Photo by Bob Cragin
By Justin Jarrett | LowcoSports@gmail.com
Well, Week 1 (the #NoWeekZero revolution will not be televised, but it might be live-tweeted) of the high school football season is almost in the books.
We have the little matter of Bluffton’s opener against Screven County (Ga.) at Georgia Southern to deal with tonight, and we’re still waiting for our first look at Whale Branch and Hilton Head Island, but the other nine teams in the area have a game under their belts.
And we have a little more knowledge than we did 24 hours ago, so now is as good a time as any to share Five Things I Think I Know:
1. Zack Doe is a man among boys. Doe’s numbers were staggering – he rushed for 305 yards and four touchdowns on 27 carries to lead John Paul II to a 26-20 double-overtime win over Hilton Head Christian Academy (which was better than advertised, by the way) – and it might have been even more impressive in person than on paper. It’s rare to see a SCISA player who could easily start on most big public-school teams, but Doe fits the mold. Beast. Mode.
2. Beaufort High is tough, as usual. Teams often take on the personality of their coach, and that always seems to be the case with the Eagles. It looks like Mark Clifford has another hard-nosed bunch after rallying from a 10-0 deficit for a 14-10 win over Wando. If you like old-school, smashmouth football, get yourself to a Beaufort High game.
3. Thomas Heyward is going to have a nasty defense. Granted, Ridgeland-Hardeeville is probably going to struggle this season, but the Rebels held a Class 3A public school with a lot of talented athletes to two late touchdowns. THA coach Nic Shuford wanted more than a moral victory, I’m sure, but he has to be encouraged by the defensive performance, in particular.
4. The new field turf at JP2’s home stadium in Hardeeville is very nice. I’m a firm believer that natural grass is always the best option, but there are certain benefits to artificial turf, especially in the swampy Lowcountry, and the new surface at Richard Gray Sports Complex is top-notch. It was a great investment and will be a huge asset to the City of Hardeeville and athletics and recreation programs in Jasper County.
5. I’m a pretty quick study. I bit a little too hard on Battery Creek – though I still believe Walter Wilson will turn that program around in a hurry – but I’ll take 6-1 for my first Friday making high school football picks in six years. I’m counting on Bluffton to bring home the W tonight to cap off a rather successful week of picks. Think you can beat me? Email LowcoSports@gmail.com to join the fan pick ‘em contest, and we can go head to head.