Ten local teams hit gridiron in 23rd CNB Kickoff Classic

If the game of football is but a stage, then consider Friday night a dress rehearsal for 10 local high school teams.

The CNB Kickoff Classic gets under way at 6 p.m. Friday, featuring five halves of football scrimmages before they start playing for keeps next week.

This year’s 23rd annual CNB Kickoff Classic will be held at The Backyard at Conway High. It’s a gathering that has become a big tradition in Horry County.

In the opener, Socastee will begin the process of recovering from the loss of 20 seniors, including its starting quarterback and entire offensive line.

The Braves’ triple-option offense will see some continuity, as rising junior Hunter Renfrow takes over behind center for older brother Jordan Renfrow.

St. James takes the field for Game 2 against Waccamaw, the only non-Horry County school in the jamboree. The border rivals do not meet during the regular season.

The Sharks are coming off a 3-7 campaign in coach Mark Fischer’s inaugural campaign and will continue to operate out of the single wing in hopes of posting the program’s first winning season in 2012.

Carolina Forest takes its turn in Game 3 against Green Sea Floyds after losing several key seniors to graduation, including quarterback Danny Daly and top targets Aaron Williams and Jarvez Holmes.

Making his QB debut will be Will Brunson, who will test his arm to receivers Jamar White and Devonte Carter, but star running back Harold Atkinson is likely to carry the bulk of the load for the Panthers.

Myrtle Beach will hit the gridiron in Game 4 against Loris as the Seahaws also add a new wrinkle to their potent spread offense. Quarterback Tyler Keane will hold down the job in favor of last year’s two-QB attack.

Former co-quarterback C.J. Cooper has moved to receiver to give the Seahawks more weapons on the field, and Myrtle Beach will begin to answer questions about several key replacements on the offensive and defensive lines.

Host Conway takes center stage for the nightcap against North Myrtle Beach, which is looking to snap its 22-game losing streak this season. The Horry County rivals do not meet in the regular season this year.

Conway will rely heavily on highly recruited quarterback Mykal Moody, who rushed and threw for 42 touchdowns last season. The four-year starter hopes to avoid injury this season and lead the Tigers deep in the playoffs.

It all gets under way at 6 p.m. tonight, followed by the real season next week. For 10 local teams it’s their last chance to iron out the wrinkles before they start playing for keeps next Friday night.

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