The Boys Class 5A Preview

Editor's note: The remaining classification previews will be posted this week of Eye Opener. Girls 5A preview

Dorman, Hilton Head, Bishop England and St. Joseph's all have one thing in common. 

Each are looking to defend state championships in what proves to be an exciting upcoming season.

2018 state meet coverage

In Class 5A, Dorman is coming off downing state runner-up James Island. The Cavaliers compete in Region II (region rankings), which includes the likes of Riverside, Byrnes, Boiling Springs, Mauldin, Hillcrest, Gaffney and Spartanburg

Dorman coach Jeff Buys is optimistic that his team can put itself in a position to be in the running for a repeat.

"We returned six of our top seven from last year's state championship team, losing our no. 5 to graduation," he said. "We knew we'd have a strong team returning this year but also know that many teams in the state also returned the majority of their varsity. Our expectation we will compete in a similar state meet as last year with improved teams all around."

Rankings: 5A individual | 5A team (T.L. Hanna leads current team rankings)

One newcomer that Buys feels will give the Cavaliers a lift will be Dylan Lego. He did not run cross country last year but a 4:43 finish in the 1600-meter event during last track season raised eyebrows.

Individually in Class 5A, Byrnes senior TJ Thigpen is coming off an all-state performance after placing fourth last year. The Rebels also return Jonathan Roberts, Hayden Goode, Daniel Kitts and Christian Burnette, which has head coach Kevin Wyatt encouraged about his team's chances.

"We have had a great summer, and we are chomping at the bit to start racing," Wyatt said. "The boys team returns six varsity runners from a team that qualified for the state meet for the first time since 2016."

Another runner to keep a close eye on in Class 5A is Fort Dorchester's Dawson Wright. The senior placed fifth to earn all-state honors last year.