Tidbits - December 13 2018

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



THE TOP

  The high school football championships were played on Friday,  because of the predicted drenching Saturday.
  That was a good move by the High School League.
  The Class A and Class 2A games were played at Benedict and the 3A, 4A and 5A were played at Williams-Brice.
  Green Sea-Floyds won the 1A title for the first time in school history. I have an affinity for this school, because Saluda played them in a home and away series years ago, and I pass the school on the way to the beach each year.
  Chester pulled an upset in 3A, beating defending champion Dillon. Even though the Cyclones were unbeaten, it was an upset because Dillon has dominated 3A, and before that 2A, for years. I had an affinity for Chester, too, becasue we passed their stadium on the way home from Buford.
  Myrtle Beach beat Greer for the 4A title. Myrtle Beach’s only loss of the season was to Hartsville. The Seahawks avenged that loss by beating Hartsville by 20 in the playoffs.
  That brings us to good ole Abbeville and Dutch Fork, who blasted the opponents to take the 2A and 5A titles .... again.
  Channel 57 carried the Dutch Fork - T.L. Hanna game. Both teams were undefeated and sported monster offensive machines.
  I particularly wanted to see Hanna’s Zach Pickens, a Gamecock commitment and state player of the year. He has a Clowney persona, in that he is a 6-6 defensive lineman, who also plays running back. Pickens was impressive on both fronts, even intercepting a pass and taking it for a score, like Saluda’s Jonathan and Richard Brooks used to do.
  Hanna actually had the lead at one point in the first half. However, Dutch Fork turned a one touchdown halftime lead into a 59-20 win. What an impressive team!
  Tom Knotts is a phenomenal coach. He came to Dutch Fork from Independence High School in Charlotte, where he had a 132-6 coaching record.
  My cousin Bobby Thomp-son’s daughters went to Independence, and the Patriots had a winning streak of 109 games, in winning six state titles.
  Abbeville won the title for the fourth straight year. After beating Saluda three straight years in the upperstate game, and edging Southside Christian this year, the Panthers have obliterated four straight lowerstate teams to win the title.
  This year previously unbeaten Barnwell was a 48-14 victim.
 I think Saluda and Southside Christian fans will agree the last four Upperstate games should have been for the state title.
  I’ll go so far to say, the three best teams in 2A this year were Abbeville, Southside Christian and Saluda.
  We’ll get so see how the three teams progress next year, when Saluda travels to S.C., and Abbeville in the regular season.
  The Tigers schedule next year will be the same as this year, with the home and away games reversed ... unless something changes.
  Carolina better enjoy this season. Before the Alabama - Georgia game for the SEC title, Carolina’s 2019 schedule included No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, and No. 4 Georgia. Throw in nine win Florida and Kentucky, eight-win Texas A&M, and let’s not forget 10 win App State.

NO PROBLEM

  I’ve got no problem with Gamecock star Deebo Samuel skipping the Belk Bowl, but playing in the Senior Bowl.
  This is the first season Deebo has played the entire season. He has sat out many games due to injury his first three seasons.
  Remember, he did not have to come back this year. He had met the three season requirements to go pro, but he decided to come back. Gamecock fans should be thankful.
  There won’t be many pro scouts at the Belk Bowl, but the Senior Bowl is basically an audition, with scouts from every pro team. I wish Deebo well.
  Remember, Samuel also missed last year’s bowl game with Michigan, because of his injury. Without him, the Gamecocks can show what next year’s offense and return game will be like.
  While I’m not upset with Deebo, if I were a West Virginia  fan, I’d be upset with quarterback Will Grier’s decision to skip the bowl.
  A wide receiver is one thing, but a quarterback is a whole other animal.
  Muschamp did not recruit Deebo to Carolina, but he did recruit Grier to Florida.

PARADELESS

  I’m sure it’s happened before, but I can’t remember the last time Saluda did not have a Christmas parade.
  This weekend’s weather was miserable, heavy rains and cold. There was no way the parade could have been held on it’s scheduled Saturday, because of the rain.
 While the rain let up Sunday afternoon, the temperature plunged to 36. We had some Saluda County people who attended the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC, when the temperature was 16. A 36 degree parade would feel like summer to them!
  Because of so many conflicts, the Saluda parade will no be scheduled. One of the conflicts belonged to Santa, who had another engagement. You can have a Christmas parade without Santa.
  I know many of the churches faced a similar conundrum with their cantatas and Christmas programs over the weekend.
  We went ahead with our Emory-Nazareth cantata at Emory. The hostess committee spent Saturday decorating the church, and many members made refreshments.
  The show must go on .... if it’s inside!