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The Gridiron Gamecocks ‘survive’ season opener

The worry -- which I don’t think was ever really on anyone’s mind -- never materialized.
From the outset, the red-hot Gamecocks were never threatened last Friday in their season opening win over the visiting St. John’s Islanders. The final score of 57-6 was not nearly what it could have been. In fact the 65-year-old team record of 72 points in a game could easily have been surpassed. That was certainly no reason to allow that.
What is on everyone’s mind after last week was a simple question -- Are we that good or are they that bad. Asked that simple question, Ron Duncan’s simple answer was “They had some athletes, but were just a little outmanned.”
Watch the game film and you will see that we are not yet that good. On that film there are many, many mistakes that against a better team will be devastating.
“We played very sloppy,” Duncan also said. “We had turnovers (three fumbles), blown assignments, and too many penalties (11-for-100).”
Something is quite true though, we are 1-0 and that is the best that we can be at this point. This week is another week to get ready before we head to Augusta to face the AAA Westside Patriots on the 4th of September.
Stat: Duncan is 4-0 in opening games. He is 2-1 in game two. Greg Manior was 0-2 in both opening and second games. Pat Collins was 0-4 in openers and 2-2 in game two. Mark Daniel was 5-2 in openers and 3-4 the second week.
Let’s talk stats some more, nothing statistically significant in those numbers. I will say it again next week. We will be 2-0 when the dust at the Battlefield in Augusta settles.
Everyone except East Laurens from Region 3AA played last week in what was once considered the week for scrimmages and not regular-season matchups. This week our Gamecocks are the lone team not to play.
If you missed it, Dublin beat Laney 3-0 and Metter beat Bryan County 16-0, while Harlem lost to Greenbrier 10-3; Swainsboro lost to Vidalia 21-0; and Jeffco lost to Thomson 55-22. The latter represents the only eye raiser in the group.
This week Dublin hosts Johnson County; Metter hosts Claxton; Harlem hosts Grovetown; Swainsboro hosts ECI; Jeffco is at Burke County; and East Laurens is at Taylor County. Of our other opponents, Westside lost to Evans 49-7 and Wade Hampton, S.C., beat Bethune-Bowman, S.C. 47-0. Westside hooks up with ARC this week.
If you did not follow the GHSA Executive Committee meeting of Aug. 17, it voted 47-10 to accept the Reclassification Committee’s recommendation for a revamp determining classification.
In a nutshell, Class A will remain the same. The largest 44 schools in the state (pretty much those with better than 2,000 students) will be placed in a class unto themselves. If you fit the description, you must play there. That could affect Effingham County and Richmond Hill as they qualify for the largest classification now, but have obtained “geographic isolation” status and have been allowed to play down a class. It is possible that they may not make to the super 44.
The big deal is the rest of the pack.
I will try not to make this complicated. In a nutshell, any of the rest that has more than 3 percent of its student body from outside its county must move up a classification. Obviously, this primarily affects private and city schools.
Remember that Greater Atlanta boasted on its website last school year that they had students from 13 counties. Twelve of those counties are other than home-based Gwinnett. Even two per those other 12 will move it up. I just don’t see how any private school in AA can stay in AA.
This will most certainly affect Vidalia, maybe even Metter.
Oh, yeah, all in A, both public and private, will remain in A if they so choose. There is an appellate system and schools may still play up, even into the big 44.
School FTE counts are not due for a few weeks. At that time, the numbers will be crunched and every school will be placed in a classification.
The real “fun” will then begin.
After getting away from playing top 10 teams from AAAAA, AAAA, and AA, the Lady Gamecock softball team got back to its normal winning ways.
They play their first region game this Aug. 27 afternoon when Jefferson County comes to town. They will also pick up their first region win today.

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