Fans will see new faces leading teams on the sidelines of two area high schools this season.
Phil Smith was hired to lead the Riverside Warriors into battle. Smith served as defensive coordinator at Dorman for the past six seasons.
Former Blue Ridge coach Wade Cooper took Smith’s position at Dorman, and the Tigers hired Shane Clark to take Cooper’s place. Clark has been with the Blue Ridge program for three years. He spent last season as the team’s offensive coordinator and the previous two years as a defensive assistant.
The first-year head coaches both will be at home Friday night, Smith’s Warriors against Eastside and Clark’s Tigers against Wade Hampton.
Quarterback Ryan Cerino will lead Riverside’s offense. Wide receiver Jeremiah Bogan and running back Emmanuel Jackson are two of the Warriors’ top playmakers.
Eastside quarterback Drake Turnquist also has some weapons at his disposal, including wide receiver Ty Thomason and running back Jaylon Boykin.
Eastside grabbed a 41-14 victory against Riverside last season.
A year ago, Blue Ridge traveled to Wade Hampton and beat the Generals 27-13.
Clark said that his familiarity with the program made for a smooth transition. It also helps that Clark has Ty Montgomery returning at quarterback.
Montgomery was selected to the All-Peach Blossom AAA Region Team and the All-Greenville County first team last season after accounting for 3,191 total yards and 30 touchdowns.
Blue Ridge, Greenville and Greer shared the region championship a year ago.
Greer, which shared the region championship with Blue Ridge and Greenville last year, travels to Seneca.
The Yellow Jackets split with Seneca last season. The Bobcats won 46-45 in Week 1, but Greer came back to win 28-14 in the first round of the playoffs.
Greer running back Quez Nesbitt, the Greenville County Offensive Player of the Year, returns for his senior season. As a junior, Nesbitt rushed for 2,310 yards and 30 touchdowns and caught 14 passes for 268 yards with three touchdowns.