Tidbits - September 27 2018

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

SURREAL

  After 9-11, the most overused word in the English language was “surreal.”
  I almost got tired of hearing it over and over, but when I see photos and news footage of the flooding in one of my favorite parts of the state, the word “surreal” immediately comes to my mind.
  It’s a like a dream, or better still, a nightmare.
  My family has been vacationing in the Cherry Grove section of the Grand Strand for over 50 years. If I wanted to drive to Cherry Grove today, taking my normal route, I couldn’t get there. Parts of the roads I take are underwater.
  At the beginning of the week, the only way to get into Horry County was by U.S. 378.
  My normal way to Cherry Grove is through Marion and Mullins. Sometimes I drive through Nichols to get on Hwy. 9 and sometimes, I turn onto 917 in Mullins.
  A couple of years ago, I drove through Nichols to see the flood damage. Now, the entire town is underwater again.
  One of the most beautiful photographs I have seen is of the United Methodist Church in Nichols. At first glance it looks like the glistening white church is rising up out of the water, but then you realize the historic old building is flooded. It is beauty out of tragedy. You know, however, the church will “rise again.”
  On 917, between Mullins and Finklea, when you cross the black waters of the Little Pee Dee, there is a house just across the bridge. The lawn is always meticulously kept, and filled with all sorts of yard ornaments.
  I always look forward to seeing the house. I have a terrible feeling the house is underwater now.
  Youth from St. Paul and Emory attend a week of Salkehatchie  each year, repairing homes, and stay at Trinity UMC in Conway. That church is also flooded. Maybe, the Salkehatchie project next year will be restoring the church that graciously opened its doors to so many youth from across the state.
  Like you all, I feel for all the people in the flooded areas of our state. We all know some affected.
  The road to recovery will be long, and the long roads I drive will recover, as well.
  God bless our state!

BRAVES’ NEW WORLD

  There is one thing for certain. No one predicted the Atlanta Braves would win their division this year.
  Why would they? The last two seasons the Braves finished with 72-90 and 68-93 records. How so you go from those records to winning the NL East?
  I was skeptical several years ago, when the Braves started unloading established players in exchange for quality minor leaguers.
  This year, we see that has paid off. When a 20-year-old, Ronald Acuna, Jr., hits 26 home runs, and 21-year-old Ozzie Albies hits 23, you can see the future is bright.
  I don’t see the Braves winning the World Series, because the bullpen stinks, but if the management can take care of  that problem in the off-season, look out!

FOOTBALL WEEK

  I was not surprised Saluda lost to Southside Christian Friday.
  This was an excellent team that gave Abbeville a heck of a game, and lost by a point to 3-A power Woodruff.
  The Tigers would have to play a near perfect game. That didn’t happen, yet this was still a winnable game.
  I thought the Tiger defense played well. The Sabres quarterback had been averaging close to 300-yards a game passing. He got 116 against Saluda.
  Southside had two backs make long touchdown runs for scores, breaking open close games at the time.
  The Sabres earned the win, but I  bet they don’t want to play Saluda again in the play-offs.
  In the state championship year of 1963, Saluda got revenge twice.
  Early in the year, the Tigers travelled to Summerville and got beat 40-0. That’s correct. The eventual state champ got beat 40 to zip. Summerville didn’t win its conference. Berkeley did, and Saluda beat Berkeley in the play-offs.
  A few weeks after the Sum-merville loss, York came to Mathews Field and beat the Tigers. Who did Saluda beat in the State Championship game? York.
  I’m not saying this year’s 3-2 Saluda team is state championship material, but no one thought the 3-2 1963 teams was either.
  Clemson did exactly everyone thought the Tigers would do. They beat Georgia Tech handily.
  A few years ago that didn’t happen. Tech gave Clemson fits, but the Yellow Jacket option attack doesn’t phase the current Clemson defense. The Tigers are just too good to fall for that hocus pocus anymore.
  Freshman Trevor Lawrence earned the starting quarterback position with his play against Georgia Tech. He should keep it the rest of the way, because I don’t see Clemson getting challenged much the remainder of the season. 
  Carolina answered some questions against Vanderbilt.
  After the lousy second half performance against Georgia and the cancellation of the Marshall game due to the hurricane, fans had no idea what the Gamecocks had.
  The 37-14 win over a Vandy team that lost at 8th ranked Notre Dame 22-18 the week before was impressive. If the Gamecock didn’t fumble twice within the Commodore 30 in the fourth quarter, the score may have been more lopsided.
  I didn’t see the two fumbles in my taped game routine. I knew the game had been stopped due to lightning, but I did not know the broadcast had been switched to the SEC alternate channel. I only got to see 30-14.
  Carolina has lost to Kentucky four straight years, and this is the year the streak ends, many thought before the season began. Well,  lo and  behold, Kentucky is now 4-0 and ranked in the Top 20.
  I still have a feeling the streak will end! But, I have been wrong before....