Loris’ non-region schedule has looked awfully familiar since Jamie Snider took over the program in 2011.
Each year, the Lions have played the same four opponents - St. James, North Myrtle Beach, Green Sea Floyds and South Columbus (N.C.). Recently, they swapped out Georgetown for Carolina Forest in the fifth game.
As those teams have improved, Snider knew his preseason scrimmages better keep getting tougher, too.
Prior to the team’s season opener on Aug. 23, the Lions will play abbreviated games against three Class 5A teams and defending Class 4A state champion Myrtle Beach.
It’s a product of a start-to-finish philosophy in which better preseason opponents prepare the Lions for better non-region opponents, which, in turn, better prepares Snider’s bunch for the baddest dudes on the block come region play.
“Who do we have to beat every year in our region? Dillon,” Snider said Monday. “What we’ve found is that is helps us not be as shocked at the size and speed and strength of Dillon when we get there. … If we scrimmaged a whole bunch of nobodies, have we really prepared our team?”
Whether it equates to more success against Dillon or not, you can’t say Loris isn’t trying. The Lions’ preseason includes scrimmages against West Florence and Myrtle Beach on Thursday at home, a trip to Socastee on Monday and then a CNB Kickoff Classic match-up against Conway next Friday at Coastal Carolina’s Brooks Stadium.
One week after that, the regular season opens on the road at St. James, a Class 5A school, before the string of games against teams who finished last season with a combined win-loss record of 38-10.
The thought of how fast the season will be upon them is also why Snider and most of the coaches around Horry County are not wasting any available time during the preseason.
After two days of helmets only and two more of helmets and shoulder pads, Wednesday is the first available day for full-padded practices - per the South Carolina High School League’s heat acclimation policy. More than half of the local teams will play scrimmages the very next day.
It’s a direct correlation to teams being required to have three full days between scrimmages, and with next Friday locked into the CNB, they had little choice but to scrimmage Friday and Monday to keep the proper windows but still max out their preseasons.
“We already have our entire offense in. Our entire defense is pretty much in. We’re not going to beat them to death. It’s Day 2,” said Aynor coach Jason Allen, whose team plays at Socastee on Thursday. “But I expect them to go over there and do what we do. That’s one of those scrimmages when you slow it down. It’s not a full game scrimmage. We take care of the kids.”
HORRY COUNTY FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGES
Loris (host) Myrtle Beach, West Florence
Aynor at Socastee
Conway at Summerville
Carolina Forest (host), North Myrtle Beach, Cleveland County (N.C.), Lumberton (N.C.), North Myrtle Beach
Green Sea Floyds at Trask (N.C.)
Loris at Socastee
Carvers Bay at Aynor
Conway at Wilson
Myrtle Beach at Wando
CNB Kickoff Classic (at Coastal Carolina)
Myrtle Beach vs. St. James
Green Sea Floyds vs. Socastee
Aynor vs. Carolina Forest
Waccamaw vs. North Myrtle Beach
Loris vs. Conway
Aynor at Georgetown
Andrews at Carolina Forest