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Countdown to Kickoff (South Charleston): Black Eagles out to soar in 2017

South Charleston will feature a talented but young team in 2017.

SOUTH CHARLESTON (WCHS/WVAH) - Halfway through the 2016 season things weren't looking real good for South Charleston and its playoff hopes.

The Black Eagles sat at just 2-3 and began to feel some pressure

Junior linebacker Drew Joseph said. "We definitely had tough teams still remaining. We had an all in motto to try to get to the playoffs. So we kept working every single day."

They kept working. They kept scratching. They kept clawing And not only did they make ti to the playoffs, they advanced to the quarterfinal round before falling to eventual runner-up Spring Valley.

"I think we overachieved," said head coach Donnie Mays. "We made the playoffs. We could have easily hung it up after the 2-3 start but our kids finished strong. We just ran into a good opponent."

Donnie Mays is excited about this year's team. It's packed with talent. But that talent is very young. In fact, Mays says the youngest team he's seen at SC since arriving as an assistant in 2006.

"We're loaded with sophomores and freshmen who can play. Sprinkle in some juniors and seniors who can play and it's a very young football team. I told them young is not an excuse because your opponent doesn't care how young you are."

The strength is at linebacker. The biggest concern will be the offensive line.

SC returns Trae Murphy at quarterback.

He came on strongt at the end of last year.

"Yes I feel like I can," said Murphy, a senior. " Do well at the beginning of the season not just the second half."

"He had two 300 yard games and a 400 yard game at the end of the year," said Mays. "He's had 100 yards rusher. So he's doing the things that Kentre did and also some of the stuff that Tyler did. So you're kind of getting a mix there."

SC will open against rival GW on Thursday, August 24, at home.

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