Week 0 Previews & Picks: MB, NMB face big debuts

mbfoot-22practiceOpening night of the high school football season is always big, but this year’s Week 0 lineup is jumbo-sized for a couple of Grand Strand teams. Rather than schedule a small-school cupcake to get an early W, North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach are opening with state powerhouses and will find out what they are made of right out of the gate.

The Chiefs play host No. 3-ranked Timberland tonight with a chance to send some early shock waves through the state standings. North Myrtle Beach just might have the team to go toe to toe with the Wolves, with 16 starters back and a slew of offensive weapons. Quarterback Ronnie Bass Jr. operates an option attack with the running back tandem of Kered Class and T.J Gore, and also utilizes some speedy receivers.

North Myrtle Beach also has a strong defensive unit coming back, and a kicking game that could prove the difference in a close game. If the Chiefs can avoid the costly turnovers that have plagued them in recent seasons, they have a real chance to pull the upset. … North Myrtle Beach 24, Timberland 21.

* Byrnes at Myrtle Beach: The Seahawks host a state power Saturday  in the Rebels, who played a dramatic season-opening, home-and-away series with Myrtle Beach back before the defunct Surf & Turf Kickoff Classic took over opening week. The Seahawks lost three-year starting QB Drayton Arnold and four-year starting RB Brandon Sinclair, but Myrtle Beach appears ready to reload.

A trio of QBs are battling for playing time, with Lawson Cribb the apparent starter. Sophomore RB Jermani Green, an all-region linebacker last year, has made the move to running back to fill Sinclair’s cleat marks, and Green is even wearing his old No. 22. The Seahawks will have to rely more on their defense to deliver big wins, and the unit appears up to the task. … Myrtle Beach 27, Byrnes 20.

* Georgetown at Conway: The Tigers are solid again this season, with senior QB and Appalachian State commit Peyton Derrick back to lead the offense. He is surrounded by targets and a strong offensive line, but Conway must improve on defense to move to the next level of competing for a region crown. … Conway 34, Georgetown 13.

* St. James at Loris: This intra-county showdown has become a bit of a rivalry after some nail-biting season openers between the two schools in recent years. The Sharks broke through to win last year’s debut but must travel to Heniford Field against a scrappy pack of Lions. This one should be another barn-burner. … St. James 20, Loris 16.

* Socastee at West Brunswick (NC): The Braves go north of the border to battle the Trojans in hopes to getting off to a better start than last year’s disappointing season. Socastee QB Hunter Illing should have a firmer grip on the offense this season and a talented supporting cast. … Socastee 23, West Brunswick 13.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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