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2024 football schedule presents new tests for SEHS
Mustang football team
South Effingham prepares to take the field for its spring intrasquad football game on May 17 at the Corral. The Mustangs' 2024 schedule has several new opponents in the realigned Region 1-5A. (Mark Lastinger for the Effingham Herald.)

By Donald Heath

Special for the Effingham Herald

GUYTON – Realignment by the Georgia High School Association put South Effingham in Class 5A’s Region 1 with eight other schools, leaving space for just two non-region football games during the 10-game regular season.

Mustangs coach Loren Purvis wanted to play a few more non-region games.

“I hate having just two non-region games because I like to play teams you don’t normally see, partly because it gives your kids a chance to see different ways teams play around the state,” Purvis said.

South’s two non-region opponents this season – New Hampstead and Toombs County – will pit the Mustangs against high-octane offenses in the first two games of the season.

SEHS (6-4 a year ago) opens with New Hampstead, led by quarterback Rashawn Truell (3,308 yards, 38 TDs), on Aug. 16 in Pooler Stadium.

After a bye week, the Mustangs play their home opener with Toombs County, a school that averaged 37 points a game en route to an 11-3 record a year ago.

The region schedule seems to have similar pitfalls throughout. South plays only two schools it beat last season – Lakeside (Evans) and Bradwell Institute.

The Lakeside game will open the Mustangs region slate on Sept. 13 and starts a run of games on eight consecutive weeks.

The Mustangs take a short excursion to Springfield for a clash with neighbor Effingham County on Sept. 20. SEHS has not beaten the Rebels since 2019.

Next up, Evans at the Corral on Sept. 27. The Knights held on to beat the Mustangs in the season finale last fall to claim the fourth and final state playoff berth in the region.

In October, South will play three newcomers to the region – at Greenbrier (Oct. 4), at Bradwell Institute (Oct. 18) and Statesboro (Oct. 25).

Greenbrier won just one game last season in 5A. Bradwell and SEHS played a wild, non-region game last season with the Mustangs prevailing 52-36 in Hinesville. The Tigers’ speedy wide receiver Tyon Jones, who will return, had seven catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns in that contest.

Statesboro has won four in a row against South.

The Mustangs have home games with both Glynn County schools – Glynn Academy on Oct. 10 and Brunswick on Nov. 1.

Both schools went to the state playoffs last season and have gotten the better of the Mustangs over the years.

South hasn’t beaten Glynn since 1997 (nine previous meetings). The Mustangs have lost six straight to the Pirates.

“The goal is to make the playoffs and have some success once you’re there,” Purvis said. “We’re still trying to get to that point. We’ll have some tough tests.”



8-16 at New Hampstead (Pooler Stadium); 8-23 BYE; 8-30 TOOMBS COUNTY; 9-6 BYE; 9-13 at Lakeside (Evans) *; 9-20 at Effingham County *; 9-27 EVANS *; 10-4 at Greenbrier *; 10-11 GLYNN ACADEMY *; 10-18 at Bradwell Institute *; 10-25 STATESBORO *; 11-1 BRUNSWICK * Home games are ALL CAPS *indicates region game