The Silver Bluff Bulldogs enter the 2023 season with high expectations. Head Coach De’Angelo Bryant returns six starters on defense, and six more on offense. The defense is anchored by reigning ALL-CSRA Defensive Player of the Year Jordan Boyd. The 6’3 215-pound defensive lineman is committed to Georgia Tech, but has a long list of other Power 5 offers, most recently Florida State. He is joined by Miami (Ohio) commit Jayden Fuller, who will lead the linebackers.

Silver Bluff is one of four area teams ranked in the top 10 of the preseason media poll at No. 8. They are joined by No. 9 Strom Thurmond, and Barnwell and Saluda tied at No. 10. Silver Bluff is 18-7 the last two seasons, reaching the second round of the playoffs a year ago, and playing for the 2A state championship in 2021.

The Bulldogs have to replace All-Regoin quarterback Malik Williams, but Bryant likes the young group of talented wideouts and backs, some of whom have started since they were freshman. Bryant believes if this year’s team can get the details right on Friday nights, they have what it takes to compete for the South Carolina High School League 2A state championship.

“Well, we got to be a complete team,” said Bryant. “We’ve got to be great at all three phases of the game. I kind of felt like last year when we were good at one thing, we weren’t so good at other things. In 2021, that was a different case. So we talk to our guys all the time about make sure we do all the little things right, take care of the football, cause turnovers, and make sure that we win on special teams. And that’s going to be the key to our success. We’ve got to be consistent and, and just all the little things you get your culture based on like in past years,” added Bryant.

Like many other arear teams, the Bulldogs have had bad luck getting in preseason scrimmages. Their last two have been canceled due to bad weather. Bryant hopes to makeup for some of that preseason preparation when they host seven other teams for the Aiken County Jamboree this Thursday at 6 p.m.

“It’s always it’s always a tester just to kind of see where your athletes are at from not just from a physical stage, but also from a mental stage,” said Bryant. “It also gives us reps as coaches as well, kind of gives us an opportunity to play within ourselves and where we are at. With some things we can do, some things we can’t do, it doesn’t necessarily give you a final decision on ones, on things that you’re working on, but it gives you an opportunity to kind of see, you know, where we’re at and kind of give you a measure and gauge at least going into the first game of the season,” added Bryant. Silver Bluff opens the season on the road at South Aiken on August 18.

Below is the schedule for the Aiken County Jamboree:

Thursday, August 10 at 6 p.m. at Silver Bluff High School

1Q: Barnwell vs McCormick

2Q: Ridge Spring-Monetta vs Aiken

3Q: Bamberg-Ehrhardt vs South Aiken

4Q: Wagener-Salley vs Silver Bluff