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Changes in store for KC teams and football fans in 2018 season

Posted: July 24, 2018 11:49 a.m.
Updated: July 31, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Photo courtesy of goflashwin.com/

THE CAMDEN VS. LUGOFF-ELGIN rivalry will get prime-time TV exposure as their annual battle on Aug. 24 at L-E Stadium has been selected as that week’s WACH FOX TV/Sonic Friday Night Rivals game of the week.

While Camden and North Central’s 2018 football schedules underwent a few alterations, Lugoff-Elgin’s fall slate received a near head-to-toe makeover.

Thanks to the South Carolina High School League’s bi-annual reclassification, Lugoff-Elgin not only moved from its Pee Dee-centric region to one based closer to its Midlands home but, went from the 4A to 5A ranks. Camden and North Central, meanwhile, each lost one former league foe which --- in both instances --- was replaced by former conference rivals.

Lugoff-Elgin, which is coming off a 7-5 season, is now a member of Region 4-5A. The Demons are joined in the circuit by Blythewood, Irmo, Spring Valley and Sumter.

Camden, 3-8 a year ago, remains in Region 4-AAA along with holdovers Chester, Fairfield Central and Indian Land. The lone change is that Keenan has moved into AAA and replaces neighboring Columbia High in the five-team circuit.

North Central, which is coming off a 2-8 campaign, stayed in its Region 4-AA home as did Andrew Jackson, Buford, Central, Chesterfield and Lee Central. The one change to the seven-school circuit is that Lewisville, a former NC rival, has been bumped to the AA and replaces Cheraw, which is now a AAA program.

The three Kershaw County public high school football programs will begin practice for the upcoming season on Friday, July 27. In the instance of Camden, the Bulldogs’ first practice will be held at evening as part of an open house at Zemp Stadium which begins at 6 p.m. with the practice slated for a 7 p.m. start.

Here are some other notes on the fall schedules:

* After four years of being played as the season-opener, the Camden vs. Lugoff-Elgin football game has been moved to the second game of the season. Camden will open at home on Aug. 17 against in-county rival North Central while L-E kicks off its season that same night at Westwood.

* The Aug. 24 game between Camden and Lugoff-Elgin at L-E Stadium has been selected as the WACH FOX TV/Sonic Friday Night Rivals game of the week.

The contest will be shown live on WACH 57.2 as well as on Cable channel 1250. The games will also stream live online at WACH.com.

WACH FOX’s own USC and NFL veteran Corey Miller will once again handle the play-by-play duties in the booth. He will, once again, be joined in the booth by Stacey Hough. Hough is an 18 year sportscast veteran in the Palmetto State.

* Newcomers to the four KC teams’ schedules from the past two seasons, aside from region games, for 2018 are:

Camden High: Fort Mill and Richland Northeast

Lugoff-Elgin: Westwood, Chapin, Fort Mill and Rock Hill

North Central: Columba, McBee and Lamar

Camden Military Academy: Ware Shoals, Greenwood Raptors, Great Falls and the S.C. Titans

* All four Kershaw County football stadiums have had renovations since this time last year.

Camden High School’s 89-year-old Zemp Stadium, the oldest stadium in the state still hosting high school football games, has a new home side grandstand along with new entranceways into the stadium. In addition, the field has been widened for players’ safety while the lighting system has been improved.

L-E Stadium has been brought up to code while having a new portable set of stands inserted on the home side of the field to handle the anticipated crowds given the program’s 5A status.

At North Central, the playing surface at Knights Stadium, which had one of the most prominent “crowns” in the area, was scraped and leveled to go along with other safety-mandated improvements.

At Camden Military Academy, the home side has been flipped as the west side of the stadium, which was the visitors’ sideline and had a set of two of small, portable bleachers, now features a full main grandstand which was completed late last fall.

* North Central bolstered its non-conference campaign when second-year head coach Tyronne Drakeford scheduled defending class A state champion and perennial power Lamar. The Knights will travel to play the Darlington County power on Sept. 7.

* Earlier this summer, Camden received a sixth home game when Keenan High School, which is scheduled to have artificial turf installed on its new, on-campus facility, informed CHS head coach/athletic director Brian Rimpf that the Raiders wanted to move their scheduled Oct. 26 home game to Camden.

* For the third consecutive season, Lugoff-Elgin will not have a bye until week 11. The Demons will play 10 consecutive weeks before having an open week on Friday, Oct. 26.

Here are the schedules for all four Kershaw County high school teams (all games kick off at 7:30 p.m., unless indicated otherwise):

 Camden

Aug. 17  North Central

Aug. 24  @ Lugoff-Elgin

Aug. 31  Hartsville

Sept. 7  @ Fort Mill

Sept. 14  West Florence

Sept. 21 @ RNE

Sept. 28  OPEN

Oct. 5  Fairfield Central

Oct. 12  @ Chester

Oct. 19  Indian Land

Oct. 26 Keenan

Lugoff-Elgin

Aug. 17  @ Westwood

Aug. 24  Camden

Aug. 31 Chapin

Sept. 7  @ River Bluff

Sept. 14  Fort Mill

Sept. 21  @ Rock Hill

Sept. 28  Sumter

Oct. 5  Spring Valley

Oct. 12  @ Irmo

Oct. 19  @ Blythewood

North Central

Aug. 17  @ Camden

Aug. 24  Columbia

Aug. 31  McBee

Sept. 7  @ Lamar

Sept. 14  Andrew Jackson

Sept. 21 OPEN

Sept. 28  Central

Oct. 5  @ Chesterfield

Oct. 12  Lee Central

Oct. 19  @ Lewisville

Oct. 26  @ Buford

Camden Military Academy

Sept. 1 S.C. Titans (2:30 p.m.)

Sept. 7 @ Hickory Grove Christian

Sept. 14  @ Ware Shoals

Sept. 22  Greenwood Raptors (2:30 p.m.)

Sept. 28  @ Great Falls

Oct. 13  Trinity Academy (2:30 p.m.)

Oct. 20  Carolina Gladiators (2:30 p.m.)

Oct. 26  @ S.C. Titans (TBA)

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