Best SCISA Team Ever?

This forum is for the South Carolina Independent High School Association League. Discuss the top players, teams and games from around the state for the top private schools.

Best SCISA Team Ever?

Postby CoachSalley » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:02 pm

Just wondering, especially from the old-timers: what do you think has been the very best team ever fielded in SCISA? I’m interested in the best in any sport, but that may very well lead to the comparison of the best in each sport.

This very well may be one of those “Jordan vs. LeBron” deals that attempts to compare across eras... but that’s one of the main reasons message boards exist!

Please do the rookies the favor of saying why your choice is best... no fair just giving a team and a year.
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Re: Best SCISA Team Ever?

Postby jstrick » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:05 pm

Finally a post actually talking about SCISA athletics where we can discuss and argue things instead of just post scores!

Anyway, I'm definitely not an old-timer, but I've done enough of my own research to get an idea of things before my playing days. I'll admit I'm a little biased in this situation...I'm a graduate of Patrick Henry Academy and am currently writing and researching for a book on the school's football program. I'll comment on what I know and what I've seen in newspapers, game film, and talks with former players and coaches. Also some things are based on Logan Gibbons' fantastic SCISA Football History website (which any SCISA fan should check out).

I don't know enough to really comment in detail about these but I think any Dorchester Academy team coached by Stanley Gruber has to be in the running. Just not sure which would be the best, but there's a reason why DA has the most wins out of any SCISA program (I think). Also, Orangeburg Prep in the late 80s and early 90s was dominant as well, at least in AAA. Believe that was back when Don Shelley was coaching there and won a few state championships.

Now, I will give my two cents and say that Patrick Henry's 1990 team has got to be one of the top 5 best teams ever in SCISA football. Well, I could also put the 1989, 1992, and 1994 teams there, too. Especially '92 and '94 because they won championships those years. The 1990 Patriots outscored their opponents 407-84 and that's not just their AA competition. They played several AAA teams (Williamsburg, First Baptist, Thomas Heyward), going 12-0. The '92 squad outscored 325-84, tying AAA Thomas Heyward and beating Williamsburg. They went 10-1-1 only losing to Colleton Prep because of a crazy call where PHA came up with a CP fumble but the refs awarded it to CP. In '94, PHA outscored opponents 421-88 only losing to AAA schools Thomas Heyward and Orangeburg Prep in very close games. I think the OP game was lost because of an inadvertent whistle towards the end of the game.

Besides scores and strength of schedule I think those three teams from 1990, 1992, and 1994 were the best because of the quality of players and coaches. There were two High School Sports Report SCISA Players of the Year from those teams - Mikell Harper (QB) in 1990 and McKenzie Solomons (QB) in 1994. So many other great players, too: Jeff Cook, Terry Jarrell, Jacky Rushing, Trip Lawton, Corrin Green, Trey Hewlett (the list goes on). Some of those guys played on several of those teams I mentioned previously. There are also lots of all-stars and all-conference players from those three teams. I could list them if anyone wants to know (would love to compare lists of all-conference/all-stars so we could make rosters of them throughout the years in SCISA). The quality of coaching was also excellent. I think Ed Cone can be considered to be one of the best football coaches in SCISA. He was named SCISA's AA Coach of the Year several times in the 90s and was The State Newspaper's Independents Coach of the Year in 1990. Think there's some HSSR awards as well. I've got his win/loss record at home and some other stats too but am at work goofing off right now lol. So, we've got an offense and a defense that had no weak spots in three different seasons and great coaching.

So, there's my pick but, like I said, I'm probably a little biased! Would love to hear others opinions on their picks and on what I've put up here. Also, if anyone's interested check out my YouTube channel called PHA Football History so you can see some of the points I've made in action or check out another team you played for or are interested in. I've got game film posted from 1989, 1990, and 2001 but am working on getting more up there. Just takes an hour or so to get each one recorded from VHS and takes some time finding the right person to ask who's got the tapes laying around.
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Re: Best SCISA Team Ever?

Postby CoachSalley » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:37 am

That’s a cool answer—and fodder for good argument. Do you think “Best” should be in the context of SCISA, or of the era in which they played? Or should it be about which team would win if they played each other? Does 1990 PHA stand a chance if they suit up against the current Hammond team full of D1 prospects?

The genesis of this question came yesterday while showing some students one of the old pictures in our (Porter-Gaud) gym lobby. Her mom played on our 1983 SCHSL class A volleyball team, which went 33-3. But I feel confident in saying that team would get beaten by any of our teams of the past eight years, if only because the game has evolved so much. Also, teams back then didn’t play Wando or Dorman (or, more accurately, they didn’t play huge powerhouses... Wando was small and Dorman wasn’t built yet).

So part of the question is, “how do we define ‘best team ever?’”
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Re: Best SCISA Team Ever?

