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Everything finishes up at Kelly Memorial

It all comes to a conclusion Friday evening at The Coop aka Kelly Memorial Stadium. There will be a preview of the 2014 Gamecock football team.  
Good, bad, or otherwise, the anticipation is already there. Make no mistake about it. Ron Duncan’s debut season in 2012 raised expectations around here.  
This time a year ago there was the anticipation of a new spread offense. Folks wanted to get to the spring game to see the thing in practice. Probably won’t be a lot of that to watch tomorrow night. Duncan says the team will be getting back to “Screven County football.” Read into that whatever you wish.
How are things progressing in other spring sports? At least the ones we participate in.  
Tennis is done. The Westminster School won both the boys and the girls state titles. In each case, they beat another private school from their Region 6AA. It was Greater Atlanta Christian in the boys and Wesleyan in the girls. Both Thomasville teams were put out by both Westminster teams. We oh-so-well know the feeling don’t we?
Soccer you ask? Of course, we are interested only in the girls’ results. The final four matches were scheduled for Wednesday. All four teams (Westminster, The Lovett School, Greater Atlanta Christian, and The Wesleyan School) are from Region 6AA. Three of the four teams from 3AA won a first round game (Westside, Dublin, and East Laurens). East Laurens made it to the Elite Eight with a surprising 3-2 win over Vidalia, but they were trampled by GAC 10-0 at that point.
Finally there is baseball. The quarterfinals were two days ago. Of the eight teams remaining on Tuesday, we beat two of them -- Westside and Cook County. Well and good isn’t it? On another note -- four of the final eight teams are from Region 6AA. Guess who? If you said Westminster, Lovett, Greater Atlanta Christian, and Wesleyan you are correct. But you get no prize.
On Tuesday, Westminster crushed Westside in two straight and Benedictine swept Lovett. Cook and Wesleyan, and Berrien and GAC split. Possible that there could be three 6AA schools left.
This stuff with 6AA is what Class A no longer has to contend with. However, is the way the GHSA decided to do with the privates and the publics separated “messed up?” Yes, but that was the GHSA’s way of punishing the public schools for being desirous of competing on a level playing surface. In many, many sports, the private school domination in Class AA should be just as alarming as what was happening in Class A.
Here are the facts about Class AA: Among team sports in only softball and wrestling duals did a 6AA school not advance to the championship. In boys and girls tennis, boys and girls soccer, and volleyball both participants in the title tilt were/will be from 6AA. In football and boys basketball, the champion was from there. In girls basketball, the runner up was from there. The verdict is out on baseball -- I’ll bet the champion comes from there, and maybe the runner-up.
Throw in everything else and, save for cheerleading, those same schools were the best in the state.  
In boys and girls cross country, boys and girls lacrosse, gymnastics, swimming (our own 3AA Davidson Fine Arts was third), boys and girls golf, and boys and girls track, one of those schools was the best or the second best in the state.
Interesting thought -- The baseball team was scheduled to play Cook County at Adel on Friday, May 2. That doubleheader was rained out, called early on that Friday morning. Of course, that cancellation pushed everything back so that the DH was on Saturday and the “if” game was on Monday. Cook used the same starting pitcher in games one and three and he was better in game three. Without the rainout, the games would have been on back-to-back days -- might have been tougher on that pitcher.
In another 3AA vs. 1AA contest Dublin had to go to Nashville for a doubleheader with Berrien County on Friday, May 2. Their third game was the following day.
What’s the point? Adel and Nashville are 12.3 to 13 miles apart depending on which road you take. They played on Friday and Saturday at Berrien, but not at Cook. How much of a difference did that make for SCHS? Maybe a lot or maybe a little.
Oh well -- here I go again -- bases loaded and no one out in the sixth and seventh inning and we cannot score.
See you tomorrow night at the Stadium.

Burton Kemp Jr. is a contributing writer to the Sylvania Telephone.