It’s not the only high school football jamboree in the state, but the people involved in it stick to the theory that it’s one of the best.
On Friday, the nine Horry County teams and neighboring Waccamaw will preview the season in the 23rd Annual CNB Kickoff Classic at Conway. The programs will do their best to tease the season to fans all the while knowing they’ve got only one week until the real thing begins.
Essentially, between concerns of injuries and not giving too much away to opposing teams, consider it a Cliff’s Notes version of what’s to come.
“You don’t want your kids to ever play not to get hurt,” North Myrtle Beach coach Perry Woolbright said. “You know nobody’s going to do their whole offense, they’re whole defense. I think it’s a good chance for the kids to get some of those preseason jitters out. It’s under the lights on Friday night. You can practice all you want to, but once you step out on the game field, that’s where you have to perform.”
The five abbreviated games on Friday will be broken down to 20-minute sessions. It will start at 6 p.m. with Aynor playing Socastee. St. James will then play Waccamaw, followed by Green Sea-Floyds vs. Carolina Forest, Loris vs. Myrtle Beach and the night cap of Conway vs. North Myrtle Beach.
Unlike the scrimmages the area teams have participated in, the CNB will provide that game atmosphere, complete with official uniforms, a score board and, of course, what is expected to be a good number of fans.
That all combines to aspects of the game all 10 teams will benefit from.
“Financially, it’s a little bit of a shot in the arm for all local teams. … It helps to put a little bit of money in the coffer before you ever get started,” Conway’s Chuck Jordan said. “But secondly, once the season starts you’re sort of in your own little world and you’re kind of concentrating on you and where you are. This gives you a little perspective on everybody else.”
For Conway, specifically, it will be a golden opportunity for fans to get a look at senior quarterback Mykal Moody. In his fourth year as the team’s starting quarterback and with at least four official offers from major colleges, Moody will have plenty of expectations after throwing and running for 48 touchdowns last season.
He’ll have senior receiver Malcolm Green back primarily on the offensive side of the ball after Green spent last year almost entirely on defense. However, with next to no depth on the offensive line – Jordan said Tuesday he already lost one lineman for four-six weeks in a preseason scrimmage – he’s not going to go crazy in his team’s appearance against North Myrtle Beach.
“It’s something that every coach is aware of,” he said. “I’ve always tried to put my kids in a position where they can do what I want them to do. For example, in Mykal’s case, I want to see him run the ball a few times. I want to see him throw the ball down the field a few times. But not over and over. I’d rather see my young quarterback who hasn’t been in that environment be in that situation. I think every coach has that attitude, depending on their depth.”
The trick, Socastee coach Tim Renfrow said, is to make sure players aren’t simply going through the motions.
“You’ve got to be careful so you don’t put kids in a bad situation,” Renfrow said. “But overall, you just got to play football. We’re going to try to do what we do, which is run the ball. We’re not going to do too many things that we haven’t practiced. But when you try not to get hurt, that’s when you get hurt.”