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Hopefully things will now return to normal
As I followed scores on various websites Friday night, I kept finding that word – canceled -- when I came to Screven County vs. Statesboro.
Every time I saw that word I kept wondering why we were not playing, or why we did not at least play on the previous night. We even offered to play on Thursday.
From across the river, apparently it was Friday night or not at all unless you were Southeast Bulloch.
With Bulloch County schools out on Friday due to impending Irma, the Jackets played their home game on Thursday night. Effingham County and South Effingham played their game on Thursday night. Portal was not allowed to play its game on Friday night either. I’ll bet Jenkins County was perfectly willing to play Thursday night as well.
Still comes back to, why did we not play?
Bulloch Academy, though under a completely different set of bosses, played on Friday night. But SCHS and SHS, who are 30 minutes apart, and PHS and JCHS could not. The storm was never going to hit before Sunday night.
In the end, it was said that “it came down to what was best for all of the kids and their families.” People died during Irma and it was extremely serious. I do not want to downplay anyone’s safety for the sake of Gamecock football -- they are apples and oranges. However, no one was in danger on Thursday night.
We’ll never know how our high-octane offense, averaging 507 yards per game (330 of that rushing) would have done against a porous Devil defense allowing 384 yards per game (307 of that rushing).
We’ll never know if we could have hung their 16th consecutive loss on them.
Anyway, everyone else in 4AA who had a game scheduled got to play on Friday night. Of course, this week we start playing for real.
With Richmond County having been out of school through Wednesday the scheduled game for this week presented problems as well. Butler had all sorts of ideas about when the game should be played – we, despite those ideas, are playing Friday night, Sept. 15.
For this first week, there are some good games in the battle for the third and fourth place playoffs spots. I, along with seemingly everyone else, am penciling in SCHS and Jeffco for numbers one and two. As for the two of us, Butler (1-2 and coming off a 21-12 loss to 3AAAA Hephzibah) is at Kelly Memorial Stadium, while Jefferson County (3-0 and coming off a very tough 43-32 win over 7A Washington-Wilkes) is hosting Laney (0-3 and open to heal some wounds).
Laney had the same record a year ago but I was still convinced that they were going to be the third place team. I am not so sure about that this year.
In the battles for the other playoff spots, Harlem (2-1 and coming off a tough 34-7 loss to 3AAAAAA Greenbrier) hosts Glenn Hills (2-1 and coming off a 49-6 loss to 3AAAAAA Evans). The winner here has a great shot at the state playoffs. Josey (1-2 and coming off a 38-0 loss to 3AAAA Richmond Academy) hosts Westside (0-3 after a 26-20 loss to 3AAAA Cross Creek).
The Friday night cancellation put a couple of career records by current players on hold. With his next catch, Tyquan Johnson will eclipse Anthony Lonon’s career record of 72 catches, while 136 passing yards will give Armani Bunbury the career yardage record over Aikeem Mingle’s (a four-year starter) 2,759.
Region 4AA softball now has two big games on Tuesday.
SCHS will be at Harlem for the first and second spots and Jefferson County will be at Westside for third and fourth.
It is a fact that the playoffs begin on Sept. 27 and it is a fact that SCHS will be hosting either Jefferson County or Westside in a doubleheader on that day. The Lady Gamecocks defeated both 15-0.
As for the status of the cancelled softball game with region foe Glenn Hills, there are only questions. To go ahead and pick up a forfeit is preferable to playing this actual game.
With all sports in 2017-2018, Region 4AA plays with Region 3AA in the opening round of the state playoffs. In 4AA, the four softball teams that play on Sept. 27 will each make the state playoffs.
Our Lady Gamecocks are going to finish one or two. The three and four possibilities for us to host in the first round of the state are East Laurens (probably third) or Washington County (probably fourth). Dodge County and Bleckley County are going to go one and two.
How about the Georgia Southern Eagles football team?
Has any coach in history made a joke of a quality program in such a short time? A loss to FCS New Hampshire? It does not matter that New Hampshire is a quality FCS program, which they are.
What matters is that just three years ago the Eagles were Sun Belt champs and two years ago a bowl winner.
Where has all of that gone so quickly?