GUYTON — Last month, the Georgia High School Association released every member’s 2020 high football schedule.
South Effingham head coach Nathan Clark is embracing his team’s new slate, saying it will give his squad a chance to compete against stiffer competition. The Mustangs are moving up to Class AAAAAA.
“I’m really excited,” Clark said. “I think it’s going to be a great opportunity. Anytime you get the opportunity to move up and play with the bigger boys, it’s a measuring stick.”
The Mustangs are members of rugged Region 2-AAAAAA.
“You have to have really good team chemistry and buy-in from everyone that’s involved,” Clark said. “I think if you do that, everything can come together.”
One of the most notable changes in South Effingham’s schedule is the absence of an early season matchup with Jenkins. The Warriors and Mustangs have squared off for more than a decade with quite a few close finishes, including last year’s overtime thriller where the Mustangs pulled out a 29-26 win at home.
The Mustangs won’t compete against Long County, either, a team they’ve played the last two seasons. Scheduling conflicts forced South Effingham to look elsewhere for teams to play.
“You have to work out a date to coordinate with those schools,” Clark said. “Some of the schools — we just couldn’t work out certain dates. I’m very happy with who we are getting the opportunity to play non-region wise and I think it’s going to get us prepared to play in the region.”
The Mustangs will play host to Beaufort (S.C.) to open the season and will travel to Savannah on Aug. 28 to take on Beach.
The region portion will feature a string of tough games. Most notable among them is an encounter with Richmond Hill, a team that suffered a heartbreaking loss last season in overtime in the Class AAAAAA semifinals against Allatoona.
Glynn Academy will also be as tough as the Terrors have produced winning records for nearly a decade. The annual grudge match with Effingham County will have 2-AAAAAA implications, too.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Clark said. “It’s going to be competitive. We have a lot of good teams.
“It’s going to be a challenge but we are going to embrace the opportunity.”