Jason Bishop

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A New Era

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

A new era of football has arrived for the Camden County Wildcats.

On February 28th the Camden County school system announced the hire of Travis Roland to become the next head football coach.

Legendary coach, Jeff Herron retired after three seasons with Camden. Herron took the Wildcats to the GHSA 7A Final Four this past season.

Travis Roland will come in with success of his own. Roland spent three seasons as the Mainland Buccaneers Head Coach and went 30-10 in that span. Mainland High School is in Daytona, FL.

Roland’s Buccaneers made a state title game appearance in 2022 but came up a little short. However, the Buccaneers returned to the title game in 2023 and this time walked away State Champions under Travis Roland’s leadership, beating powerhouse St. Augustine 21-19.

It was reported that over 30 applicants applied for the opening. The Camden County School System announced a meeting on Friday February 16th where they intended to announce a new football coach on that date.

However, Tracolya Green, Camden County Superintendent, announced at that meeting that no hire would be made as not enough time was given to properly vet references for the final 2 candidates for the position.

Coach Roland played high school football at Mainland High School and then went on to play at Bethune-Cookman. He played Arena Football after his college playing days ended.

Roland began coaching in 2009 at Mainland High School as an assistant. He spent three seasons with the Buccaneers before transitioning to Seabreeze High School, also in Daytona, as an assistant.

In 2012 Roland returned to Mainland High School’s coaching staff and remained until 2016. In 2017 Roland was named Head Coach at Flagler Palm Coast. He remained head coach there until 2020, when he once again returned to Mainland High School, this time as the Head Coach.

Coach Roland is the reigning Florida Coach of the Year.

He will take the reins of the Camden program, which is saturated with rich and proud history. Camden County Wildcat Football has been synonymous with tough, hard-nosed football and the Wing-T offense.

The Wildcats ran that Wing-T offense from 2000-2016 under former coaches Jeff Herron and Welton Coffey. The Wildcats won 3 state titles under Jeff Herron in 2003, 2008 and 2009.

Camden ran a spread from 2017-2020 under former coach Bob Sphire. The Wildcat offense went back to the Wing-T when Jeff Herron re-assumed the position as head coach.

It is expected Coach Roland will bring in a brand new system.

A new era has dawned in Kingsland.


By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Legendary Camden County Wildcats Coach Jeff Herron recently announced his retirement.

Throughout the early 2000’s the Camden County Wildcats Football Program was a juggernaut under Jeff Herron. During his first tenure with the Wildcats, he won 12 straight region titles and 3 state championships.

Herron left the Camden County Wildcat football program after the 2012 season to pursue other coaching opportunities.

In 2021, it was announced that Camden was going to welcome Jeff Herron back home and offered him a second stint as Wildcats’ Head Coach, which Herron accepted.

In Herron’s second year he took the Wildcats to the second round of the GHSA playoffs, a feat that had not been accomplished since 2015.

This past season, Herron led the Wildcats to the Final Four of the GHSA playoffs, eventually losing to powerhouse Walton. The Wildcats were the only team from their region to advance that far in the playoffs.

The legendary coach retires with a career record of 335-69.

Before the second go around with Camden, Herron’s last head coaching job was at T.L. Hanna High School in South Carolina and in 2 years there he amassed a 25-2 record. A year before that he won his 5th state championship with Grayson in Atlanta going 14-1.

Herron was the Head Coach at Oconee High School from 1997 to 1999 and won his first state title there. He went 33-6 at Oconee. When Herron took over the Oconee program the school had won a total of 8 games in 4 years.

During Herron’s first stay in Kingsland, he had a record 154-18. At one point the Wildcats won 58 straight regular season games under Herron, which is a Georgia record.

Herron had the Wildcats ranked inside the top 25 nationally six different seasons and the Camden program was named the program of the decade in the state of Georgia in the 2000’s.

The Wildcat program is looking to become a consistent state power once again and have returned to their roots to do so.

