By Donald Heath
Special for the Effingham Herald
SPRINGFIELD – Keeping score will be just a formality. Evaluation will be everything.
Both Effingham County and South Effingham enter football scrimmages this week – the Rebels vs. Screven County tonight at 7 and the Mustangs vs. Southeast Bulloch on Aug. 11 at 7:30 – as dress rehearsals for the real shows, which debut Aug. 18.
Both ECHS (7-4 in 2022) and SEHS (4-5) will host scrimmages and both open the season for real at home against Richmond Hill and Vidalia respectively.
"I just want to see us against somebody else," Rebels coach John Ford said about the scrimmage. "I want to see us play hard and execute. We do want to get everyone in. We want to give them a chance to play and let them be evaluated."
Ford said the offensive line and the defensive secondary will be areas to watch. The line graduated four of the team's five starters and the secondary will be completely rebuilt.
"We want to see how they do against live bullets," Ford said.
SEHS Coach Loren Purvis is ready to see his players compete as well. He said senior Kaden DeGenaro would most likely start at quarterback with J.T. Barkley as the backup.
Aubrey Heath, last year's starting quarterback, will be used at wide receiver and cornerback. Purvis also has a special set of plays for Heath at quarterback.
Purvis will be scrutinizing the offensive line as well. He said senior guards Ashton Anderton and Brinstian Runkle, tackles Shane Alvin and Peyton Kirby and center C.J. Lord are being pushed by underclassmen.
"We'll play the first half straight up and in the second half get (reserves) in so we can get a look at everybody," Purvis said.
ECHS openers rained out
Effingham County had its season-opening games with Jeff Davis and Long County scheduled for Aug. 4 in Richmond Hill rained out.
Rebels’ coach Brad Thompson said the games may be made up at a later date.
ECHS, ranked seventh in Class 6A, had its home opener with Richmond Hill scheduled for Aug. 8 before finishing its early non-region slate with Statesboro on Aug. 11 on the road. The Rebels begin region play Aug. 15 against Lakeside, Evans.
SEHS splits two games to start season
GROVETOWN – South Effingham opened its season by splitting two games on Aug. 5. The Mustangs lost the opener 1-0 to Glascock County before defeating Harlem 5-0 at Patriots Park.
Bailey Kendziorski was the winning pitcher against Harlem, striking out 10 and walking none while scattering four hits in five innings.
Freshman Alyssa Martin drove in four runs. Kenzie Ergle had three hits in six at bats on the day.
Izzy Wilkins pitched well in defeat in the opener, allowing just one unearned run in six innings.
SEHS will be back in action Aug. 10 on the road against Emanuel County Institute. The Mustangs play their home opener on Aug. 14 against Savannah Christian.