The S.C. High School League released Palmetto’s 2011 schedule recently. The Mustangs are essentially playing the same teams again, with the sites switched this year.
Aug. 19 Palmetto will host the Walhalla Razorbacks.
Last year Palmetto dominated Walhalla, winning 40-14.
Walhalla struggled at the AAA level last season, going 0-5 in Western AAA play. The Razorbacks had two midseason wins against former Skyline AA rivals Easley and Crescent, but were otherwise winless.
The Mustangs will then face Anderson County District 1 rivals Wren at home. Last season Palmetto traveled to Wren to stun the defending Western AAA champions 35-20. The Hurricanes recovered to win five of their next six games, but only won once in the final five games of the season. Coach Jeff Tate and crew will try to lead the Hurricanes back into the victory column.
Palmetto will next host Dixie Sept. 2. Last year Palmetto defeated Dixie 34-0. Dixie, a single-A program, struggled to a 2-8 year last season.
Palmetto’s only “bad” loss of last season was in week four against AAA power Belton-Honea Path, who defeated the Mustangs 35-0. This year Mustangs play BHP at home and will try to avenge that loss.
The Bears finished the regular season undefeated, with close calls in a non-conference game against Clinton and conference match-ups against Daniel and Seneca. The Bears won two playoff games before falling to Fairfield-Central in the Upstate semifinals.
Next Palmetto travels to Ware Shoals to take on the Fighting Hornets. Last year the single A Hornets gave Palmetto a close 21-14 game in a loss. The Hornets struggled last season, losing five of their first six games, but won three straight games to earn a spot – although a brief one – in the state playoffs, where Ware Shoals lost to Chesterfield 37-9.
The new week Palmetto opens the 2011 conference schedule against Carolina, whom the Mustangs edged 33-27 last year.
Carolina struggled through the year last season with a 5-5 season, but earned a spot in the state AA playoffs, where they fell to Woodruff 44-10.
The Mustangs then face Liberty, with new coach Kyle Stewart. Last year Palmetto had a 56-28 win over the Red Devils.
Liberty had another tough year, losing the first nine games before defeating Crescent in the season finale to end a long losing streak.
Oct. 4 The Mustangs will visit Chesnee. Last year Palmetto won 14-9. Eventually, Palmetto ended in a three-way tie for first place with Pendleton and Chesnee.
Chesnee went on to win 27-20 over Newberry in the first round of the playoffs before losing to Central in the second round.
The Mustangs then host Crescent Oct. 22. Last year Palmetto defeated the Tigers 35-14.
Last year the Tigers only had wins over single A opponents Dixie and Calhoun Falls during en route to a 2-8 record.
The final game of the regular season will likely determine a playoff position as Palmetto hosts Pendleton. Last year Pendleton edged the Mustangs 7-6, forcing a three-way tie with Chesnee for first place in the conference. The Bulldogs lost in the tiebreaker system and was the third-place team from Skyline AA, meaning the Bulldogs opened the playoffs on the road for their first round game against Columbia, who defeated Pendleton 38-34.