When the Camden administration hired Jeff Herron they asked him to get the football program moving in the right direction again. As always, Jeff Herron over-delivered. He amassed a 23-15 record in his second stint as Wildcats coach.

In his illustrious coaching career Herron only suffered one losing season ever, that was 2021, his first season back as head coach. The Wildcats still made the playoffs that season, finishing 4-7.

Herron leaves the program in far better shape than he found it.

Is The Tide Coming In Or Going Out?

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The year was 1895 and none of us were here yet. That is the first year that Alabama and Georgia played for the very first time. That game was played in Columbus, GA and the Bulldogs came out on top 30-6 over the Crimson Tide.

Georgia has not fared very well against Bama since that inaugural meeting. The two teams have met a total of 72 times with Alabama winning 42 of those. That is a 58% winning percentage. There are 4 ties to be mentioned.

In fact, Alabama owns the biggest point differential in a win, 36-0 and they did it twice; 1905 and 1923.

Alabama also owns the longest winning streak between the two of seven games. That streak is pretty recent, it ranges from 2008 through 2021.

It hasn’t been all Bama dominance; Georgia did win five straight games against the Tide from 1910 through 1916. And then three in a row from 2002 through 2007. The 2007 loss for Alabama was the last time Bama lost to Georgia until Stetson Bennett went Stetson Bennett in the 4th quarter of the 2021/2022 National Championship game leading UGA to a 33-18 win and their first National Title since 1980.

That win ended most of the Hershel Walker jokes administered to UGA fans. The Dawgs went on to win another national title the very next year, granted Alabama was not in the equation for that run for UGA. The Crimson Tide lost 2 games and just missed making the College Football Playoff.

The sobering truth is even the great Kirby Smart has not had a ton of success beating Nick Saban and Alabama. Kirby showed up in 2016 and had the Dawgs in a National Title game just a short two years later. That was the first of four straight losses Kirby had to Saban.

Kirby is 1-4 against Nick Saban with that one coming in the 2022 National Title Game.

Over the course of the last two seasons, you have heard a national media narrative that Georgia has replaced Alabama as the premier program in College Football despite only beating the Tide once since the Bulldogs program rose to National Title Contenders annually.

To be fair, this version of the Alabama Crimson Tide football may be as powerful as some of its’ predecessors. Bama’s defense is above average but not dominant. There are still some questions about QB Jalen Milroe’s ability to throw the ball, especially down field. Not to mention, Alabama does not have a dynamic receiver who can consistently stretch defenses vertically.

Georgia’s defense has struggled this season with dual threat quarterbacks this season. Milroe is a dual threat QB. However, UGA’s secondary is elite and Alabama doesn’t have a receiver on the roster that can consistently challenge that group. With that being said it will Georgia to ‘spy’ and bring blitzes from the front to neutralize Milroe’s ability to make big plays with his legs.

Alabama has dominated this rivalry, but the SEC Title game will continue yield the same results as every other game has yielded for Georgia. Georgia wins and vaults itself into the College Football Playoff.

28-17 Georgia.


Captain Of The Bucs

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The McIntosh County Academy Buccaneers are a trendy pick to win the Single A Division II GHSA State Title. That is in no small part due to Bucs standout, Neo West.

West starts on defense at safety and also starts at QB for Bradley Warren’s Bucs.

Neo West is a local homegrown talent, born and raised in McIntosh County…living in Townsend.

The season started with plans to move West out of the QB role and into the running back position. Coach Bradley Warren instead elected to keep West as their biggest threat on offense at QB.

Neo West is a weapon, a dual threat QB that has a high football IQ. West is just plain smarter than most he plays against. “When I play QB I try to make the smartest play possible and control the offense.”

West went on to say, “I am most comfortable in a Wing-T offense. I like sharing the ball and making big plays happen.” He has made his fair share of big plays, playing both ways since he was a freshman and was a starter at safety and QB as a sophomore.

