While the Augusta Prep, Evans, Grovetown, Harlem and Lakeside high school football teams do not crank up until next week, we do have a couple of county teams in action this Friday night. That’s right, the 2012 high school football season kicks off Friday for Augusta Christian and Greenbrier.
Once again this season, I will try to accurately predict each game involving Columbia County teams. Last year I was correct 79 percent of the time, going 45-12. Let’s see if we can top that in 2012.
Greenbrier (0-0) vs. Cross Creek (0-0)
Last meeting: Greenbrier blasted the Razorbacks 42-12 back in 2003.
All-time: Greenbrier leads 2-0 in the series.
This is an interesting first game for Greenbrier and new head coach Kevin Hunt. His only other head coaching job was at Cross Creek, from 2002-05. He went just 12-29 during that stint, but did go 6-5 his final season and led Cross Creek to the state playoffs.
Third-year Cross Creek coach Travis Nixon hopes to pull off that feat this year. In Nixon’s first season the team was just 1-9, but improved to 5-5 a year ago. Greenbrier has to replace top rusher Jahvon Hardrick, quarterback Cody Turner and star defensive back Thomas Brown, but still has some weapons. Speedy running back Jeremy Harden will be counted on heavily this season and will need a big game for Greenbrier to get the victory. This one should be very close, but I’m going with the home team.
Greenbrier 23, Cross Creek 20
Augusta Christian (0-0) at Wilson Hall (0-0)
Last meeting: Wilson Hall knocked off the Lions 27-20 last year.
Records in 2011: ACS went 8-4; Wilson was 13-1.
Augusta Christian gave a valiant effort last season. They faced a loaded Wilson Hall team that finished the season 13-1. Wilson Hall lost quarterback Gibson Klapthor, who threw 11 touchdowns and no interceptions a year ago. Also gone are talented running backs Daniel Drakeford and James Lowery. The duo combined to rush for more than 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2011. Top receiver Robert Rohner graduated also. He caught 26 passes for 567 yards and nine touchdowns for Wilson Hall a year ago. That is a ton of talent to replace.
Augusta Christian also lost some talent but return much more than Wilson Hall. The team is bringing back quarterback Tyler Roberson, who enters his fourth season as a starter under center for the Lions. Also returning is running back Thomas Banks, who, along with fullback Sean Sweeting, will likely challenge for County Player of the Year honors. Add to that an improved receiving corps and 2012 could be a special season for the Lions.
Last season AC advanced to round two of the SCISA Playoffs. I expect a deeper run for Keith Walton’s team this year. If they get solid play on the lines of scrimmage, the Lions could be a championship-caliber squad.
Augusta Christian 34, Wilson Hall 20