It’s official. For the fifth straight season, the Wayne Hills football team will open its regular season with an out-of-state contest.
This year, the Patriots will head to Columbia, South Carolina, to play Ridge View High School, on Aug. 30, in a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Hills began playing out-of-state teams in 2015, when the team visited Graham High, in North Carolina. A year later, the Patriots were in the Florida Everglades, to play Pahokee High and in 2017 it was off to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in Canton, Ohio, to face McKinley High.
Last year, Wayne Hills took its longest trip, when it traveled to Provo, Utah, to face Timpview, and now, in 2019, the destination is Columbia, South Carolina.
Wayne Hills coach Wayne Demikoff, here with senior Jaaron Hayek during the team’s recent championship ring ceremony, is excited about the team’s season opening game in 2019, in South Carolina. (Click on photo for larger image)
Wayne Hills head coach Wayne Demikoff was ecstatic with the opportunity to face Ridge View.
“Ridge View has an excellent program,” said Demikoff. “We’re really excited about the opportunity to play them. It will be quite an atmosphere, in what will assuredly be hot weather, in late August, with the chance to play a tremendous team. We’ve really enjoyed the chance to play out of state to open our season the past four years and this will be a great trip, as well.”
Columbia is the home of the University of South Carolina, and Hills is hopeful of practicing on the campus, similar to the team’s chances to practice at venues such as Penn State, the University of Miami, Kent State and last year, at BYU.
Ridge View has a proud athletic program, with success in a number of venues, including, track, basketball, football and lacrosse.
The complete 2019 schedule for Wayne Hills football. (Click on photo for larger image)
The Patriots will get a bye week after playing at Ridge View, and will then play arch rival Wayne Valley, on Sept. 14, at Valley. Hills will then visit Old Tappan, on Sept. 20, before its first home game, against Fair Lawn, on Sept. 27. The remainder of the schedule features home games against West Milford (Oct. 4), Passaic Tech (Oct. 25) and the regular season finale, against Indian Hills, on Nov. 1.
The other road games this fall are at Passaic Valley, on Oct. 12 and Ramapo, on Oct. 18.
Wayne Hills hopes to be waving another flag at MetLife Stadium in early December. (Click on photo for larger image)
Because of the early start to the regular season, Hills will open its pre-season scrimmage slate in Pennsylvania, taking on Central Bucks High School South, in Warrington, Pa., on Aug. 17. The team’s other scrimmages will be at Phillipsburg and then the game scrimmage on the famed roof at Union City High School.
Wayne Hills had a tremendous season in 2018, winning the program’s 10th state sectional championship and climaxing an 11-2 season with a 35-21 win over Phillipsburg in the North Group 4 Rothman Bowl game, on Nov. 30, at MetLife Stadium.
“We’re already working hard to winning an 11th state championship this coming season,” said Demikoff. “We’ll lose some real talented kids to graduation, but what we do is here look ahead and continue building a championship atmosphere.”
Demikoff also extended his thanks to the Wayne Hills administration.
“We can’t thank them enough for the opportunity to play this game,” said Demikoff. “The administration at Wayne Hills and the Board of Education were great. The entire program is very appreciative.”