For the second year in a row, the Wade Hampton and Dorman football teams will begin region play before every other team in the state.
The Region 2-AAAA foes square off tonight to open the season in Week 0.
SEASON OPENS TONIGHT
The Cavaliers feature star receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who caught 76 passes for 1,477 yards with 16 touchdowns last season. Wade Hampton coach Kent Haltiwanger knows his team will have to do a lot more than just try to contain the Stanford commit.
“You’ve got to stop the run first or it doesn’t matter who they’ve got at receiver,” Haltiwanger said. “They’re a well-coached football team, and they’re going to try to establish the running game first.”
Establishing the run is something the Generals always look to do in their Wing-T offense, and Haltiwanger hopes his squad can utilize what he believes will be a size advantage. Haltiwanger added that Wade Hampton won’t shy from throwing it to a group of receivers led by Darian Patterson.
“He has a chance to play at the next level,” Haltiwanger said.
Year in and year out, 2-AAAA is one of the toughest regions in the state. For that reason, Haltiwanger doesn’t mind playing Friday to get a Friday in Week 8 off.
“With as young as we are, it would’ve been nice to have another week to prepare,” Haltiwanger said. “But on the other hand, as quick as we can get those guys in the fire we can figure out what we need to do to get them ready for the rest of the season.”
Only three or four seniors are expected to play regularly for the Generals, while at least one freshman will start on each side of the ball. Wade Hampton’s starting lineup should include three or four sophomores.
Haltiwanger believes opening the season against a traditional power like Dorman will be a good measuring stick.
“We’re aiming to be in the category with those guys,” he said. “We feel like we’ve got the talent to play with those teams coming.
“How quickly we grow up will determine how we do now.”
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. at Wade Hampton.