The Patriot football team is back to work.
Fort Dorchester opened practice for its 2014 campaign Friday. On Thursday the Patriots will put on pads for the first time and the next day the team will have its first preseason scrimmage.
Fort Dorchester has to replace a lot of skill players it lost to graduation, but has a lot of experience elsewhere. The main holes the team has to fill are the ones left by the graduation of two starting running backs and several receivers.
However, the Fort does returning its starting quarterback and several offensive linemen.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots have to replace some linebackers, but have veteran players up front and in the secondary.
The Fort special teams lost their punter and some kick returners, but return their starting place kicker.
Two of the Fortís three preseason scrimmages will be played out of town, but Patriot fans will have one prime opportunity to check the team out prior to the teamís opener.
The Patriots travel to Orangeburg Friday for a 10 a.m. scrimmage against Camden. On Aug. 12, the Fort travels to Lakewood for a 6 p.m. scrimmage.
At 7 p.m. Aug. 15 the Patriots will host James Island for a scrimmage.
The Patriots open their regular season Aug. 22 with a game at South Florence. The Fortís home opener is scheduled for 7:30 Aug. 29 when the Patriots will host Carolina Forest.