Hanahan and Bishop England football each have home field in first round of playoffs
There’s no place like home.
That might be the subject of football conversation at Bishop England and Hanahan High Schools after both teams won region championships over the weekend to guarantee at least two home games in the playoffs, which kick off Friday.
Hanahan, Region 8-AAA champ, will host Brookland-Cayce in a playoff game, while Bishop England, Region 6-AA champ, will entertain Lake Marion at Jack Cantey Stadium. Both games are slated for 7:30 p.m. kickoffs.
Hanahan coach Charlie Patterson says his practices will differ slightly this week than the ones during the regular season as his team prepares to battle Brookland-Cayce, which is coached by Rusty Charpia, who has coached in the Lowcountry at James Island and Woodland.
“To me, at this point in the year, it’s more mental than physical,” said Patterson, whose team has the energy of a five-game winning streak. “Our approach at this time of the year is to keep them fresh and focused.”
The Bishops are 6-4, including 5-0 in region play. The Bishops also have a full head of steam, outscoring foes 196-54 in the last five games. The Bishops are seeking their third state title since winning back-to-back crowns in 2011-12.
Quarterback Leo Albano leads the Bishops offense. He has rushed for 996 yards and 15 touches. He has accounted for 24 TDs in the season, completing 38-98 for 532 yards and nine TDs.
Defensive backs Jack Grooms and Andrew Pizzo lead the defense. Grooms has 72 tackles (53 solo) and has broken up five passes. Pizzo has 68 tackles, including 49 solo stops.
If Bishop England wins Friday, the Bishops would host the winner of the Wade Hampton-Loris game. If the Hawks win Friday, they would host the winner of the Georgetown-Darlington game.
State cross country
The Bishop England boys finished in fifth place in Saturday’s Class AA state cross country meet, but better days appear to be ahead.
The Bishops’ top two finishers, Sam Boykin and Aiden Richter are freshmen, while Nick DiBona and Luke Vettel are juniors. The only top runner who graduates is Ben Feller.
Academic Magnet won the boys’crown with 29 points to top second-place finisher Wade Hampton, which scored 98. The Bishops claimed fifth with 118.
Boykin covered the Sandhills Research Center Course in 16 minutes and 50 seconds, which was good for third place overall in the individual competition, Classmate Aiden Richter ran a 16:56 to claim fifth place.
DiBona finished 27th while Feller was 37th and Vettel 47th.
The Bishop girls claimed sixth place with 155 points. Waccamaw won the girls’ title with 53 points to cruise past Landrum, which finished with 92 points.
Sophomore Jordahl Kennedy led the Bishops with a 10th place finish overall with a time of 20.43.
Denise Devanney was 18th with a time of 21.20. JoJo Tompkins was 32nd in 21.57. Anna Navarro finished 51st and Caroline Strickler was 58th. Hilton Head captured both the boys’ and girls’ titles in Class AAA.
The Hawk boys finished 19th in the team standing while the Hanahan girls were 14th.