If you’re new around here, first of all, welcome! I’m the manic leader of a merry band of sports journalists and future sports media superstars determined to provide this underserved media market with the best dang LOCAL sports content we can muster and celebrate the successes of our Lowco community’s teams and athletes. That’s our mission, and it has been from the beginning.
We try to go beyond the scores and stats and provide some context and flair in our video podcasts, game coverage, and postgame coverage, and we strive to focus on the people and personalities who rep the Lowco through competitive athletics. With that said, we always try to accentuate the positive and keep the glass half-full. After all, these are teenage kids we’re covering, and anything from a poorly-placed zit to a failed pop quiz can derail their whole world — and if someone breaks up with someone, oh brother. We’ll keep you informed on what’s happening on the field, and that will sometimes mean pointing out the negative, but it will never be personal. These kids and coaches are giving it their all, with rare exceptions, and we’re not here to pile on when they’re down.
So if my glasses look a little rose-tinted to you at this point in the season, just let it ride. There’s enough negativity in the world, and we’ll expect the best until we see otherwise. Let’s do this thing. Here are …
5 THINGS I THINK I KNOW AFTER WEEK ZEEE-RUH
- THA is still the team to beat in SCISA 1A.
Let’s face it, we weren’t totally sure this time around. The Rebels lost *so much* and QB Dietrich Shuford was coming off a knee ligament reconstruction that isn’t supposed to be so easy to bounce back from. Well, Shuford and his bionic knee went bananas in the opener, passing for 445 yards and 7 TDs and rushing for 112 and a TD, and the guy who stepped in for him at QB last season, Tyshon Mansell, hauled in seven of those passes for 282 yards and 6 TDs in a wild 56-48 win over Trinity Collegiate, the runner-up in SCISA 3A a year ago. Oh my. Plus they have Anthony Fripp, Tony O’Banner, Cutter Williams, and more weapons you’ll get to know soon enough. No one in SCISA 1A can defend that.
- Colleton Prep and Beaufort Academy are going to duke it out for the region title.
Maybe you had the Eagles pegged to compete for the title in the reconfigured SCISA Region I-2A, but you probably weren’t counting on the Warhawks being in the mix. That all changed Friday night, when BA and CPA posted two of the most head-turning victories of Week 0. BA balanced its powerful ground game with an efficient passing game and easily outpaced Pinewood Prep in a 41-20 road win, and CPA ran all over Florence Christian in a thoroughly impressive 26-8 home win. The Eagles and Warhawks meet Week 9 on the Isle of Ladies, and the top seed in the playoffs very likely will be on the line.
- The private vs. public situation is a little different in Georgia.
Around here, it is generally accepted that the larger public schools would pretty easily handle most of the private schools on a football field, buoyed by deeper rosters providing more and more chiseled players. That’s not a blanket statement, of course — Thomas Heyward waxed Class 3A Battery Creek last season and nearly knocked off Class 4A Bluffton — and we unfortunately don’t often get a chance to compare apples to apples over here. But they do in Savannah, and the private schools have a decided leg up. Savannah public schools went 1-6 against their private counterparts in Week 0, and they went 2-0 against the Lowco. Bethesda Academy edged Hilton Head Prep 8-7 in a defensive struggle, and Savannah Christian flexed its muscle in a 54-7 win over a Hilton Head Christian Academy team that hadn’t lost since 2019, albeit an Eagles team in something of a rebuilding phase after losing the heart and soul (and then some) of that dominant roster. It’s interesting to see the juxtaposition.
- Hayden Gregory and his new staff have revived Bluffton football.
Our first reaction to Gregory’s hire to lead the Bobcats was generally positive, but it did raise some eyebrows when Bluffton tapped a first-time head coach when there were certainly candidates with more experience. What we liked was the energy and enthusiasm Gregory brought to the role, something that has been sorely lacking in The Den the past couple of seasons. A new perspective and philosophy have lit a fire under the Bobcats, who were far from perfect Friday night but still rolled up a 42-13 win over Beach, and offensive coordinator Jared Carkuff is having fun with a bevy of weapons to play with. It gets tougher next week at Jenkins, but Gregory and his staff have the Bluffton faithful — and players — believing again, and that’s half the battle.
- Wade Hampton has one of the best high school football environments in the state.
Since I covered my first game there back in 2008 (the Red Devils smacked a pretty promising Bluffton team 49-16) I have been enamored with the Friday night atmosphere at Wade Hampton, and I can assure you 14 years later that it hasn’t dropped off a bit, other than the absence of the vendor who used to sell elephant ears on the home sideline, but I digress. The lightning sent me scrambling westward in search of a game Friday night, and Hampton is still one of the coolest places to watch one and second-year head coach Rob Hanna has himself a squad. Chris Terry is not Jamian Risher (who is, other than his doppelganger Jaylen Sneed) but he can hurt defenses with his arms and legs and will make wise decisions, and he has plenty of weapons to help him out. Hoping it doesn’t take me 14 more years to get back to Varnville for another game.
That’s a wrap on Week Zeee-ruh. Time to start prepping for Week 1. Until kickoff, Go Lowco.
By Justin Jarrett / LowcoSports.com