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Rincon takes GRPA state title
Rincon Colts
The 12-and-under Rincon Colts take the field for one of their 17 games in 2020. - photo by Photo submitted
Rincon Colts
The 12-and-under Rincon Colts include (front row, from left) coach Jason Lovett, Tucker Perkins, Kagen Saxon, Marko Doran, Devrin Davis, Kyzer Deloach, Davis Ratner,Brexton Bell, Lucas Gilliam, Holden Lovett, coach Jerry Carnell, (middle row, from left) coach Nick Thomas, Duff Davis, Bennett Conaway, EJ Williams, Cooper Schwanbeck, Jordan Pryor, Joseph Driggers, Landon Kitchens, coach Bobby Vanderark, (back row, from left) Dezrin Davis, Ja ‘Trison McCormick, Reet Malphus, Judah Walker, John Swindell, coach Rob Collum, Elijah Doty, Weston Holcombe, Jaiden Washburn and Kaden Ward. - photo by Photo submitted

RINCON — The 12-and-under Rincon Colts raced past all comers in 2020.

The Rincon Recreation Department team posted a 17-0 record en route to the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA) Class B Limited championship. It thrashed Carrollton 24-6 in the Dec. 12 GRPA final at Grisham Stadium in Carrollton.

The Colts edged defending state champion Glynn County at the region level 36-32. That contest in Tifton was one of only two close ones they had while participating in two leagues. 

“We played teams from Columbia, South Carolina, all the way to Jacksonville, Florida,” Colts coach Rob Collum said. “Nobody in the Savannah area or Richmond Hill could even come close to us.”

Rincon’s narrowest victory was a 13-12 decision over Pooler’s Southeast Bulldogs, a team that draws from multiple counties. The Colts consist strictly of Effingham County players.

“(The Bulldogs) tried to run it in for the tie (on the last play of the game) and we stopped them,” Collum said. 

 The Glynn County game might not have been close if not for some confusion about weight limits in the region final.

“What happened was they had some modified rules that we weren’t aware of when we got down there,” Collum said. “When we kicked off, we went to set up on the field on offense. Well, if you are over 150 pounds, you had a stripe on your helmet because you had to get weighed in prior to the game. If you were over 150 pounds, they had modified stuff — and I knew they had modified stuff — but I thought they could play on the line and just not be ballcarriers.

“Actually, though, they couldn’t play tight end or defensive end, either, so that changed the whole dynamics of our team.” 

Glynn County capitalized on the situation by constantly running outside against a defense that was forced to use inexperienced players on the edges. Rincon usually started a pair of 180-pound ends.

“It kind of threw a wrench into the whole scheme of our defense but the following week we had some time to adjust,” Collum said. “When we got to Carrollton, we were back to normal. We had been beating teams pretty handily.

“We beat Richmond Hill 60-0 this year. The Effingham Jags wouldn’t even play us. They forfeited to us.”

The Colts ascended to the state title in their third year of existence. They lost to the Jags in the state semifinal round in their second season.

“It took us some time but we have taken over that end down there,” Collum said.

Collum has coached youth football for more than two decades. He doesn’t have a son on the team and neither do three of the Colts’ four assistants.

“We are trying to get the best quality on the field to represent the county,” Collum said.

The Colts, who started practicing Aug. 1, also competed in a private Savannah league. 

“It was a long season,” Collum said.

Collum picked up the extra games in case as a backup plan in case any GRPA games were wiped out by COVID-19 concerns.

If high school football had failed, our recreation department would have shut down our (GRPA) season, too,” Collum said. “We were looking to have some insurance so — the next thing you know — we are playing full schedules in both leagues because no games were canceled. We ended up playing 17 football games, which is crazy.

“That’s a lot of football.”

“It was really a great season for us,” he added.