Unlike Hillcrest, Goose Creek, the Rams’ opponent in Friday’s Class AAAA Division I second-round playoff game, has been one of the top programs in the state for more than a decade.
Then again, Church Reedy had a head start on Greg Porter.
Before Reedy arrived at Goose Creek in 2002, the Gators had won a total of 13 games in the previous seven seasons. They went 1-10 in his first season and 5-7 in his second.
Then Reedy led Goose Creek to 11 consecutive winning seasons, including a 49-4 record over his last four before retiring following the 2014 season. The Gators won the state title in 2011.
Reedy, also a member of Danny Ford’s coaching staff when Clemson won the 1981 national championship, was replaced at Goose Creek by Chris Candor, who has led the Gators to a 9-3 record this season.
In his five-plus seasons as Hillcrest’s coach, Porter has led the Rams to a record of 44-30, including six playoff victories and the 2014 state championship.
It’s a program that won 29 games between 2000 and 2009 and one playoff game in its first 56 seasons, before 2013. Since then, the Rams are 35-5.
It will be the first meeting between sixth-seeded Hillcrest and third-seeded Goose Creek. The winner will play either No. 2 Fort Dorchester or No. 10 Boiling Springs in one of the state semifinals.
Hillcrest is 6-0 away from home in 2015. The Rams have never won seven road games in a season.
According to Hillcrest athletic director Tommy Bell, there will be no pre-sale for tickets. They are $7 and will go on sale at 5:30 p.m. Friday, and the stadium will open at 6:30.