Tidbits - September 22, 2022


  You know how it is when you think something is easy, but you find out it is not?
  I just knew Saluda was going to beat Emerald, much the way the Tigers defeated Ninety Six the week before. After all, Saluda beat Ninety Six 39-15 and Emerald beat Ninety Six 35-28, and Ninety Six beat Ware Shoals 53-0, while Emerald only beat the Hornets 49-6.
  And last year, in the Greenwood Jamboree, Saluda beat Emerald 21-13, and Saluda 2022 is better than Saluda 2021.
  Slam  dunk, right?
  Somebody forgot to tell the Vikings they were supposed to be an easy mark.
  It didn’t take long for Saluda fans to find out Emerald was a good team. The 14-0 early Viking lead was a good hint!
  At the Jayvee game the night before, I saw Emerald had some talent, especially in the skilled positions, coming up. Friday night in Greenwood. I saw quickly the 3A Vikings had a lot of talent in the skilled positions on the varsity, too, as well as some big linemen.
  For two weeks in a row, the Tigers were tested and they passed the test with flying colors.
  At Ninety Six, Saluda only lead 15-8 at the half, but scored 17 points in the third quarter to put the game away.
  At Emerald, the Tigers trailed 14-0, but outscored the Vikings 21-0 the rest of the way.
  The victory kept Saluda ranked number one in 2A.
  As a person who has covered Saluda High football since 1977, I can tell you the Tiger shortcoming in those mediocre and losing seasons was a lack of speed.
  I can tell you the reason Saluda has won 69 games since 2016 and lost only 23, is because the Tigers have had players with exceptional speed.
  Friday’s game was turned around when senior speedster Tyleke Mathis broke two long plays, one on a kick-off return and one on a pass. He’s been doing that for three years.
  Saluda was down 14-0 early in the second quarter, but it only took a few seconds on runs by Tyleke to knot the score.
  When the Tigers won the state championship over Barnwell in 2019, I heard the SaludaNOW crew was told by someone from Barnwell before the game the War Horses were going to win big, because Saluda did not have the overall talent to win.
    Barnwell may have had the most overall talent, but that wasn’t enough to stop Saluda’s speed demon wide receivers from running by them. The blowout belonged to Saluda, 39-14.
  The Tigers have this week off. They’ll have two weeks to prepare for Gilbert, who, when I wrote this, was ranked 4th in 3A.
  The Indians played old rival Lexington on September 16, and they may have fallen to the bigger Wildcats, who also have a strong rushing attack like the Indians.
  The Indians won their first three games by scores of 49-14, 66-21 and 56-31, with several running backs rushing for 100-yards each in all the games.
  Gilbert is good, to say the least.
  I harken back to my high school days, when Saluda played Gilbert and another Lexington County school, Pelion. We played Gilbert in basketball and Pelion in baseball. Neither school had a football team back then.
  They were like Hollywood in Saluda County. If a boy at Hollywood wanted to play football, he played for Saluda. If boys from Gilbert and Pelion wanted to play football, they played at Lexington.
  Saluda and Lexington schools were the same size back then.
  Lexington and Irmo were in Saluda’s conference. Chapin, Gilbert and Pelion were in smaller classifications.
  Look how much Lexington County has grown in a half century! Maybe, Saluda’s day is coming....

  I noticed in The State obituaries that Albert Dooley had died at the age of 92 in Lexington.
  I had not thought of that name in over 50-years, but Albert Dooley left a lasting impression on my life.
  As I’ve written many times, I kept the stats for the football team and wrote up the games for this newspaper when I was in high school.
  I dreaded away games, because I would have to go to the press box on the “other” side of the field and sit with a bunch of adults I didn’t know. In most cases, few words were exchanged, other than “nice to meet you, and good luck the rest of the way.”
  Lexington High School was different. Back then, the football field on was 378  behind Hite’s. Since Hite’s is no longer there, I can’t tell you where it was!
  When I got to the Lexington press box, I was surprised I “knew” two of the men in there. I “knew” them,  because I’d seen them on TV as Lexington County elected officials.
  Albert Dooley was the public address announcer, and Floyd Spence was his spotter. One was a state senator and the other was a house member. I can’t remember which. Floyd later was elected a U.S. Congressman.
  Both men treated me like I was somebody, not a 130-lb., 16-year-old whippersnapper. They asked questions about what I wanted to do, etc., and we carried on conversations throughout the game.
  I don’t remember who won the game, but I will always remember how those two important people were nice to a kid from the opposing town.
  Along with his many other accomplishments listed in the obituary, it was mentioned Albert was elected to the Lexington High School Hall of Fame after serving as Lexington football announcer for over 30-years.
  About 50 years after I met Mr. Dooley and Mr. Spence, I was elected to the Saluda Hall of Fame after over 30 years at the football announcer.
  In just that one game, I learned something from those men, who could have been “highfalutin.” Treat everyone well, regardless of their age.
  Thanks, Albert and Floyd. I’m sure there are many others you impressed. You weren’t elected to high office by accident.

  I glance at each obituary every morning, even though I don’t know the people.
  I saw Jim Carlisle’s obituary and happened to notice he participated in one of the biggest hoaxes in Carolina football history.
  As a pledge to Carolina’s Sigma Nu fraternity, he and his fellow pledges dressed in a uniforms similar to Clemson’s and ran out on the field to warm up on Big Thursday.
 Clemson fans cheered loudly, until they figured out that was not their Tigers.
  I’ve read accounts of this before. The “players” started acting like the Three Stooges and ballerinas, and soon got run off the field.
  I think I read they borrowed their uniforms from Orangeburg High School, whose uniforms were almost identical to Clemson’s.
  A great story!