For the fifth straight year, the Wayne Hills High football team will open the season against an out-of-state opponent. This time, the Patriots will fly to Columbia, South Carolina and face Ridge Rive High, on Aug. 30, at 7:30 p.m.
Hills is 1-3 in its first four games. The team defeated Graham High, of North Carolina, in 2015, 53-13. The following year, the Patriots played well, in the Florida Everglades, but came up short against an eventual 14-0 team, Pahokee High, 34-23. Ironically, Hills would not lose for the rest of the ’16 season and at the conclusion of the year, the Patriots were awarded a forfeit win against Pahokee after it was discovered the Florida-based school had used an illegible player.
In 2017, the results were one-sided as Canton-McKinley High blanked Hills, 31-0, at the legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame stadium, in Canton, Ohio.
Last year, the Patriots faced perhaps the strongest opponent, to date, in Timpview High of Provo, Utah. Hills played well, but lost, 31-28. Similar to 2016, the game was actually a springboard to an excellent season, as the Patriots won a 10th state sectional championship, then added a first-ever North Group 4 Rothman Bowl game title, over Phillipsburg, to cap an 11-2 season.
And now, on Aug. 30, Wayne Hills takes on a strong Ridge View High team. According to head coach Wayne Demikoff, Ridge View has an outstanding defense and are very big and physical on the line.
There’s been plenty of good memories on these trips to different states, including practicing and visiting some legendary college fields, including the University of North Carolina, Duke University, Elon University, the University of Miami, the University of Utah, Brigham Young University and Youngstown State.
Here are some photos of previous years, along with this year’s successful departure. Hills will practice on Aug. 29, in South Carolina, then play a JV game, On Aug. 30, the team will have a walk-through, then play the varsity game. The Patriots fly home on Aug. 31.