P.O. Box 668
Saluda, SC 29138
Phone 864 445-2527
Fax 864 445-8679
BY RALPH SHEALY
Football season is here!
Actually, it never ends, does it? If you can’t watch it, you still talk about.
The action gets underway Thursday night, when Texas A&M comes to Williams-Brice.
I haven’t heard any more about the James Butler Bonham Trophy, but I hope it becomes a reality.
I know I’m about to issue the kiss of death, but I think Carolina is going to have it’s best team ever.
The reason is simple, experience. Carolina returns 85 percent of its lettermen from the 2013 team. That is the most of any team in America.
The Gamecocks had four scholarship seniors on an 11-2 team. Of course, Clowney, Ellington, Quarles and Hampton came out early, but that’s still just eight players to replace.
Offensively, I expect the Gamecocks to be the most productive in the Spurrier era. The line is experienced, and skilled people abound.
In Dylan Thompson you have a quarterback with “eyes.” You will see the tight ends catch mores passes, and Dylan will spread the wealth.
Remember when Dylan started against Clemson a couple of years ago? Gamecocks fan rarely heard of Nic Jones before the game, but Dylan that night made him a star.
People talk about the bad game he had against Missouri last year, but his stats in that game were good. I watched the replay on ESPN a few weeks ago, and he didn’t look that bad. He threw one interception, but Mike Davis’ two fumbles also contributed to Carolina getting down 17-0.
The Gamecock defense will not have any superstars, but that may be good.
The game with the Aggies should be an entertaining one.
Clemson’s defense will be the Tigers strong point. Vic Beasley is this year’s Clowney. I admire him for coming back.
Like last year, I am really looking forward to the Georgia game Saturday.
We will all get to see how the new quarterbacks work out for both schools. Aaron Murray and Tajh Boyd have set all kinds of records at the two schools, but they are gone.
I don’t know how Cole Stoudt will do as a starter for the Tigers, but he had one of the best viral videos of the preseason.
If you haven’t seen it, you’ve got to look it up. Stoudt dressed in full uniform and stood still in a room full uniform dressed mannequins.
When people walked by, Stoudt jumped at them. It was hilarious.
He’s my kind of guy.
The Tigers can’t replace Sammy Watkins, any more than they could replace CJ Spiller. Clemson has a way of recruiting great skill people, but some of them only come around once in a blue moon.
The ACC appears to be all Florida State again, but things are going to change. Teams like North Carolina, Duke and Miami are getting better, and Louisville joins the ranks in the same division with the Tigers and Seminoles.
I’m not a fan of Bobby Petrino of Louisville, but the man can coach. He controlled Carolina when he was at Arkansas.
Saluda is very young, to say the least.
Coach Stewart Young’s first year will be a challenge with so many inexperienced players going against a killer schedule.
That’s the bad news. The good news next year, almost everyone returns including some good skilled people.
Stewart said he expects the Tigers to get better with each game. The team is going to be fun to watch.
They’ve been picked to finish last in the conference,, but I do remember another Saluda team that was picked to finish last.
They did a lot of “sneaking up” on teams.
The Tigers’ opponent Friday Ridge Spring-Monetta was fun to watch last year.
The Trojans slung the ball all over the place, and made it all the way to the 1A Lower Division Upperstate Championship game.
I talked to Coach Heath Corley at the FCA luncheon at Saluda Baptist. He said the Trojans may not throw it as much this year.
We’ll see Friday night.
The King Academy Knights are the defending 8-man State Champs.
The Knights started last week and were upset, but I know they’ve got some great players back.
They will be contending for the title again.
It’s going to be a fun year for all!
My cousin Melissa Parris is a first grade teacher in Spartanburg.
She posted some first grade “funnies” on Facebook.
One of them goes like this:
“Did you know that Hammerhead Lincoln won an award, Mrs. Parris?
Melissa: “Who is Hammerhead Lincoln? Is that a rap group? Were you watching the music awards last night?”
“NO! You know .... Hammerhead Lincoln!”
Kid next to him: “It’s not Hammerhead Lincoln, it’s Abraham Lincoln!!!”
It’s ironic that Robin Williams paid a memorial tribute to his comedic mentor Jonathan Winters on last year’s Emmy broadcast, and on this year’s show a tribute was made to him.
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