Jason Bishop

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Setting Sail

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

High football fast approaches and many hope we will not lose the season to CoVid-19.

One person in particular that hopes the 2020 season will kick off is the head coach of the McIntosh County Academy Buccaneers, Bradley Warren.

The Bucs appear to have found their long-term answer at the head coaching position of the football team.

Warren took over the program last season and got the Bucs into the playoffs; an accomplishment very few expected from MCA in 2019.

The Bucs fell to region foe, Emanuel County Institute 28-23 in the first round of the GHSA A Playoffs.

MCA returns in 2020 with a team that will be battled tested. The Bucs were considered to be young in 2019 and were in every game, even against teams that most thought would beat MCA handily.

The region also changes for the Buccaneers and will see new and old enemies in region 3-A. The Bucs will be joined by Metter, Bryan County, Claxton, ECI, Jenkins County, Portal and Screven County. This is a very winnable region and the Bucs may be the best team in the region.

In my opinion, region 3-A will be come down to ECI and MCA. The winner of that game may very well end up winning the region.

This is what MCA’s season looks like for 2020.

MCA @ Brunswick High-August 28: The Bucs will make the short trip over to Glynn County Stadium to take on the 6A Brunswick High Pirates. MCA will look good early, but BHS has too many athletes and spoils the season opener.

Windsor Forest @ MCA-September 4: The Bucs will welcome the Windsor Forest Knights to The Ship in Darien and show everyone how good they are. Look for MCA to win handily here.

MCA @ Charlton-September 11: This is a game in which 2 programs are heading in opposite directions. Charlton County, a perennial power, finds itself in a bit of a rebuild, while MCA will be very good. The Bucs will win this game, but nothing ever comes easy down in The Swamp.

MCA @ Bryan County-September 18: The Bucs will head up to Pembroke a 2-1 football team and the momentum will continue against Bryan County. MCA gets to 3-1 on the season and gets an important region win over the Redskins.

Claxton @ MCA-September 25: This is the beginning a tough and important three game stretch for the Bucs. MCA welcomes Claxton to the ship and will earn a hard-fought win at home to stay undefeated in the region and go 4-1 on the season.

MCA @ ECI-October 2: This game will likely determine the winner of the region. I think MCA has a more talented team than ECI, but with the Bulldogs will be at home and this will be the sixth straight game for the Bucs. I am not sure they will come out on top here.

Plus, ECI’s schedule is brutal. Especially, the first half. Thus, ECI will almost have to get this game. I really think this contest could go either way.

Metter @ MCA-October 16: The Buccaneers get a much-deserved off week before the Metter Tigers pay a visit to The Ship. Metter can score and score quickly. This will be a great test for the MCA defense.

The Bucs defense will be up to that test and hold off the Tigers in a high scoring affair.

MCA @ Screven County-October 23: Another region road game for MCA. The Bucs will be flying high off the Metter win and will ride that momentum to another victory. 6-2 for MCA.

Portal @ MCA-October 30: Portal pays a Halloween visit to Darien. There won’t be much tricking done by the Portal Panthers in this game. Instead the Buccaneers will be treating themselves to a 7-2 record.

Jenkins County @ MCA-November 6: Seeding will be on the line as MCA will be making a back to back trip to the playoffs. The Bucs will finish 8-2 on the season and will be a force to be contended with in the GHSA A Playoffs.

Names you will need to know if you are an MCA fan: Senior RB Trenton Johnson, Senior QB Dalton McClellan and Junior QB Austin Crosby. Both QB’s will see time.

Don’t be surprised if you see the MCA Buccaneers playing on TV in December.

Week 7 Run Down

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Camden @ Colleton: Camden has looked unstoppable so far this year. The Wildcats went into last night’s game undefeated at 6-0 and has only really played one close game all season.

Camden took the trip to South Carolina to take on the Colleton Cougars. The Cougars came into the game 2-3 on the season.

The Wildcats scored on the opening possession on converted on the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead. Colleton would answer to make it 6-0. It was all Camden from there. The Wildcats took a 35-6 lead into the half.

Colleton would not be able to get back into the game as Camden kept adding on. The final, Camden 49 Colleton 12. The Wildcats improve to 7-0 on the season.

MCA @ Savannah Country Day: MCA has won 2 of its’ last 3, including a huge upset win over Calvary Day.

The Bucs come in a 2-3 football team but are playing much better than that. MCA took to the road up I-95 to take on the undefeated Savannah Country Day Hornets in a region matchup.

