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An opportunity for redemption against Westside

Ron Duncan has had this game marked on his calendar since he finished the schedule with the Westside Patriots on it.  
No, Westside has done nothing to the Gamecock Nation or our sports program to create ire between the programs. No this is a burning from within.
A year ago the Gamecocks headed to Augusta at 3-3, 1-1 in 3AA. Two weeks before had been their most impressive performance of the season in a 35-13 thumping of 4-0 Harlem. A loss to eventual region champion Laney was on their record as well.  
With a win over Westside there was a chance for this game to set up the Dublin game, a contest at Kelly Memorial Stadium three weeks away, as the battle for a home field first round state playoff spot.
SCHS had enjoyed a lot of recent success against the Patriots including five consecutive wins dating back to 1994. What transpired that Oct. 18 day was nothing short of nightmarish.
Facing a team they could just as easily have beaten, the Roosters fell 23-6 in what was easily one of the worst efforts by an SCHS team in history. Duncan says it may be the worst effort ever by a team he coached. Anyone who watched or listened to me on the radio knows how it went.
It was a bad day from the start as four players, each of who saw significant playing time in the big win over Harlem, were dismissed from the team that very morning for violating school/team rules. Other things were going on within the team as well. One coach did not survive the weekend as a part of the team either. More players did not survive the next two weeks. It was a symptom of an entire season.
This is certainly a new season.
“Wanting” someone does not translate into a victory.  
There are no predictions for that here. There is nothing here that can possibly be used as locker room fodder -- although if asked, I say we will win.  
This is about a desire for a win. What I will guarantee is that the Screven County High School Gamecocks will hit the field for the opening kickoff ready to play. Whatever the outcome, there will be no shortage of effort on behalf of the team wearing the Red and White as it takes on Westside this year.
By the way, nothing I say here is not already common knowledge.
Also by the way, despite a 0-1-1 record, Westside is a good looking team strewn with veterans everywhere on the field.    
Everything at SCHS, sports-wise, will be in full swing by the end of this weekend.  
Softball is fighting for a home field spot in the state playoffs and is at Burke County this Sept. 4 afternoon. Cross country is at Southeast Bulloch this afternoon. The cheerleaders start their defense of their Region 3AA crown on Saturday with their own competition in Statesboro Saturday.
In games across 3AA last week, Metter ran to 2-0 with a 22-6 win over Claxton. Unfortunately, the Tigers will taste defeat this week in Twin City against ECI.
Swainsboro, who has now been outscored 91-27, fell to ECI 49-21.  This bunch of Tigers will go to 0-3 as they travel to Valdosta to face the mighty Wildcats.  
East Laurens tied Taylor County 27-27 and will go to Jeffersonville and pick up their first win of the season over Twiggs County.
Three region opponents are open this week with Harlem coming off a 37-0 loss to Grovetown. The Dogs have been outscored 71-0 in their first two games, both against much larger competition.  
Jeffco fell to 0-2 with a 20-7 loss to Burke County. Likewise the Warriors have lined up against larger competition.  
Dublin improved to 1-1 with a resounding 41-13 win over Johnson County.
From the “if you want to know” category, St. John’s rebounded from its loss to our Gamecocks with a 34-8 win over the Stall High School (from Charleston, S.C.) Warriors.
Our next week’s opponent, the Wade Hampton (S.C.) Red Devils, fell to Allendale-Fairfax 36-10 after leading at the half 10-8. Hampton opened their season with a 37-0 win over Bethune-Bowman. If you want to try to find anything about these folks, be sure you are not looking at info. on Wade Hampton High School from Greenville, S.C. That is a much larger school than the one from Hampton, S.C.
 
Burton Kemp Jr. is a contributing writer for the Sylvania Telephone.