A little slow getting out of the blocks this Thanksgiving week after what was an epic weekend of high school football for area teams.
May River made a little history by advancing to its first Class 3A Lower State title game on Friday, and Thomas Heyward claimed a second consecutive SCISA 1A title Saturday, before Hilton Head Christian Academy finished the day with an incredible performance in a 55-49 overtime loss to Trinity-Byrnes in the SCISA 2A title game.
Then there was the little matter of recording a new podcast for y’all, which should drop late Monday or early Tuesday. You’ll want to check it out.
We had so much coverage of those championship games that it might be difficult to come up with anything I think I know that I haven’t already told y’all, but I’ll give it my best effort.
Here are Five Things I Think I Know presented by Coligny:
• Thomas Heyward’s coaching staff did one heck of a job this week.
No one all season even so much as thought about slowing down Bethesda Academy. If you were going to beat the Blazers, you’d have to outscore them. Well, the Rebels found a way. They held a team that entered the game averaging 48.9 points to SIX points — and that one touchdown was a gift, thanks to a THA fumble deep in its own territory — and 91 total yards in an utterly dominant effort. The Blazers were rattled all afternoon by their newfound inability to move the ball. Kudos to the THA coaching staff for the gameplan, and to the players for executing.
• HHCA has a bunch of “junkyard dogs.”
As a man of a certain age who had an autographed photograph of the professional wrestler of the same name during his childhood — and as an undersized fellow with a good bit of spunk — I appreciate the terminology HHCA coach Ron Peduzzi chose to characterize his players throughout the playoffs. The Eagles were smaller and slower than most of their opponents, especially in the postseason, but their fight was unmatched. The resilience they showed after falling behind early Saturday was remarkable — they probably should have been down by four or five touchdowns at halftime, yet they had a chance to win it at the end. An incredible effort.
• ‘The Tank’ needs to turn up Friday night.
With only one team left standing in the Lowcountry, this is your last chance to bask in the glow of the Friday Night Lights in 2019, so I expect to see a big crowd on hand at May River when the Sharks host Dillon for the Class 3A Lower State championship. The holiday might hamper the crowd size somewhat, but hopefully fans from throughout the area will come together and turn out to pull for the Sharks. As you’ll hear on this week’s podcast, it’s shaping up to be a great matchup, and May River will need all the home-field advantage it can get to earn a trip to Williams-Brice on Dec. 7.
• Anyone who calls it the ‘Slowcountry’ never met our cross country teams.
By any measure of rational expectation, the Lowcountry should not produce great cross country runners. We don’t have any hills to train on. Yet here we are, once again celebrating multiple state championships on the cross country course after May River’s boys captured their first Class 3A crown, Hilton Head High’s girls won their sixth state title, and Beaufort High put five runners (three boys, two girls) on the all-state team. That’s a great day for Beaufort County runners.
• People are still sleeping on the Lowco.
When I first arrived here as a young-ish sports writer in 2005, the consensus was that the Lowcountry didn’t measure up to the rest of the state when it came to producing athletic talent. And while that was (and, to a large degree, still is) the case in the public school football and basketball ranks, it’s a short-sighted assessment. Lowco teams have racked up SCISA state championships in those sports for years — a sign that our public school teams might be stronger if they didn’t have such quality competition for talent — and our public schools consistently clean up in less visible sports. At least one Beaufort County team won a state championship in every sport this fall — football, volleyball, tennis, golf, and cross country — and our youth and middle school programs are improving all the time, which will help feed the pipeline to the high schools. Sleep on the Lowco at your own risk.
And one bonus thing I know I know this Thanksgiving week:
• I’m thankful for y’all.
It’s been a grind getting this thing off the ground, but LowcoSports.com hit a quarter million page views for the second straight year, and that’s an incredibly rewarding feeling. Many thanks to the sponsors who have helped keep it going for the past 2 1/2 years, and most of all to those of you who read it. Thanks for being a part of it. #GoLowco!