Practice begins in South Carolina

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Friday marks the first day of fall camp in South Carolina. Three teams begin the season ranked in the High School Football America Preseason Top 100.

Three-time defending state champ South Pointe is ranked No. 24 in the nation, one notch above where they finished 2016.  In addition to its annual battles against Northwestern and Rock Hill,  the Stallions will play two tough out-of-state opponents — Buford from Georgia on September 15 and Shelby High from North Carolina on September 22.  Both of those games will be played at home.

Buford, ranked No. 84 in the High School Football America Preseason Top 100, has played in ten straight Georgia high school football state championship games.  Overall, the Wolves have won 11 state championships.  Shelby enters 2017 having won four straight North Carolina state titles.

Related: 2017 SC high school football schedules

Clemson-recruit Derion Kendrick is back for his senior season.  Kendrick, who will be a receiver in college, threw for 3,348 yards in 2016 with 37 touchdowns in 2016. Kendrick, who is considered the No. 1 overall recruit in South Carolina, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, also ran for 630 yards and eight scores.

Defending 5A champ Dutch Fork is ranked No. 45 in the Top 100.  The Silver Foxes will once again open-up against head coach Tom Knotts’ former team — the Independence Patriots from North Carolina — in the second game of a home-and-home series.

Knotts led Independence to six of its seven straight North Carolina state titles from 2000-20016.  He was an assistant at Duke during the 2004 title run.  Knotts, whose record with the Patriots was 132-6, including being part of the school’s 109 game win streak, left Independence after the 2009 season to take-over at Dutch Fork.  Knotts has won two state titles with the Silver Foxes.

Dutch Fork beat Independence 45-0 last season.  After Independence, the Silver Foxes will play No. 58 Fort Dorchester on September 1.

Dutch Fork finished 15-0 last year, beating Fort Dorchester twice, once in the regular season and then again in the state semifinals.

The Silver Foxes will be helped by the return of Bryce Thompson, who could be used at several positions including wide receiver, running back and in the secondary, is considered the No. 7 overall prospect in the state.  Thompson led Ben Lippen to a South Carolina Independent School Association state title last season.

Fort Dorchester will be led by dual-threat QB Dakereon Joyner, who has given his verbal to South Carolina.  Joyner, who is considered a 4-star prospect,

Joyner became a starter for the Patriots midway through his freshman year. He’s thrown for over 6,800 yards during his career and 77 touchdowns.  Last year, Joyner led his team to a 12-2 record with 3,642 yards and 44 TDs.

Related: Final 2016 High School Football America South Carolina Top 10

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.