By Donald Heath
Special for the Effingham Herald
SPRINGFIELD — “Maybe we could put a “Help Santed” sign out, put a “Vacancy” sign out,” Effingham County football coach John Ford said about canvassing the area for an opponent to replace Friday night’s originally scheduled foe Liberty County in Hinesville.
Amid a COVID-19 outbreak, the Liberty County School District shut down in-school learning and all sports and after-school activities in its county until Sept. 13.
But that doesn’t mean the Rebels want the night off.
“It’s not a secret both coach (John) Ford and I are searching to find a good matchup,” ECHS athletic director Matt Huntley said.
Huntley said the game with Liberty County, a non-region game, would not be rescheduled. It also ended the two-year football contract with the Panthers without a snap ever occurring. Last year, Liberty County suspended fall sports before restarting several weeks later.
ECHS scrambled to fill the spot with Benedictine.
Other 2021 fall sports have been or will be affected for both ECHS and South Effingham by the Liberty County decision, which was announced Aug. 25 on Facebook.
Bradwell Institute, located in Liberty County, resides in the same Region 2-AAAAAA as the Rebels and Mustangs.
ECHS’ softball game against Bradwell scheduled for Aug. 26 was canceled and no makeup date had been set yet, Rebels coach Jane Trzaska said.
Huntley said the volleyball three-team round robin between Bradwell, ECHS and Statesboro scheduled for Tuesday would be rescheduled.
South Effingham will have to reschedule a softball game with Bradwell which originally was to be played in Hinesville on Sept. 7.
ECHS football has only one open date left — Oct. 1.
“We’d love to play somebody,” Ford said. “In this era of COVID and cancelations, you have to be prepared (to make contingent plans). We’ll see what happens.”
SEHS’ Phillips wins at Ware County
South Effingham sophomore Tyler Phillips turned in a season-best time of 16:45 to win a cross country meet at Ware County.
Julian Howard (17:36) was second, followed in team scoring by Joey Burdick (18:37), Caiden Mason (19:47) and Isaiah Campbell (20:50).
SEHS’ boys placed third among 11 teams.
Anna Katherine Raley (27:26) and Katelyn Bittle (29:18) were the only girls competing for the Mustangs.
SEHS splits pair of Saturday games
South Effingham (8-3)split a pair of low-scoring softball games at The Corral on Saturday.
After falling 3-1 to Harlem in the first contest, the Mustangs defeated Ware County 3-2. The Mustangs scored twice in the final frame to nip the Gators.
Bailey Kendziorski was the winning pitcher in relief of Izzy Wilkins. The sophomore hurled the final three frames in hitless fashio, fanning six and walking one.
Wilkins gave up four hits and an unearned run with no walks or strikeouts.
Avery Roddenberry was the big hitter for South Effingam. She drove in two runs with three hits, including a double.
Chloe Turner added two hits, a double and triple, and an RBI.
Against Harlem, South Effingham tallied five hits, including doubles by Turner, Jaden Burns and Reagan Salter. Burns knocked in her team’s lone run.
Kendziorski went the distance on the mound, allowing two earned runs with nine strikeouts and no walks.
On Thursday, the Mustangs smashed Statesboro 10-2 in a road game.
Kenzie Ergle knocked in three runs on three hits. Kaley Stone added two RBI. Chloe Turner, Mattie Turner and Salter also plated runs.
Kendziorski, who had two hits, was the winning pitcher.
Effingham County pounds Pinewood
Effingham County (3-4) defeated Pinewood Christian 8-0 in five innings in an Aug. 25 game at Rebel Field.
Enna Lackey led offensively with two hits and three RBI. Emma Reynolds added two hits and two RBI.
Winning pitcher Rylee Mills and Shelby Aiken also socked two hits.
Mills surrendered five hits and no walks.
On Aug. 25, the Rebels edged Toombs County on the road 7-5.
Lady Rebels win one, lose one
Effingham County (5-8) played host to a tri-match with Hilton Head Christian and Calvary on Aug. 24, falling to Hilton Head Christian 2-0 before topping Calvary 2-0.