The Dutch Fork High School football team has finished No. 23 nationally for the 2018 season. The announcement was made by MaxPreps, the online high school sports leader and a site.

“The MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard honors the very best high school teams in the nation. To qualify, you must be highly ranked nationally by MaxPreps; and you must also win a state championship. Those are tough qualifications considering there are nearly seventeen thousand teams competing in high school varsity football,” said Andy Beal, president and founder of MaxPreps. “Congratulations to the Dutch Fork Silver Foxes on their amazing achievement. MaxPreps and the Army National Guard are honored to recognize you for your hard work and amazing work on the field.”

For the second time in three seasons, Dutch Fork completed an undefeated season as the Silver Foxes won their third straight 5A state championship with a 59-20 defeat of previously unbeaten T.L. Hanna of Anderson on December 7. The Silver Foxes have now won the state title in four of the last five seasons. Dutch Fork is one of 50 football schools being honored on the MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard. This marks the third time Dutch Fork has been selected to the Tour of Champions. The 2016 team was ranked No. 71 in the country with a 15-0 record and the 2014 squad was ranked No. 118 after going 12-3.

“We have a lot of respect for our armed forces and to achieve national recognition from the Army National Guard and MaxPreps shows you’re one of the best teams in high school football,” said Dutch Fork athletic director and head football coach Tom Knotts, who completed his ninth season. “I’m proud of everything this team achieved this year.”

Dutch Fork dominated this season, outscoring its opponents by 49.3 points per game. The Silver Foxes are a remarkable 41-1 (.976 winning percentage) over the past three seasons and Knotts career record as a coach in North and South Carolina is 401-81 (.832).

South Carolina Army National Guard Sergeant First Class Michael Guertin presented Coach Knotts and the team with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy Wednesday afternoon during an athletic assembly. The team also received a banner for their accomplishment.

“The Army National Guard embodies teamwork and a commitment to community and country. Just as your team joins together to defeat adversity and claim the victory, the Army National Guard stands in solidarity to protect our local communities and the United States of America as a whole,” said Captain Charlton Grant. “On behalf of the Army National Guard, I am honored to recognize this nationally ranked championship team for their dedication, perseverance and teamwork.”

MaxPreps Computer Rankings are used to determine team rank for the Tour of Champions. The system uses the huge number of game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins the higher the ranking, but the system takes into account quality wins (against other highly ranked opponents), margin of victory, and strength of schedule. Playoff games are weighted 2.1 times a regular season game.

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