2016-07-20 / Sports

Gaffney ranked 18th in magazine; Indians to play six ranked teams

By LARRY HILLIARD
Ledger Sports Editor

Gaffney Indians football fans - don’t make plans for the state championship game just yet.

According to Friday Night Football Carolinas magazine, the Indians come in at No. 18 in the state’s overall rankings and 12th in their class.

The magazine’s season preview said, “Despite losing eight starters on offense and seven on defense, the coaching staff at Gaffney is excited for the upcoming season. Their optimism stems from a nice mixture of senior leadership and underclassmen competing for starting spots.

“...Gaffney will be physical on defense and have a two-headed rushing attack to ground out yards on offense.”

The magazine tabs defending state champion Fort Dorchester as its No. 1 team. Fort Dorchester returns quarterback Dekereon Joyner and a host of receivers.

Despite hiring a new coach, Northwestern comes in at No 2 in the poll, followed by T.L. Hanna, Westside, and Byrnes. Dorman, Goose Creek, Spartanburg, South Pointe and Dutch Fork round out the top 10.

Boiling Springs is ranked a spot ahead of the Indians at No. 17.

Gaffney will play six teams that appear in the magazine’s Top 25 poll.

No Gaffney player was among the magazine’s Top 50 seniors or Top 30 juniors.

Two wideouts were ranked as the top seniors. Wando wideout Ortre Smith was atop the list with Union County’s Shi Smith at No. 2. Pendleton’s Brad Johnson, a 6-2, 220 lb. defensive end and linebacker, is the No. 3 player in the class.

Northwestern had three players listed among the top seniors, including tight end Logan Rudolph, running back Jerry Howard and quarterback Gage Moloney.

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