When asked about what he has learned from his head coach, Bradley Warren, I got this profound answer; “Coach Warren has taught me a lot but one of the biggest things is that I need to be the one to step up. On the football field I need to be the one to step and make a big play when my team needs it. And in life I need to be the one step up and do what needs to be done.”

Neo West has high aspirations on the football field as his goal for this season is to make All-State at safety. Eventually Neo wants to move onto college and major in business. West hopes that college football will be part of that equation.

To this point West has received some interest from Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic, and Middle Tennessee State. Most likely as the season wears on more interest will follow.

West also is only a Junior, so he has a whole other year to play for the Bucs after this season.

Neo started playing football at 7 years old. He played both RB and QB on offense and played safety on defense.

I asked Neo what drives him…”My mom is the biggest influence in my life. She has had such a huge positive impact on who I am. She always told me that just because I might be smaller than some other people playing football that none of them could match the size of my heart and to play with heart.” West’s measurables are 5’11 150 pounds. He is tough, hard nosed kid that plays bigger than he is.

Neo is also close with his sister, Judea West. “She is 22 and in college at Middle Macon. We actually call each other twins because we are so much alike. We are always there for each other.”

Neo West is a phenomenal young man that has big things ahead of him.


Rolling Tide

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Many have argued that Alabama has been replaced by the University of Georgia at the top of the College Football World. Facts are facts, and Georgia has been the National Champion the last two seasons. As a matter of fact, the Bulldogs knocked off the Crimson Tide on their way to winning their first national title.

That still does not diminish what Alabama is; the Crimson Tide are still among the teams to beat and in most years you must beat Alabama to win a National Title.

The Crimson Tide are coming off of a sub-par 2022 season by Alabama standards. That includes a 2-loss season, which had them ranked 5th in the country. Most teams would love to have that season. However, in Tuscaloosa, that doesn’t cut it.

The Crimson Tide’s biggest concern for 2023 is the QB position. Head Coach Nick Saban and his staff have not had a QB issue in over a decade. Bryce Young, Tua, Hurts, Mac Jones, McElroy, John Parker-Wilson, etc…..all names that have given Bama stability at the QB spot in the past.

For now, it looks like Coach Saban will go with Jalen Milroe as his signal caller. It is pretty apparent that Saban does not have a lot of faith in an of the QBs in the roster so you will likely see Ty Simpson and transfer Ty Buchner at some point this season too.

Unlike Georgia’s 2023 schedule, Alabama’s schedule is not a cake walk.

Sept 2 Middle Tennessee: The Blue Raiders take a trip to Tuscaloosa to serve as tune up for the Crimson Tide and it will be just that. Alabama wins 56-7.

September 9 Texas: The Longhorns will return the trip to Tuscaloosa. This soon is a matchup we will see on a more frequent basis with Texas joining the SEC. This will be a great game. Bama has a better roster. Both teams have questions at QB. Texas will start Ohio State transfer Quinn Ewers. Ewers has yet to throw a pass at the collegiate level. Give me Alabama 17-16.

September 16 @ South Florida: The Crimson Tide will be riding high off their tough win over Texas and will struggle on the road against the Bulls. In the end, USF doesn’t have enough playmakers to beat Bama and the Crimson Tide survive an upset scare early. 24-21

September 23 Ole Miss: I don’t ever see a circumstance where Nick Saban will allow himself to lose to a Lane Kiffin coached team, much less at home. Bama is ready for the Rebels and make an example of them. 30-17

September 30 @ Mississippi State: This will be your typical Alabama/Mississippi State game. Alabama big. 42-14

October 7 @ Texas A&M: Jimbo Fisher is sitting squarely on the hot seat and needs to win some big games in the conference to maintain his job with the Aggies. This will be close and the Aggies give the Tide a scare. Alabama survives. 27-21.

October 14 Arkansas: Nick Saban pushed his players through a tough week of practice following the upset scare to Texas A&M and Alabama comes out and plays their best game of the year against Arkansas. 56-17.

