, led by Stephen Haralambis.
The Dreher Blue Devils will be as competitive as they have been in a while. With experience at quarterback and strong talent returning at running back with Donovan Ward, this team could compete with anyone in the region.
Lower Richland’s roster has scattered talent, including one of the state’s top players. Wide receiver Larry Collins has more than a half-dozen Division I offers for 2016. Defensively, the Hornets will be strong as well, led by Devonte Hinton up front.
Richland Northeast drops from Class 4A but will not find the hospitality any more friendly this season. The Cavs return Simeon Kelly at quarterback and five other offensive starters. But, they, along with a very young Camden team, will struggle for the region’s bottom two spots.
PRESEASON MVP FOR REGION: AC Flora’s Denzell Johnson. The Division I prospect at two positions will lift the Falcons on both sides of the ball as a wide receiver and safety.
PRESEASON SLEEPER PLAYER: Dreher’s Avery Armstrong has the potential to be the top quarterback in this region. He has a solid skill set and has looked good in the offseason and preseason.
TOUGHEST SCHEDULE: Richland Northeast has a tough out-of-region schedule, traveling to Westwood, Spring Valley and Orangeburg-Wilkinson, and faces Airport at home.