By Donald Heath
Special for the Effingham Herald
GUYTON — South Effingham football coach Nathan Clark said his team was excited about playing Screven County last week. The threat of Hurricane Ian, however, ruined an interesting matchup between teams from neighboring counties.
The non-region contest will be canceled because the Mustangs and Gamecocks do not have a common open date the rest of the season.
Clark said the schools first agreed to reschedule the Friday game in Sylvania for Thursday (Sept. 29) but when the Effingham County School District canceled school on Thursday and Friday as Ian approached, South couldn’t play.
Clark said moving the game to Saturday was discussed, but eventually nixed by Screven County.
“I think our kids really wanted to play the game,” Clark said. “We had good practices and were looking forward to bouncing back against a quality opponent and getting the bad taste (of the 29-3 loss to Effingham County on Sept. 23) out of our mouths.”
SEHS and Screven County have a two-year, home-and-home contract and this year’s cancellation will not affect next year’s football game between the Mustangs and Gamecocks in Guyton.
Clark said his players and coaches will turn their attention to Friday’s clash with Glynn Academy at The Corral. The Mustangs (2-2, 0-1 region) lost to the Red Terrors 38-0 last season.
But Glynn (2-4, 0-2) has lost four in a row this season — although against a powerful quartet that included Camden County, Creekside (Fla.), defending region champion Brunswick and Effingham County. The game against the Rebels was pushed up two days because of the hurricane threat.
“Glynn is a big region opponent for us and they have a strong team,” Clark said. “It will be another big test, but we feel if we can play well, we can play (competitively) with them. There’s a little different feeling about this team this year than the last few years. We have good morale, good work ethic and the kids feel they can win these region games.”
Clark said he’s hoping speedy running back Jamari Fields can return to the lineup. Fields, who leads the team in rushing with 72 yards a game, has missed the last two games because of a leg injury. Clark said Fields was expected to see a doctor during the upcoming week.
More cancellations, rescheduling
South Effingham’s softball team canceled its weekend plans, losing a game Friday against Central Carrollton before traveling to LaGrange for games with Carrollton and LaGrange.
The non-region games could have been good tests for the state playoff-bound Mustangs. Central Carrollton is 17-4 and ranked second in Class AAAA, according to Score Atlanta. LaGrange (17-8) ranks seventh in Class AAAA. Carrollton is unranked but has a 16-6 record in Class AAAAAAA.
SEHS also had its junior varsity football game with Richmond Hill, originally scheduled for Thursday, rescheduled for Oct. 27.
Effingham County had a junior varsity football game with Burke and a junior varsity softball game at Wayne County canceled Thursday.