Tidbits - October 12 2017

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



WHEW!!!

  I can take my teams getting the slop beaten out of them, and I really like my teams beating the slop out of somebody else, but I do not like the in between.
  My nerves can’t take it.
  Friday’s Saluda vs Gray Collegiate game about got me. As the public address announcer, I have to keep some decorum even though I’m dying inside in close games.
  As Gray Collegiate’s kicker was lining up to attempt the game-tying field goal with 37 seconds to go, I wanted announce, “Miss it!   Miss it! Miss It!,” but, of course, I couldn’t do that.
  When he did miss, I was a little excited announcing that fact.
  The Tigers held on to win 17-14, over a team they beat 55-18 last year.
  Things change in a year. Saluda still has a very good football team, and Gray Collegiate also has a very good football team. Their only two losses coming into the game were to 3-A teams Gilbert and Brookland-Cayce. They owned a win over 3-A Dreher, and beat 3-A Pelion 37-0.
  Coach Stewart Young wanted everyone to know Gray Collegiate was a good team.
  I know Lou Holtz and Dabo Swinney make every team their team plays look like the God’s gift to football,, but Stewart meant it.
  Saluda fans found out.
  Gray is a charter school, like fellow league school Fox Creek. Charter schools can recruit students, and, the last time I checked, athletes are students.
  Before the basketball season started last year, Gray was ranked in pre-season as the number 16 boys teams IN THE COUNTRY! Unfortunately for the War Eagles, they may be the 16th best team in the country, but they are in the same region with Keenan, the best 2-A team in the state.
  You’ve got to figure if Gray can recruit great basketball players, they can recruit great football players.
  That was a very good team Saluda played Friday, and I don’t want to see them again in the play-offs!
  The Tigers played their worst game since the opening loss to Thurmond, but they won, and that’s what counts. I just wish they had won by 37 points like they did last year!
  Saluda will play at Keenan Thursday. The Raiders are 1-6, but Gray only beat them 10-0, so the Tigers can not take them for granted, either.
  There may not be many football powerhouses in Saluda’s current region, but all the teams have some talented athletes.
  One of Saluda’s talented athletes, Kelijiha Brown was selected to the Shrine Bowl Sunday. That’s the second year in a row a Tiger has made it. Malik Brooks got the honor last year. Dexter Wideman was selected in 2013, so the Tigers, for a small school, have been well represented the last for years.
  Alex Robinson made the team in 2008, but the last Tiger to make the Shrine Bowl prior to him was Roger Hazel in 1966! That’s a 42-years gap, if you’re tallying.

AND THAT’S WHY

  The Saluda-Gray Collegiate game is why I don’t watch the  live Carolina broadcast.
  I have to be at the Saluda games, since I announce the home games and keep stats home and away.
  I do not have to watch Carolina.
  I record the games, and watch them later if I want to. A loss, I don’t watch. Why would I?
  I had a feeling Carolina was going to win big over Arkansas Saturday, and they did, by the tune of 48-22.
  The Gamecock almost put it all together against Texas A&M, who we found out was a pretty good football team by their performance against Alabama Saturday.
  It was fun Saturday getting notifications over my phone during the game.
  In the second half, I got the news Carolina was up 20-10. A few minutes later came the message, Skai Moore had returned an interceptions all the score to make it 27-10.
  A few minutes later came the news Carolina had returned a fumble recovery all the way for the score to make it 33-10. Then minutes later, I got the message Carolina had returned a fumble all the way to make it 34-10. Hadn’t we already done that?
  I found out later, Carolina’s first fumble recovery was called back, when replay showed the runner was down. Later, in the same drive, Arkansas fumbled again and the Gamecocks returned this one all the way. Ever heard of two fumble recoveries for scores in the same drive?
  Late in the game, the Gamecocks got their third defensive touchdown in the second half, after having none since 2014.
  This one is significant because the Carolina player, who returned the interception for the score, is Snoop Dog’s nephew. That’s right! Snoop Dog tweeted his nephew’s picture for all the world to see.
  As a Gamecock fan, it is encouraging to see good defense, since the defense has been on vacation since 2014. Muschamp is known as a great defensive coach and it is beginning to come through.
  Now, if Jake Bentley could start games as well as he finishes them, the Gamecocks could have a better than average season. The only teams left on the schedule that appear unbeatable are Georgia and  “you know who,” the current number four and number two teams in the country.
  By the way, it is quite enjoyable to watch a game when you know your team has won, especially when you only watch the good parts! Saturday, I enjoyed watching almost the entire second half.
  Since, I don’t watch Carolina, the team I watch live the most is Clemson. I probably know Clemson’s players better than I know Carolina’s.

GOOD PEOPLE

  We have five good people running for County Council chairman next Tuesday.
  On the Democrat ballot, are County Councilman Frank Daniel and Darren Horne.
  Seeking the Republican nomination are County Council Vice Chair Gwen Shealy, former Councilman Jacob Schumpert and the Rev. Derrick Jones.
  I’ve known Frank, Darren, Gwen and Jacob a long time.
  I’ve known Frank since he became a member of Council 12 years ago. I was Darren’s coach when he was little league all-star. That really makes me feel old.
  Before he became a member of Council 12 years ago, Jacob worked many years at the County Road and Bridge Department.
  I’ve known Gwen longer than any of the other candidates. She was two years behind me in school. You know what they say, “your class is close to the two classes ahead of you and the two classes behind you.”
  I have not known Derrick long, but I have been impressed with him through the conversations we have had.
  I know all of these candidates care about Saluda County, and we can not go wrong with any of them. That doesn’t happen often.
  I urge you all to vote Tuesday, October 17.