MCA returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead over the Hornets. Country Day answered to tie the game. The Bucs would score before the half to take a 14-7 lead into the locker room. Savannah Country Day evened the game in the 3rd quarter at 14-14.

The Hornets scored 14 unanswered points from that point to win a hard-fought game, 28-14. The Bucs fall to 2-4 on the year.

Brunswick High @ Richmond Hill: In 2018 the Brunswick High Pirates their season 3-3 and then lost all 4 region games to end the season 3-7.

In 2019, the Pirates started their 3-3. BHS kicked off region play against the Richmond Hill Wildcats on the road and were hopeful to not follow the 2018 plan.

The Wildcats almost knocked off Camden a few weeks back and came into this contest a 2-3 football team.

The Pirates took the opening kickoff of the game 80 yards for a touchdown to set the tone. However, the Wildcats would score 35 unanswered points to take a 35-7 lead into the half. The Wildcats would not look back, woodshedding the Pirates, 48-13.

BHS falls to 3-4 and 0-1 in the region.

Statesboro @ Wayne: Region play also starts tonight for Wayne County and Statesboro. The Yellow Jackets came in with a 4-1 mark while the Blue Devils entered the region affair with a 3-2 mark, but have lost back to back games after starting 3-0.

In a defensive struggle in the first half the Yellow Jackets to a 14-7 lead into the half.

Wayne added another TD in the 4th to go up 21-7. That would end up your final. The Yellow Jackets improve to 5-1 and take first place in their region.

Brantley @ Pierce: Everyone was beginning to think Brantley was for real, until they got thumped by MCA last week.

The Herons had a chance to prove their start wasn’t a fluke as they traveled to Blackshear to take in Pierce in the Bear’s Den.

Pierce entered the games undefeated and the class of the region.

Pierce drew first blood early in the first quarter, scoring a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. The Bears would pour it on from there, Pierce took a 42-0 lead into the half and this was a laugher for the Bears. Final 56-7. Brantley drops to 3-3 and Pierce improves to 6-0.

Frederica @ Westfield: Frederica is coming off a 30-28 loss to region foe Pinewood. The Knights lead that game 21-0 at the half, but then got outscored 30-7 in the second half.

Frederica, now 2-3 on the season, found themselves in a must win situation on the road against the Westfield Hornets.

Westfield had lost their first 6 games of the year before beating Trinity Christian last week for a region win.

The Knights found themselves up 16-7 late in the 2nd quarter. The Knights would pull away in the second half, winning the gam3 43-10. The Knights improve to 3-3 on the season and 1-1 in the region.

 

Southeast Georgia High School Week 5 Round Up

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Week 5 of the high school football season played out last night. Here are the games from around southeast Georgia.

Wayne County @ Appling County: Wayne County left the ranks of the unbeaten last week, going down to Glynn Academy. The Yellow Jackets will renew their rivalry with Appling.

Appling came into this game undefeated.

The Pirates dominated the first half and went into the locker room up 24-7 over the favored Yellow Jackets.

That lead would not last. Wayne County scored the 26 points and knocked Appling from the ranks of the unbeatens, 33-24.

Brunswick @ New Hampstead: Brunswick High is coming off a 48-20 loss to Camden, in a game that should have been closer, but the Pirates could not get out of their own way.

The Pirates took to the road to Pooler in hopes of getting their season back on track against the Phoenix.

New Hampstead scored on 2 turnovers in the first half and returned a kick to get up on the Pirates 19-7 early in the 3rd quarter.

The Pirates would not quit and came all the way back to take a 21-19 lead late in the 4th and would tack on later. Brunswick scored the last 22 points of the game to win 29-19.

The Pirates are now 2-3 on the season.

Calvary Day @ MCA: MCA is coming off their first win of the season, a 32-0 blowout of Jenkins County. The Buccaneers were hoping the momentum would carry over against Calvary Day at The Ship in Darien.

MCA’s defense played great, only down 7-0 at the half.

The Buccaneers kept fighting in the back and forth with Calvary Day. MCA took a 21-20 lead late in the 4th. However, Calvary Day responded to go back up 28-20. That would be the final. MCA falls to 1-3 on the season.

Berrien @ Brantley County: The last time we saw Brantley County on the field they were taking their first loss of the season from Jeff Davis, who was also undefeated at the time.

The Herons hosted Berrien looking to prove they are for real.

Berrien made it difficult for the Herons, taking a 17-7 lead into the half.

That would not last as Brantley battled back and would take down Berrien 31-24.

The Herons record improved to 3-1.

Ware County @ Glynn Academy: A huge rivalry game at Glynn County Stadium, in which Glynn Academy has owned recently. Ware County has looked underwhelming to this point and really needed this win on the road.

