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Broadcast features former county players

Poythress makes good on promise

Posted: July 25, 2012 - 12:06am

Every Thursday night of this football season, WJBF-TV will once again offer viewers a chance to catch a live high school football broadcast. Last year, games were a huge success and got great reviews by players, coaches and fans alike.

I am thrilled to have been asked to again serve as a play-by-play announcer for the games.

The TV station held a banquet where the 2012 schedule was revealed and the coaches got acquainted with the production and broadcast team for the games.

I noticed something while sitting there. As I call the action, Matt Lane will provide color commentary and Ryan Bowers will serve as a sideline reporter. Three of the program’s four on-air personalities played high school football in Columbia County.

Primarily a baseball and basketball player, I played just one football season at Lakeside.

My partners, however, were each All-County football players and went on to play college ball. Lane was an All-County tight end for Augusta Christian before playing at Georgia Military Junior College and Valdosta State University.

Bowers was a solid talent at Greenbrier, before becoming an All-American safety at Presbyterian College. He also went on to play professionally for nearly a decade. If the name sounds familiar, it should. He’s the same Ryan Bowers who recently was a contestant on ABC’s The Bachelorette.

The 2012 schedule kicks off Aug. 23, and next week I will break down the WJBF-TV Game Night Live schedule for this season.

Poythress makes good on promise

When Jackson Generals’ first baseman Rich Poythress went on the disabled list in May, the former Greenbrier baseball star texted me and said he’d have a huge second half of the season. At the time, Poythress was hitting the ball well but had nothing to show for it. He was hitting in the .260s with only one homer and 18 RBI. This was from a 6-foot-4, 240-pound hitting machine, who led all of pro baseball with 131 RBI and hitting .316 with 31 home runs in his first full year as a pro.

After producing during a rehab stint in Arizona, Poythress is doing exactly what he told me he would do. Poythress has gone 14 for 36 at the plate in his last 10 games, posting a .389 batting average, with five doubles, seven RBI and four multi-hit games. The former Wolfpack and Georgia Bulldogs standout has played 54 games between Arizona and AA Jackson (Tenn.), and now is hitting .314 with four home runs and 32 RBI.

It might not be too much longer before he gets the call every baseball player dreams of.

Former Lakeside star comes close

I recently wrote about a local team participating in the prestigious Nike Peach Jam.

The team’s assistant coach was former Lakeside basketball star Matt Scott. Scott, who finished his career as the county’s all-time leading scorer, has played a major role in coaching g the Southern Stampede.

In the past couple of years, the team has received a sponsorship deal with Nike and rose to No. 6 in the nation for 16 and under AAU Teams.

The Stampede became the first local team to ever qualify for the Peach Jam, which is played annually at North Augusta’s Riverview Park and attracts the nation’s elite high school players and big-name college coaches.

The Stampede marched their way to play in last weekend’s championship game but came up just short. They lost to Team Texas Titans 66-65 in double overtime. Congratulations to Scott and the team on representing the area so well.

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