BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (WMBF) - Last year the Region VI race in Class 3A came down to the final week of the season - but two-thirds of the teams involved all had a shot at winning the region crown.
"It's an animal," said Hartsville head coach Jeff Calabrese. "And the thing about it is our conference, we like to nickname it the SEC of high school football."
Though he may be on to something. Last year three teams tied for first, with Crestwood taking the tiebreaker to become region champs. Though Marlboro County and Hartsville both finished with double digit wins, and Darlington came out above .500 for the first time since 2008. But the coaches think this is nothing new.
"That's this region," said Marlboro County head coach Dean Boyd. "That's this region. It's black and blue and get after it. You have to throw Manning in there. They had a bit of an off year, but that's a team that's always playing for Upper State and Lower State championships."
"Every team in there is good," Darlington coach Will Lampkin added. "Every team in there is good, and they will be once again."
Tough outings during region play have become commonplace for all teams involved, but it allows them to constantly challenge themselves during Fridays in the fall.
"You line up in this conference on Friday night, you better be ready to play," Calabrese said. "I do think that gets us ready for the playoffs. The problem is, you have to get in the playoffs."