Before I talk about the playoffs, a few thoughts for teams who saw their season end on Friday night. First and foremost a big shout out to Jimmy Lewis and Harlem. Here's a team that lost half of its roster when Grovetown opened up and could have easily won just a game or two.
But Zach Morris is an underrated player and the Bulldogs get four wins this year. Job well done!
Also a job well done to Grovetown. In their first year, the Warriors post a winning record and celebrated by dousing coach Rodney Holder. This is a program that should be a contender when they play region ball for real.
Another hats off to Aquinas. Under first year head coach Matt LeZotte, the Irish put together a solid year. Despite losing out on a playoff spot thanks to a tiebreaker, the future is for sure bright for the folks at Aquinas.
Now it's on to the playoffs. Going to be interesting to see just how far any of the metro region schools go. Lakeside and ARC both get home games while Evans and Hephzibah hit the road. The Rebels may be one of the most dangerous four seeds in the state. Wouldn't be surprised if we see three of the four win their playoff openers, but if we lose all but one of them out of the gates people will say the region was "weak". Well, only one way to find out and now's the time for that.
Lincoln County is playoff ready and with a solid defense, again, don't be surprised if they go deep. Same with Jefferson County, but it could be the offense and Barry Bostic that carries them. Other teams to watch in the playoffs in Georgia, Washington County, Swainsboro, ECI and from the independent ranks Edmund Burke and Brentwood and Thomas Jefferson for that matter. Burke County gets in by virtue of their win Friday and could be a very dangerous four seed as well.
In South Carolina, despite a one loss season, North Augusta gets the short end of the stick and will have just one home playoff game. I know there's a complicated formula to figure it all out, but still, a five seed? Really? Maybe that'll be the chip on their shoulder to make a run deep into the post season.
Don't be alarmed by Williston Elko's smallest winning margin of the season. Now that we're into the playoffs, the competition is a lot different then the region they've been playing in. Gets tougher that's for sure.
In Class 2-A, both Silver Bluff and Strom Thurmond took a step towards a possible state title battle. Both had little problem with their first round opponent as expected. Looking ahead, if the Rebels win again, a possible rematch with Central looms in the third round.
And in Class 3-A, Midland Valley survived their first round game. A lot of credit to the defense who absolutely never quit on any play. Tevin Nuckles chasing down a would be touchdown run was the play of the game and really may have turned the tables. The Mustangs then came up big and only gave up a field goal and never looked back.
Finally, here's to Wardlaw. Don't know what's in the water, but the Patriots own the longest win streak around and are rolling towards another state title. Not sure who or what can stand in their way. 12 and 0 last year, undefeated this year. Doesn't get much better!
Can't wait for the playoffs!!! Thoughts or comments, feel free to weigh in on things.