October 21 Tennessee: Alabama has had this game circled since last season and will be looking for revenge against Volunteers….not just for the loss Tennessee handed Alabama, but for Bama having to hear ‘Rocky Top’ played 250 times. Hendon Hooker is gone for the Vols, but Tennessee’s roster pretty good. Even with a step back at QB for UT, their QB situation is still better than Bama’s. The Vols beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, 31-23.

November 4 LSU: After the loss to UT, this game becomes a must get for the Tide in order to win the SEC West. Unfortunately, for the Alabama faithful they will be handed their second straight loss at home. This loss gives LSU the inside track to Atlanta.

November 11 @Kentucky: The Wildcats are a pretty decent football team and Commonwealth Stadium will be rocking. Kentucky and their fans will see Alabama limping in and smell blood in the water. Too bad for the Wildcats, that Alabama will be looking to make a statement against them. Bama 35-10.

November 18 Chattanooga: The Mocs will come into Bryant-Denney Stadium to serve as a warm up for the Iron Bowl the following week. Alabama 62-21.

November 25 @ Auburn: Alabama will come into the Iron Bowl with an outside shot of making the College Football Playoff. The Tide will need an impressive win over Auburn to have a shot. They will get just that over first year coach Hugh Freeze and a rebuilding Tiger team that will be no match for their rival. Bama 48-10.

The Tide will once again finish 10-2 and be on the outside of the College Football Playoff looking in. Once again the Tide will fall to UT and LSU. And once again we will see Nick Saban go on National TV and beg the playoff committee to let them in.







The Big Sting

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The Wayne County Yellow Jackets enjoyed a 10-win season in 2022. This was a huge accomplishment as the 2021 season had been a terrible year for the Yellow Jackets.

Wayne brought in a new Head Coach and the Yellow Jackets were a real force in 2022.

Jabo Shaw took over the reigns in Jesup in 2022 after three great years in Rabun County. A stint that saw Coach Shaw develop, now UGA QB, Gunner Stockton.

The Yellow Jackets finished second in their region and made the Elite Eight in the 4A GHSA playoffs.

Wayne bowed out to North Oconee, a traditional powerhouse.

2023 is also full of promise as Wayne County looks to take the next step and win a Region Championship.

The Yellow Jackets reside in region 3-4A, which also consists of the Benedictine Cadets, the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets, the New Hampstead Phoenix, The Burke County Bears, and the Islands Sharks.

Here is how the Yellow Jackets 2023 schedule stacks up.

August 18 Bradwell @ Wayne: This is a game Wayne dominated last season in Hinesville, 34-12. It should be more of the same, especially at home at Jaycee Stadium.

August 25 Brooks @ Wayne: The Yellow Jackets took the trip to Quitman last year and fell to the Trojans 39-25, despite not giving up a defensive TD. Brooks returns the trip to Jesup.

September 1 Wayne @ Appling: Rivalry games don’t get much better than the Jackets and Pirates. Wayne battled Appling to 7-0 win last season at Jaycee Stadium. This will be another great one.

September 8 Bye:

September 15 Wayne @ Statesboro: The Yellow Jackets will take the trip to Womack Field to take on the Blue Devils. In years past going to Womack Field was an automatic loss for everyone, it is still a tough place to play. Statesboro also has a new Coach, which means a new style.

September 22 Jenkins @ Wayne: The Yellow Jackets will finally be back at Jaycee Stadium after not playing at home in almost a month against the Jenkins Warriors.

September 30: Wayne @ Burke: Region play open for the Jackets on the road all the way up in Waynesboro, near Augusta. The winner of this game likely will be the 2 seed in the region and will have scopes focused on Benedictine.

October 6 Wayne @ Islands: The Islands is coming off probation sanctioned by the GHSA for an ineligible player and should be better in 2023. Wayne will head to Savannah to find out how good the Sharks are.

