By CT McDonald
It’s a good week to be a District Five high school football fan.
Irmo’s Yellow Jackets will play at Chapin this week, and Dutch Fork will be at Silver Fox Stadium to welcome the Fort Dorchester Patriots to town. At midweek none of these four teams had lost a game yet in the new season, but that won’t be the case after the dust settles this weekend.
After completing last year in the Class AAAA semifinals at 11-3 overall, Chapin (2-0) is working on another good season with wins against River Bluff and Mid-Carolina already recorded. Two years ago, the Eagles finished at 11-2 in the Class AAA quarterfinals.
Not too long into his head coaching career at Chapin High School — and following a somewhat turbulent time for the Eagles, marked by turnovers in the head football coaches’ position — current head coach Justin Gentry said he intended to build a successful football program, not just earn a winning season and then fizzle.
Irmo, which is also 2-0, could, itself, be laying the foundation for a turnaround season with victories against Nation Ford and J. L. Mann already in the books. Now just into his fourth season as Irmo’s athletics director and head football coach — and following head coaching assignments at schools in and around the midlands area where he built some championship teams — Coach Reggie Kennedy and staff, including some newly-added assistant coaches, could have the Yellow Jackets in the early phase of a breakout season.
Note: This game has been moved to Thursday at 6:30 pm at Chapin because of the forecast for rain later in the week. The Irmo versus Chapin junior varsity game originally scheduled for Thursday has been canceled for the same reason.
Dutch Fork (1-0) will return to the field this week after a vacant date last week. After the lopsided win in the season opener at Independence High in Charlotte, the Silver Foxes will play host to Fort Dorchester this week, with the Patriots almost certainly itching for a victory after taking two losses to the Foxes last year.
Dutch Fork won the Fox-Patriot matchup early in the season 35-22, and then eliminated Fort Dorchester in the lower state championship game 49-24, to advance to the state finals where the Silver Foxes beat Boiling Springs to win the Class AAAAA championship.
At midweek the Dutch Fork athletics schedule continued to indicate this one is still on for Friday at 7:30 pm at Silver Fox Stadium.