BLUFFTON, S.c. (WSAV) – Welcome to 15 Teams in 15 Days! This is WSAV’s annual high school football preview series where we do a deep dive on a new team for each of the first 15 days of August. This year, we will ask and answer four standard questions of each team, which are all listed below:

Why are you interesting?

It seems like there were some players that got their name on WSAV’s football highlights every single week in 2021.

May River quarterback Garvin Douglas was definitely one of them.

Douglas ran for 1,602 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2021, keying the Sharks’ run to a region championship. Even though May River lost 27-7 to North Myrtle Beach in the first round of the playoffs, it was a season that Shark fans will not soon forget.

Now Douglas is gone, leaving May River with a quarterback battle. Senior Garrett Diemel and sophomore Tanner Macy are both in the mix; in fact, the team may go into Week 1 against New Hampstead running a dual quarterback system.

The Sharks will also have to replace a deep, veteran corps of defensive backs that made a large impact in 2021, including star corner Jaeon Allen. Senior Darrion Perry will have to lead that unit this year.

“We’ve got a young group coming in,” Perry said. “They’re all underclassmen. I’m the only senior in our DB corps right now. I feel they can get the job done. We train them well. They train with me. I teach them a lot that I know from the past. I’m very smart and I can teach them that stuff.”

Who are your dudes?

The first thing you need to know is that there’s a defensive lineman wearing number 63 who the team simply refers to as “Santa Claus.”

When I asked Perry why, he simply said “because he gets a lot of sacks.”

Perfect answer, no notes.

Santa Claus is definitely a dude on this May River team, but he’s far from the only one. The running back corps will likely play a much bigger role this season, led by senior Jaiden Jones, who did not carry the ball much in 2021. However, when players responsible for more than 90 percent of the team’s rushing yards graduate, some new guys are going to have to pick up that slack.

Offensive lineman Trevor Murdaugh says the team might give the running backs more carries now that Douglas is gone.

“I think it will be a little bit of both,” Murdaugh said. “Garvin was a power runner and we’re still going with that. But it will be a lot of running backs this year and we’ll be mixing it up a little bit.”

What’s up with your coach?

Rodney Summers has been May River’s coach ever since the program started in 2016 and he has quite a few accomplishments to show for it.

Summers has won two region titles with the Sharks and compiled an overall record of 35-26. He saved his best work for last year, where the Sharks ended the regular season part of their schedule ranked 7th in all of Class 4A, the highest end-of-season ranking they’ve ever received.

May River players are confident that Summers can get them to those heights again.

“He’s a great coach,” Murdaugh said. “Coach Summers and all those coaches focus on the little details and that’s what makes us different from other people. They’re definitely great coaches.”

When’s the big game?

How could it be anything other than the Beaufort game?

Last year, May River defeated Beaufort on the road, 24-21, coming back from a 14-0 deficit and sealing the win with a 47-yard touchdown run from Douglas. That win pretty much sealed a region championship for the Sharks.

This season’s May River-Beaufort game no longer has region title stakes since Beaufort moved into a different region. However, the Sharks made sure to schedule the Eagles anyways; they’re on the docket for Sept. 16 at home.

It’s really indescribable,” running back Jaiden Jones said. “You know it’s going to be a tough game going in, but it usually goes down to the wire every time. You’re just lasered in that whole week. You’re just ready for it to go to a fourth quarter or overtime.”