A few weeks back when the Harlem girls softball team won the Region 3-AA championship, I trumpeted that as the team’s first-ever region crown. Turns out I was wrong.
The Lady Bulldogs won the Region 3-AAA title in 2001 and 2002. In 2001, they won it under coach Krista Meadows. When she moved on, the Lady Bulldogs repeated under first-year head coach Melissa Chase.
Thanks to Joan Braswell for pointing out my mistake. By no means did I mean to diminish the accomplishments of those young ladies by omission.
Does Size Matter?
This weekend, the two smallest county teams will be playing in their respective state football playoffs.
The Augusta Prep Cavaliers, members of the AL/GA Independent League, finished the regular season 5-3, first in the Glory For Christ Eastern Division. This followed a 2011 campaign when they were 6-4, advancing to GFC’s second round.
The Cavaliers will face the winner of East Atlanta and Holy Spirit on Saturday in Atlanta at St. Pius X. The Cavaliers beat East Atlanta 22-15 at its Oct. 5 homecoming.
Cavaliers head coach Harry Bacheller said winning the region was awesome, with the key part being able to give his players some rest.
The Cavaliers are balanced on offense, with five players rushing for at least 100 yards. Nolan Brandon leads the way with 557 yards and seven touchdowns. Defensively, the Cavaliers have nine interceptions, led by Joseph Shaver with five.
Augusta Christian, which secured first place in the South Carolina Independent School Association two weeks ago, opens at home in the first round of the SCISA playoffs on Nov. 2, most likely against Heathwood Hall. A win nets another home game Nov. 9 and a win puts the Lions in the championship game in Columbia on Nov. 17.
Heading into Friday’s regular-season finale, the Lions were 9-0, including a one-point road win over six-time defending champion Hammond.
After an 8-4 season in 2011 with just a running game, the Lions added a potent passing attack to their arsenal, making them virtually unstoppable offensively.
Tyler Roberson has run the triple-option almost to perfection, with tailback Thomas Banks 53 yards short of hitting 1,000 for the second consecutive year. Fullback Sean Sweeting has 289 yards and five touchdowns and Roberson has run for 728 yards and 15 touchdowns. When the Lions go vertical, Roberson (90 of 148, 1,601 yards, 15 touchdowns, 2 interceptions) has a deep threat in Nick Fortenberry, who had 39 catches for 830 yards and eight touchdowns.
Much credit must go to the offensive line and the defense, which have turned in solid performances all year, and to freshman kicker Heath Brace, who heads a consistent special teams unit.
I hate to think I’d be a jinx, but I don’t see anyone stopping the Lions in the first two rounds, which potentially sets up a rematch with Hammond in the championship game. At a neutral site, I give the nod to the Lions to pull out another close win.