Prep Football Picks: Braves, Panthers unveil new QBs

High school football starts playing for keeps tonight, and one big Grand Strand matchup stands out on the schedule.

Socastee travels to Carolina Forest in a non-region rivalry that saw the Panthers score a surprising 34-7 victory over the Braves last season.

Both teams saw some significant turnover from last year, but the Panthers still seem to have the edge in the skill positions. First-year Carolina Forest quarterback Will Brunson could be the surprise player of the year, and star running back Harold Atkinson is ready to carry the load until the passing game gets off the ground.

Socastee QB Hunter Renfrow has some experience under his belt and runs a solid option attack that could give the Panthers some problems. But look for the Carolina offense to hold the upperhand and pull out a close one. … Carolina Forest 31, Socastee 27.

* Conway at Georgetown: The Mykal Moody Show debuts tonight at the Dog Pound, and look for him to be best in show against an improving Georgetown defense.

Moody can do it all – run, pass, sell hot dogs at halftime – and his senior year gets off to a big start against the Bulldogs.

Look for Moody to have the first of many 100-yard rushing and 100-yard passing games, and score a touchdown or two, or three, or more. … Conway 35, Georgetown 13.

* North Myrtle Beach at Waccamaw: Could tonight be the night that the Chiefs snap their 22-game losing streak and score their first win since the 2009 season?

They picked the right team, as the Warriors are young and rebuilding, but learning how to win games may take time for a roster filled with players who have never tasted victory.

Still, look for the Chiefs to finally put their feet down and avoid the kind of mistakes they have made in crunch time in recent years. The Chiefs finally catch 22. … North Myrtle Beach 20, Waccamaw 13.

* St. James at Loris: The Sharks look to be the area’s most improved team, even if that improvement doesn’t necessarily translate into wins.

Facing a tough region schedule and trying to overcome its own history to score the school’s first winning season, the Sharks will have to rise to the occasion if they want to knock that monkey of their backs.

Loris isn’t exactly the best non-region foe to face for a team looking for the confidence a season-opening win would provide, but look for the Sharks to show how far they’ve come under second-year coach Mark Fischer. … St. James 22, Loris 21.

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