Typically, it's wise to wait until after the season to start handing out awards. Things can change, you know.
But in a world where states are playing a perpetual game of leapfrog to ensure their presidential primaries fall first on the schedule, and thus draw more attention from the candidates, we decided to follow their lead.
It's in that spirit that we present the Packzette Preemies, a premature collection of meaningless awards everyone will forget about by the time the real awards season rolls around.
Most Likely To Mess Up Thanksgiving Plans Award: It might seem like a slam dunk to say this one belongs to Bluffton High School, but as Lee Corso says, "Not so fast, my friends." To extend their season to Thanksgiving weekend, the Bobcats will have to win at Myrtle Beach -- assuming both teams win their regions -- in what might be a de facto Lower State championship game. I'll still lean toward the Bobcats here, but Ridgeland High School has a legitimate chance at sneaking into the Class 1-A title game and torpedoing turkey weekend, too.
How Good Are You? Award: Until Friday -- heck, even until halftime Friday -- this one might have gone to Bluffton, which rolled through a weak non-region schedule. But after the Bobcats' dominant performance in the second half of a 42-14 win over a solid Cane Bay team, they've proven they're pretty darn good. Next in line for this award is Thomas Heyward, which is 6-0 but has played only one team with a winning record. We'll find out a lot more about the Rebels the next two weeks, as they play home games against Hilton Head Prep and Hilton Head Christian.
Doing More With Less Award: If I'm being brutally honest, after Hilton Head High was outscored 130-0 in its first two games, I would've predicted the Seahawks would top out at two wins. They simply didn't look like they had the athletes to compete this year. But they've won three of their past four after a 21-6 win against Lake Marion on Friday and look like a playoff team. The offense still has some work to do, but the defense is vastly improved since Week Zero. That's a testament to coach Tim Singleton and his staff, especially given all the off-the-field distractions the Seahawks have faced.
Always Plugged-In Social Media Award: Talk about a no-brainer. Only one player tweets his team's scores to us (@IPBGSports) on Friday nights, and that's Thomas Heyward running back Ryan Day (@iRyanDay). Day also proved he's social media savvy by drumming up enough support to win our first Facebook player of the week fan vote in a landslide. And even though he was up for the award last week, he mounted a campaign that helped Hilton Head High's Chip Mullen earn a sentimental win.
Where Are They Now? Award: This one goes to Beaufort High School, hands down. Not only do the Eagles have three defensive players on top-25 college teams -- Devin Taylor and Jimmy Legree at South Carolina and Justin Parker at Clemson -- but also one in the NFL, as former standout Ron Parker made his debut with the Oakland Raiders last Sunday. Parker originally was signed by Seattle as an undrafted free agent after his impressive career at Newberry College, but he didn't stick with the Seahawks. He was signed to Oakland's practice squad Sept. 26 and promoted to the active roster six days later and made his debut Sunday against New England.
Winning Off The Field Award: Battery Creek High School's losing streak has hit six games after a 60-0 loss to Berkeley on Friday, but the Dolphins are scoring points in the community. On Fridays, coach Jim Shuman takes his players to Robert Smalls Middle School and to a special education class at Battery Creek, where the players read to students. Unlike these awards, that's more valuable than any victory on the field.
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