The Midlands Top 10 high school football team in The State’s preseason poll:
1. Dutch Fork
Why they are ranked: Coach Tom Knotts’ Silver Foxes are coming off a state championship, and the return of Bryce Thompson will help in the title defense.
2. Spring Valley
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Why they are ranked: The Vikings have a strong defense, led by top prospect Channing Tindall, and their option offense is tough to stop.
Why they are ranked: The Bearcats have firepower on offense returning from their record-breaking season last year
4. Ridge View
Why they are ranked: The Blazers have 13 starters back and are coming off their first 10-win season in a decade.
5. Ben Lippen
Why they are ranked: New faces led by Temple commit Trad Beatty at quarterback have the Falcons as one of the favorites to win second consecutive SCISA 3A title.
6. Fairfield Central
Why they are ranked: The Griffins return 13 starters, including a strong 1-2 punch in the backfield with Tony Ruff and Rod Edmonds.
Why they are ranked: The Eagles have 12 starters back, including South Carolina commit OL Hank Manos and big-play receiver Xzavion Gordon.
Why they are ranked: Amir Abrams rushed for 2,486 yards last year and is back for more this season.
Why they are ranked: Bengals return a lot on defense and could be in for big year if the offense comes along with first-year quarterback Quinton Patten.
Why they are ranked: New coach Gary Adams inherits a talented team led by quarterback Bishop Cannon.
Others receiving votes: Gilbert, Hammond, Irmo and White Knoll