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Football is here! Can SCHS Fall sports repeat their success?

Baring a weather repeat from a year ago, at 8 p.m. this Saturday night the Screven County High School Gamecock football team of Ron Duncan will begin its regular season. 

The excitement has been building since the day after Thanksgiving. Now the time is here. 

I am ready. Are you?

I am ready to hit the airwaves, but Saturday you need to be in Paulson Stadium in person. This should be a great game. It was last year. Beyond the game is the atmosphere of playing at Paulson Stadium. Yes, this year and last year we play in the big Augusta stadiums, but this one seats 25,000 and features all the amenities of a college venue.

For most of our kids, this may be the most pageanted game they ever play in. We can change that point by playing in Mercedes Benz Stadium on Dec. 9 at 1 p.m.

Anyway, this is a really big deal for our players, our school, and our fans. Last year the Erk Russell Classic was new to folks and few knew what to expect. Now we know -- it is awesome. Take advantage of it.

We aren’t the only ones who think this SCHS team could be special. Three early polls have come out. ESPNCoastal.com (whatever that is) has SCHS third in South Georgia; GPB has us fifth statewide; and Calpreps.com has us ninth statewide (computer based on schedule among other things). You have to go back to 2003 when, as defending state champions, we debuted at No. 1. 

Ron Duncan said it earlier; there is a bulls-eye on the back of every Gamecock jersey. 

Many of the teams we play will really get up for us and the chance to pull an upset. You don’t think that AAAAA Statesboro, with more boys than we have students, will treat their game with little ole Screven County like it is something special. Of course, we do.

There is not a home game until Sept. 1. That is over two weeks away.

To other things –

A year ago the four SCHS sports that compete between August and November, claimed three region titles and a region runner-up. It is noteworthy that the region runners-up, softball, finished in that position behind the eventual state champion. I call that a banner season for Screven County High School.

Can this year be as good? Absolutely! I see no reason that our athletes clad in the Red and White (with some Black and Gray thrown in in some spots) can’t achieve that success. 

Cheerleading is almost a given.

Cross country is shooting for six in a row. In 2016, seven of the region’s top 10 runners wore Red and White. Five of those return. Football is going to come down to Nov. 3 when Jefferson County comes here. The winner of that contest again will be the region champion. 

Last year softball in 4AA was the Big Two (Harlem and SCHS) and everyone else. Same this year. The regular season matchup is on Sept. 16. The teams should also meet in a region championship doubleheader on Oct. 5 at the winner of the Sept. 16 game.

Get your All Sports Booster Club tickets. If you don’t have them, get them at the Booster Club booth in front of PoJos Friday, Aug. 18, afternoon 3-6. You can also get a ticket to Saturday night’s Erk Russell Classic at Paulson Stadium. How many times have I said it -- we get $7 of every $10 from the presale tickets. None of the $15 at the gate goes to SCHS. 

In the “I have to throw it out there category” -- for better than a week the Georgia High School Football Daily published its Preseason All-State Teams for each classification. CJ Wright and Tyquan Johnson were both on the Class AA list. At the same time, the publication was throwing out what it considers to be the best prospects at each position. This list threw all classifications together. 

On Thursday, the position category was the Top Ten players who play multiple positions and “are dominant in multiple aspects of the game.” CJ made the list. I thought the words of the GHSFD say it best, “There is probably no better all-around athlete in the state than Wright, a Georgia Southern commit and reigning Region 4-AA player of the year. At fullback, he rushed for 1,043 yards and scored 22 touchdowns. At defensive tackle, where he was recognized as first-team all-state, he had 58 tackles, nine for losses. In track and field, he was the Class AA champion in the discus and shot put. In wrestling, he was the AA runner-up in the heavyweight division.”

How is that for leaving your mark?

See you at Paulson Stadium Saturday night.  By the way, the next home softball game is Tuesday.