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Carolina Forest's Kyle Watkins rushes in the 28-43 loss to Myrtle Beach. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

Carolina Forest, welcome to the party.

The Panthers’ football team, for the first time since moving up to the state’s largest classification in 2008 and possibly ever, is ranked in the state media poll. And it means Horry County has five teams for the first time under the rankings’ current format, which started in 2011.

Carolina Forest (No. 10 in Class 5A), joins Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach (Nos. 1 and 3 in Class 4A, respectively), Aynor (No. 9 in Class 3A) and Green Sea Floyds (No. 3 in Class 1A). The Trojans dropped from the top spot in the state’s smallest class after falling to Aynor last week. Myrtle Beach held on to its No. 1 ranking after beating Carolina Forest. North Myrtle Beach defeated Socastee in the Chiefs’ second shutout of the season.

It is not known if Carolina Forest was ever ranked in the earlier versions of state’s main football poll; it was run by various organizations, including the Associated Press in the 2000s and online records are scarce. However, it would seem unlikely given the team’s struggles for much of that time. 

First-place votes in parentheses

CLASS 5A

1. Dutch Fork (11)

2. Byrnes

3. Fort Dorchester

4. Gaffney

5. Dorman

6. T.L. Hanna

7. Sumter

8. River Bluff

9. Clover

10. Carolina Forest

Receiving Votes: West Florence, White Knoll, Berkeley

CLASS 4A 

1. Myrtle Beach (11)

2. Daniel 

3. North Myrtle Beach

4. South Pointe

5. Wilson 

6. Hartsville

7. AC Flora

8. Eastside

9. Walhalla

10 Travelers Rest

Others receiving votes: Wren, Greenville, Greer

CLASS 3A

1.Dillon (9)

2. Chapman (2)

3. Camden

4. Chester

5. May River

6. Gilbert

7. Wade Hampton

8. Strom Thurmond

9. Aynor

10. Marion 

Others receiving votes: Cheraw, Newberry, Union County

CLASS 2A

1. Abbeville (10)

2. Barnwell (1)

3. Bamberg-Ehrhardt

4. Southside Christian

5. Saluda

6. Oceanside Collegiate

7. Timberland

8. Whale Branch

9. Andrew Jackson

10. (tie) Lee Central, St. Joe’s

Others receiving votes- Gray Collegiate, Blacksburg, East Clarendon, Woodland

CLASS 1A

1. Lamar (5)

2. Wagener-Salley (5)

3. Green Sea Floyds (1)

4. Blackville-Hilda

5. Lake View

6. Branchville

7. C.E. Murray

8. Baptist Hill

9. Ridge Spring-Monetta

10. Denmark-Olar

Others receiving votes- Great Falls, Cross, Calhoun Falls Charter

Voters: Chris Dearing, The State; Lou Bezjak, The State; Travis Jenkins, Chester News & Reporter; Jed Blackwell, Spartanburg Herald-Journal; Geoff Preston, Greenville News; Chris Burgin, 100.1 The Fan; Ian Guerin, MyHorryNews.com; Kyle Dawson, Aiken Standard; Scott Chancey, Florence Morning News; Justin Jarrett, Lowcountry Sports; ; Dennis Brunson, Sumter Item; ; David Shelton, Charleston Post and Courier; Skyler Rolstad, Greenwood Index-Journal; Chris Clark, Orangeburg Times & Democrat.

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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