October 13 Wayne @ New Hampstead: The third straight region game on the road for Wayne County and the second straight trip to the Savannah area, this time to play the Phoenix. New Hampstead is not your typical Savannah push over.

October 20 Benedictine @ Wayne: If all goes according to plan for Coach Shaw, this game could be for the region title and it will be played at Jaycee Stadium. The Cadets took this game last season in Savannah 31-10.

October 27 Southeast Bulloch @ Wayne: Southeast Bulloch was a very young football team last season. Over a dozen freshman saw critical time for the Yellow Jackets. Wayne will be looking to get playoff ready and end the regular season at home on a high note.

I think an undefeated regular season could be in the works for Wayne County if all goes well. The Burke County game and the Benedictine game will be the biggest hurdles for Wayne.

I’m picking the Wayne County Yellow Jackets to go 9-1 in the regular season and grab the #2 seed in the region. Wayne will make another deep playoff run.


The Cats Are Back

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The 2023 season was a breakout season for the Camden County Wildcats.

The Cats went 8-4, including a trip to the second round of the playoffs. The 2023 season also saw wins over both Valdosta and Lowndes, something that has not been accomplished since 2015.

Thus, to say the expectations are high for 2024 is drastic understatement.

Legendary coach Jeff Herron returns for his third season as the head man in Camden and has rebuilt the identity of the program in two short years. The Wildcats are back to playing ‘tough, grind it out’ football.

Camden will return Mason Robinson at QB for his senior campaign. The Wildcats Wing-T rushing attack will be led by standout running back Jaden Daily.

On defense the 2024 Cats will be very fast and physical. The defense will be led by senior linebacker Cooper Thornhill.

Here is how the schedule pans out for Camden.

Week 1: Columbia Eagles: This is a game Camden has circled on the calendar as the Eagles came to Chris Gilman stadium and stunned the Wildcats in a massive upset.

Week 2: Brunswick High Pirates: Another game that is circled in the schedule after the Pirates won in a nail biter last season at Glynn County Stadium by making a goal line stand at the end to win. This contest will be held at the friendly confines of Chris Gilman Stadium.

Week 3: @ Glynn Academy Red Terrors: The Wildcats blistered the Red Terrors last season, but that was at Chris Gilman Stadium. This game will be at Glynn County Stadium against a hungry Red Terror squad that will be looking to prove its’ metal early.

Week 4: New Hampstead Phoenix: New Hampstead is coming off of a 6-5 campaign and a playoff appearance.  The Phoenix are an underrated team and not your typical Savannah public school push over.

Week 5: Somerset Academy Panthers: The Wildcats made short work of the Panthers last season despite Somerset being a playoff team in their classification last season. The Panthers make a second straight trip to Kingsland.

Week 6: Atlantic Coast Stingrays: The Stingrays also make their second straight trip to Kingsland. Last season the Wildcats won 47-6 in a game that wasn’t even that close. The Stingrays did not win a single game last season.

Week 7: Bye

            Week 8: Richmond Hill Wildcats: Region play begins for Camden against Richmond Hill. Last year Camden County went up to Richmond Hill and escaped with a 21-14 win. Richmond Hill returns the trip to Chris Gilman.

Week 9: Colquitt County Packers: The Colquitt County Packers are the best team in South Georgia. The Packers went up and down the field last season on Camden’s defense in Moultrie. The Packers head to Kingsland this season.

Week 10: @ Valdosta Wildcats: Valdosta will be looking for revenge against Camden. Camden grabbed the attention of the state last season beating ranked Valdosta 17-14 in Camden last season. Camden will take the trip to Title Town this season.

Week 11: @ Lowndes Vikings: The Lowndes Vikings got blown out in Kingsland last season and will be looking to earn some respect back after winning only one region game last year.

Jeff Herron and the coaching staff have things on the right track in Kingsland. Look for the Camden County Wildcats to go 9-1 on the season and make a deep playoff run. I expect Camden to at least be an Elite Eight team come playoff time.