Postby jstrick » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:53 am

Getting very deep here aren't we? Like I said before, I'm just describing what I know. I graduated PHA in 2011, so most of my personal experience comes from 8-man play (even though we did play 9 11-man games...and won 2 of them!). Of course, I would not place any 8-man team on a list of best SCISA teams ever unless it was a list of best SCISA 8-man teams. Or unless an 8-man team consistently beat A, AA, AAA competition.

In terms of saying what's the best, it's tough to say. If we make it best of an era, then it would all be relative and there would be no real best of the best. Your point about sports changing is very true. Offenses popular 30 or 40 years ago have perhaps gone out of style now. I admit that SCISA is also very different now than it was in the past, at least in terms of diversity. With that said, I have no idea if any SCISA team that older era could beat teams today...just don't know. I will say that PHA's teams that I described were all homegrown talent, most of whom either attended school from kindergarten or elementary school or transferred after Allendale Academy closed.

I'm sure if I talked with the '90 guys about this, they'd feel pretty confident they could win (but of course they would!). The only way to really find out about these is to literally have them play each other but that's impossible. You mention Hammond. Do they play any public schools during the regular season in football? If they do and they win there's a good argument there discussing contemporary SCISA teams. I think the quality of other teams in AAA, AA, or A is important too. Other sports I'm not as sure about. I'm a football guy and that's what I've researched the most.

I like how you showed some of the students older pictures. Anything to get the kids talking about the history of their schools and the accomplishments of those who came before them is fantastic I think. With my project, I've been amazed at how many students are so interested in what I'm finding and want to help me if they can. As someone who's taught history and is currently in grad school for it, anytime you can get students interested in any kind of history is a miracle lol.

Hope everything's going well at P-G. I'm over at The Citadel three days a week. And speaking of SCHSL...I think P-G used to play Estill High School back in the day, which is just down the road from PHA. They were in the same region or something along those lines.
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Re: Best SCISA Team Ever?

Postby CoachSalley » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:08 pm

Yes, we were in region 7-A of the SCHSL together. Our region was PG, Estill, Ruffin, Elloree, and Harleyville-Ridgeville. PG left the SCHSL after the 1987-88 season and joined the PAC, followed by SCISA. Speaking of ancient history and old offenses, our 1985 team ran the “Run and ****” We had an All-American receiver (Freddy Renken) who led the nation in TD receptions. His records were eventually broken by Stanton Seckinger, but I like to think that there should be an asterisk for “pre-spread.” We also played prior to the three-point line. It’s stuff like that which makes these conversations fun.
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Re: Best SCISA Team Ever?

Postby J1871 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:36 pm

Well one of the best basketball teams I ever played against - and this goes way back to 1973 - was Hammond when they were still Academy. Mostly because of a scoring machine named Bill Gause. I played for First Baptist then and we made the final four with Hammond, College Prep and Salem Ac. (remember them?). We drew Hammond in the semifinal game held at Wilson Hall on that old rubberized textured floor they used to have in the main gym. Bill pumped in about thirty point on us. We'd never seen that kind of offensive output before. I think Hammond went on to win the state title that year, and Bill went on to play at USC for Coach McGuire.

In recent years, after watching Porter Gaud dismantle a really good Hartsville team last night, I'd have to say that PG is the best team I've seen in a while. Always like it when SCISA schools can compete and beat SCHSL teams.
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Re: Best SCISA Team Ever?

Postby CoachFerg » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:47 pm

I’d say the Pinewood team around 2008 with Milton Jennings, Kenny Manigault, Ryan Steed and Ryan Bogdan. Milton was a McDonald’s all American and that team made the national tournament only to lose to eventual champion Oak Hill
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Re: Best SCISA Team Ever?

Postby J1871 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:40 pm

[quote=“CoachFerg”]I’d say the Pinewood team around 2008 with Milton Jennings, Kenny Manigault, Ryan Steed and Ryan Bogdan. Milton was a McDonald’s all American and that team made the national tournament only to lose to eventual champion Oak Hill[/quote]

Yeah, I had forgotten about them. They were pretty good too.
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Re: Best SCISA Team Ever?

Postby CoachSalley » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:54 am

Yeah, it seems like SCISA has had a few truly elite basketball teams. I know there have been plenty of teams in other sports that could compete with anybody statewide (Ben Lippen XC in the George Johnson era, many of the Ashley Hall or PG volleyball teams), and certainly there have been very good teams in many sports with top-level individual players. In basketball, that PW team makes the cut, along with Hammond in Seventh Woods’ junior year. I’d place this year’s PG team at the very top of our program... bigger than the guys who were so good in 2003-05, and deeper than the teams with Khris Middleton.
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Re: Best SCISA Team Ever?

Postby Maybank » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:30 pm

This PG team is the best I’ve seen since 2008 Pinewood. Don’t really know how they would favor against each other, this PG team definitely shoots better but the Pinewood team was so athletic.

The only other teams at least in my generation that could play with those two are the 2015 Hammond team, the 2016 spartanburg day team and the 2008 porter-gaud team. Not buying the 2003 porter-gaud argument.

Cardinal Newman is really good this year, it will be interesting to see if they are able to hang should the meet in the finals
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