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Duncan’s Gamecocks make a return to the Patriots’ Battlefield

Friday night Ron Duncan’s Screven County football Gamecocks return to Augusta and Westside High School’s football stadium The Battlefield for the first time since Oct. 18, 2013. On that night nearly two years ago, a seeming crime was committed in the name of football by our Roosters.
The crime you ask? Impersonating a football team I say.
Seldom had a Gamecock varsity been so lethargic. Considering how closely removed the 2010 and 2011 seasons were, that is a pretty large statement. Luckily no primary players who participated in the alleged crime are still around. Every starter on that night was either a senior or a junior; they are all gone. Of course not all who participated were partners in the crime.
Here’s the scenario -- Westside was 4-3, 1-2 in 3AA, while SCHS was 3-3 and 1-1. The game was crucial to maintaining hope of a home playoff game for both teams. The result was a 23-6 victory for Westside that was not as close as the score would indicate. That was true because Westside was only good enough to win by that margin. The numbers showed the Pats with a yardage advantage of 409-176; a first down advantage of 21-9; most telling, a 33:02 to 14:58 time of possession advantage.
But the Rooster effort was ……..
At the time, Duncan said it was maybe the worst a team of his had ever played.
There were extenuating circumstances that contributed to the crime. Four members of the team had been booted that very morning for violating team, school, and state rules. Anytime something like that happens youngsters are going to be moved in various ways, not always positive.
As much as anything, there was also a cancer at work inside the team. On the field and on the sidelines, it erupted that night. Those malignancies were successfully removed. Things got better, but the damage was done for 2013. A year ago there was evidence of a complete recovery.
Last season the Gamecocks defeated a very good Westside team 28-12.
Friday night the Red and White will return to the scene of the crime and make amends for their athletic sins. The Dirty Birds will go to 2-0 and the Patriots will fall to 1-2.
On a really, really good note, the Screven County High School athletic department was awarded the GHSA Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Award for Region 3AA. According to a recent GHSA press release, “The award honors schools that demonstrated exemplary sportsmanship during the 2014-15 school year.”
Sponsored by Georgia EMCs, this marks the second consecutive year SCHS has claimed the award.
It has taken the Region 3AA schedule to help the Lady Gamecock softball team continue to recover from a slow start. Tuesday night the team downed Dublin 14-4 for their fifth consecutive victory overall and their second straight win to open the region schedule. This Sept. 3 afternoon they host Swainsboro in another 3AA clash- they should go to 3-0 by nightfall.
Very interesting football games that 3AA participate in last week.
East Laurens hung on to defeat Taylor County 35-34; Swainsboro came back to beat ECI 29-28; and Jeffco suffered a late come-from-ahead loss to Burke County 24-22.
The rest saw Dublin manhandle Johnson County 31-0; Harlem get manhandled by Grovetown 42-7; and Metter beat Claxton 20-0. Other futures on the schedule saw Westside outlast ARC 27-20; Windsor Forest fall to Beach 39-6; and Wade Hampton, S.C., lose to powerhouse Allendale-Fairfax, S.C. 22-8.
If you weren’t looking, St. John’s beat AAA Stall 54-8 on Friday night. With Wade Hampton still on the schedule, don’t want to say too much about football across the Savannah River.
This week East Laurens hosts Twiggs; Swainsboro is at Valdosta; and ECI is at Metter.
Jeffco, Dublin and Harlem are open. Windsor Forest and Savannah High play tonight (might find that on TV) and Estill, S.C., is at Wade Hampton, S.C.
For those unable to make the trip to Westside Friday evening, all is planned for the game this week to be broadcast as usual. I have been working very hard with all involved to make that happen. However, if you tune in to ESPN 106.5 Friday after 7 p.m. and nothing relative to SCHS football is on the air, it means I could not get online to connect with the station.
But no matter what, know we will continue to monitor the situation.

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