Running Wild

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

For the last three years I have had the pleasure of watching Jaden Dailey progress as a player for the Camden County Wildcats.

The Camden running back began getting carries for the Wildcats on the varsity level as only a freshman and has evolved into the main weapon at running back for Camden.

Dailey was born in Camden and then moved to Valdosta shortly after. Fortunately, for Camden fans, he moved back to Camden at the age of six. At age seven Dailey began playing football and immediately was a natural. By the time Dailey was eight years old his father, Michael Dailey, saw his son had a gift as a football player.

His father began working with his son on becoming a better running back and harnessing his talent.

Jaden Dailey was a freshman in Bob Sphires last season as Camden County Head Coach in 2020 and earned the trust of the coaching staff.

Dailey had a great mentor as he often shared the same backfield as Jamie Felix. “Jamie was a great motivator and was like an older brother to me. He would always tell me stay positive and keep my head up.” Jamie Felix is now playing on Saturdays at Georgia Tech.

In 2020 Felix went down for a portion of the season with a hamstring injury and Jaden Dailey was given the opportunity for some carries and he never looked back. By 2022, Dailey was a tough ‘between the tackles’ runner with great vision in Jeff Herron’s Wing-T offense.

Herron took over the program in 2021 and installed his signature Wing-T offense.

“My first impression of Jeff Herron was he was tough and serious. As I have gotten to know him I have seen some funny moments out of him too. He wants us to be physical as offense and pound the ball. He sets the tone.”

Jaden is the oldest of three brothers: Julian and Noah. Fourteen-year-old Julian also plays for Camden and plays running back. Noah is 11.

Jaden has some lofty goals for 2023 on the field. “I want to rush for 2,000 yards this coming season. I would also like to have 3,000 all-purpose yards.” If Dailey accomplishes those goals you will probably see the Wildcats in Atlanta in December.

He is a good student as well. He has a 4.0 cumulative grade point average and hopes to graduate with honors.

The plan after high school is to attend college and major in Business Marketing.

He will have a big decision as several schools have shown interest in offering Dailey a football scholarship. Some of those schools include Navy, Stetson, Tennessee Tech, Kennesaw State, UConn and Georgia State.

I expect a ton more offers to follow and for Jaden Dailey to have a monster 2023 season.

All Area

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The High School Football season has come and gone.

Here are my selections for the All-Area Team, which consists of five schools….Camden County High School, Glynn Academy, Brunswick High School, Frederica Academy and McIntosh County Academy.


Coaches Of The Year-Garrett Grady (BHS), Jeff Herron (Camden)



Offensive Linemen-Danny Thomas (MCA), Caden Copeland (Camden), Zach Owens (Camden), Daniel Rush (MCA), Jamal Meriweather (BHS), John McCleod (Glynn), Jack Hunt (Glynn)

Tight End-Dawson Hassler (MCA), Hamp Thompson (Frederica)

Wide Receivers-David Prince (Glynn), Terry Mitchell (BHS), Jayden Drayton (BHS)

Running Backs-Jordan Triplett (Frederica), Greg Peacock (Glynn), Jayden Daily (Camden), JaReese Campbell (MCA)

Quarterback-JR Elkins (BHS)



Defensive Linemen-Ka’Shawn Thomas (BHS), DeNigel Cooper (Camden), Sam Norris (Frederica), Xzavia Cummings (Glynn), Kristian Dallas (Camden), Jordan Jimerson (BHS)

Linebackers-Devin Smith (BHS), Lionel Twitty (BHS), J’Shawn Towns (BHS), Lake Linton (MCA), Cooper Thornhill (Camden), Jake Lindsey (Camden)

Defensive Backs-Tyre Young (Camden), Keon Leggett (BHS), Rico Holmes (Frederica), Blake Holloway (Frederica), Shamarion Gibbs (Camden), Ivan Johnson (BHS)


Special Teams:

Kicker-Kody Arnold (Glynn), Gabe Caison (Camden)

Punter-McClain Fineran (BHS)

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