Not much has changed at Gaffney, which opens the 2012 season Friday night by hosting Northwestern.
“At Gaffney, the expectations are always high,” Indians coach Dan Jones said. “We feel if the defense can keep us in games early and give our offense time to mature, we can have a very good year.”
Gaffney has 10 returning starters back from a team that went 14-1 and lost to Byrnes in the Class AAAA Division I state final.
Luke Lancaster has stepped in at quarterback for the departed Joey Copeland. He’ll operate behind a line led by all-region tackle Kerry Williams and guard Don Manning.
Lancaster’s receiving corps includes Brandon Bevis, Shaq Davidson, Eddie Studyvance and Bryce Spurlin, and Hyleck Foster is a key newcomer at running back.
The Indians’ defense has a quartet of all-region returnees in end Jaylen Miller, linebacker Quan Weeks, cornerback Cobby McDowell and strong safety Gabe Posey, as well as key contributors in end Rod Oglesby and linebacker Reco Smith.
Gaffney is 24-5 the last two years under Jones, who is in his 21st season on the Indians’ staff.
Gaffney, which has spent the past four years and six of the last eight in Region 3, returns to Region 2 this season, joining Boiling Springs, Byrnes, Dorman, Mauldin, Riverside, Spartanburg and Wade Hampton.
Gaffney has won a South Carolina-record 16 state championships, the last in 2006.