The Gators came out on a mission and took a 21-0 lead into the half.

The Terrors offense could never get going against the Ware defense and the Gators got a much needed win to bring their record at 3-2. The Terrors fall to 2-2. The final 35-13 in favor of Ware.

South Effingham @ Pierce County: Both South Effingham and Pierce entered into this game undefeated. South Effingham hasn’t been getting a lot respect despite their perfect record. A win at Pierce would change that.

The Mustangs held their own and went into halftime tied 7-7 with the Bears.

Pierce pulled away in the second half and gave South Effingham their first loss of the year, 42-28. The Mustangs fall to 4-1 and Pierce goes to 5-0.

Week 4 Friday Night Lights

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Week 4 of the High School Football is now in the books and here is what went down in South Georgia.

Wayne County @ Glynn Academy: Both of these teams coming into this game trying to figure out how good they were. The game turned into a track meet with the Red Terrors coming out on top 47-35.

It was the first game Glynn had played since August and the Red Terrors ran the ball at will against Wayne.

The Yellow Jackets scored on big play after big play but in the end could not sustain long drives to keep the Red Terror offense off the field.  Glynn goes to 2-1 and Wayne falls to 2-1.

Brunswick High @ Camden County: Camden played a tight game with Richmond Hill the week before, which raised some eyebrows across the state. Brunswick blew out MCA the previous week and this looked to be an interesting game. It ended up not being that interesting.

Camden jumped out to a 14-0 lead, the Pirates answered with a touchdown and it looked like we might have a game with a 14-7 score in the 2nd quarter. That was short lived.

The Camden defense clamped down and the offense went to work. The Wildcats knocked off the Pirates 48-20.

MCA @ Jenkins County: Jenkins came into this game as the favorite to beat winless MCA. Instead the Buccaneers went into to Jenkins and dominated the War Eagles. MCA’s defense was the story, completely shutting down the Jenkins County offense to the tune of a shutout. MCA wins their first game of the year, 32-0.

Augusta Prep @ Frederica Academy: This was the first home game of the year for Frederica.

There is no putting this mildly. This was ugly. Frederica scored on their first play from scrimmage and the rout was on. The Knights ended up putting Augusta Prep on a running clock. The Knights hung 60 on the Cavaliers in a 63-0 laugher.

 

Chopping October

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

October baseball will take place once again in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Braves defended their 2018 NL East Crown by clinching the division this past weekend.

Most experts did not have the Braves winning the division in 2019, mostly taking into account all the money the Philadelphia Phillies spent in the offseason. Those Phillies most likely will not make the playoffs at all.

As October approaches, there is still the business of Atlanta setting their playoff roster. The Braves roster suffered a ton of injuries in the last two months of the season. Nick Markakis, Ender Inciarte, Austin Riley, Charlie Culberson and Johan Camargo all spent time in the Injured List and Atlanta will be without Culberson and Camargo in the first round and maybe throughout the playoffs.

The Braves will likely be matched up with the St. Louis Cardinals in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.  The Cardinals likely will win the NL Central.

St. Louis, once again, put together a second half run to put themselves into the mix.

The Cardinals will bring with them into a postseason a young starting rotation, headed by Dakota Hudson. Hudson currently has notched 16 wins for the Red Birds with a 3.35 ERA.

Outside of Hudson, the Cardinals will have Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, and Adam Wainwright.

Paul Goldschmidt hit 31 homeruns for St. Louis and led the team.

Meanwhile, the Braves will bring an offense that has carried the team all year long and a decent rotation.

Mike Soroka had a breakout season for Atlanta and along with Dallas Keuchel, Max Fried and either Julio Teheran or Mike Foltynewicz in the rotation.

Realistically, the Braves will be huge favorites to beat the Cardinals in the 3 of 5 series. If that happens, the Braves will get the winner of the NL West Champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the winner of the Wild Card Game.

I believe the Dodgers will get the Washington Nationals in the first round. That series have the potential to go all 5 games.

Last season the Dodgers bombed Atlanta in the NLDS, but the Braves pitching is far better than last season and so is the offense.

The Dodgers will be favored to beat the Braves if that is the matchup but Atlanta would be favored against any other team they may play in the NLCS if they get past St, Louis.

In my opinion, the Braves will do no worse than an NLCS appearance and will give LA all they want in the NLCS. On paper, the Dodgers are deeper and better.

The most exciting thing is the Braves will be making plenty of playoff appearances moving forward. They are good and young.

If not this season, a World Series Championship should be on the horizon for the Braves.

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