Stags could dominate in Region 8AAA

  • Monday, July 7, 2014

Rob Gantt/ Independent Jamal Bowman hauls in a pass for a gain against Ashley Ridge.


There are more questions around BHS football than Joe Friday could ever find answers to, a Double Jeopardy cornicopea of missives awaiting to be posed.

Such as, will the Berkeley Stags football team finally rise up and establish itself as the dominant team in Region 8AAA?

Five years will have passed since the Stags’ 2009 Class AAAA Division II state championship when the 2014 Class AAA championship game is played on Dec. 6.

Berkeley fans are hungry for another trip to the big dance and each year they hope this will be the year the magic happens.

This year’s Stags have the size in the trenches of the O-and D-lines Alex Taylor and Trey Govin. They have the running backs in Jamal Bowman and Keron Reid that can carry the football. They have a quarterback lining up under center in Joseph Dress that can lay it out there, a five-tool player that is starting to catch the eye of college recruiters.

Region 8AAA is ripe for the taking this fall. Hanahan is off, as is Orangeburg-Wilkinson. James Island is gone and replaced by Beaufort. Hilton Head continues to rebuild and Stall continues to be Stall.

That leaves the Stags to slide in and grab a prime playoff seeding if they rise to the occasion.

Fourth year Coach Jeff Cruce thinks this year’s team can rise to the next level.

“We had the best showing of a Berkeley football team in the seven-on-seven passing league that we’ve ever had,” he said. “This was the first time a Berkeley team made it to the championship game of the Fort Dorchester passing league, and while we lost to Hanahan, 31-19, we had a really good showing. Joseph Dress threw the ball well and our receivers ran their routes and caught the passes.”

Granted, how a team plays in summer passing leagues will not arbitrarily guarantee success in the fall, it is a positive sign on which to build.

Berkeley opens its season at home with new Region 7AA foe Johnsonville on Aug. 22, followed by the annual tilt with Stratford on Aug. 29.

Other pre-region games include a road game with Summerville, then home with Cane Bay and Timberland before the Region 8AAA schedule commences Oct. 3 against new Region 8AAA foe Beaufort.

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