Tidbits - November 10, 2022


  It’s not fair. Clemson fans don’t suffer.
 They get rewarded, like seeing their team get ranked fourth in the first College Playoff Poll, when no one was expecting it.
  Carolina fans get excited about a  25 ranking, and the next week they get drawn and quartered by their team ... as usual.
  It has happened so many times, no Carolina fans was surprised by the loss to Missouri, even if the team finally got ranked, beat Kentucky and Texas A&M, and was on a four game winning streak.
  This is what Gamecock teams do to their loyal fans. They break our hearts. For me it’s been over 60 years worth. (I started getting serious when I was 11.)
  As much as Carolina fans love Shane  Beamer, the honeymoon is over. We thought with all the offensive talent harvested through the transfer portal, the Gamecocks would have its first offensive powerhouse,  since Spurrier’s good days.
  No!!! The Carolina offense is pathetic. Sorry, Shane, but your offensive coordinator doesn’t know what he’s doing.
  Jaheim Bell, who was projected to be one of the top tight ends in the country this year, has caught 13 passes, and didn’t touch the ball against Missouri.
  Offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield said when the Gamecocks got down 17-0, the offense had to go into rally mode, and Bell is not a part of that package.
  You’ve got a guy who can score in seconds on a long pass, and he’s not in the rally package?
  Every football coach on any level plays their best players at the same time, don’t they? You’ve got a team loaded with game breakers, and you throw bubble screens on third and 18? You have first and goal at the five and you throw three straight passes. You run an 185-lb. back off-tackle against an SEC defense continuously?
  Shane is loyal to his staff. That’s admirable, but sometimes you have to put your future first. He needs to make a change at offensive coordinator, or he’s going to lose the fans.
  If the Gamecocks lose to Vanderbilt, then this once promising season is over.

    The Saluda Tigers are making their seventh playoff appearance in the last eight seasons.
   The year they missed was the shortened Covid season, when only two teams from each conference made the playoffs, rather than the normal four or five.
  The Tigers finished the regular season with an 8-2 record, their sixth season with eight of more wins in the last eight. They won four games in he Covid year, and seven last year, when three teams the Tigers were favored to beat cancelled due to Covid concerns. A ten win season was possible.
  There have been many seasons Tiger fans would have loved to have seen eight wins, but the coaches, team and fans are disappointed this year in the two losses, two games the Tigers could have won, if they had cut out mistakes.
  To earn the third seed, Saluda had to beat arch-rival Batesburg-Leesville. The Panthers played well, as they always do against Saluda, jumping off to a 7-0 lead, but the Tigers outscored B&L 24-0 the rest of the way.
  The Tigers hosted Liberty in the opening round. The last time the two teams met was in the third round of the playoffs in 2016. Saluda won that one 35-5. If the Tigers win, they will travel to Gray Collegiate, unless there is a major, and I mean major, upset.
  Speaking of the playoffs, my brother Jamie pointed out a mistake I made in a recent column on distance between SHS playoff appearances back the day.
  I wrote Saluda went from 1973 to 1997 between playoff appearances. That was incorrect. They went between 1973 ad 1997 between conference championships.
  The gap between playoff appearances was not quite as long. It was 20 years, 1973 to 1993.
  That was the year Saluda travelled to Darlington to play Mayo and lost on a last second field goal,  kicked by a player who had never kicked a field goal in his life. Talk about Saluda’s ”Chicken Curse!”

  The S.C. High School League ruled that Ridge View’s football team had to forfeit eight wins, because the Blazers played three players who did not meet residency requirements.
  Those three players could have driven across town and played for Gray Collegiate with no questions asked. Gray  is a charter school and doesn’t have to follow residency requirements, yet Gray and Ridge View are both members of the High School League.
  I don’t knock Gray Collegiate for doing what they are allowed to do. We’ve had students from Saluda County go to the school.
  There should be some way, however, to make things equitable on the residency requirements, like having all the charter and private schools who are members of the High School League have their own playoffs and state championship. They could play in regular regions during the season, but moved to the charter school playoffs.
  Most of the charter and private schools play in 1A and 2A, so the bigger schools are not affected, unless a charter school takes their best players ....

  This incredibly sad year continues to get sadder.
  The death of Rusty Yarbrough shocked me, because I didn’t know Rusty was not doing well.
  Rusty seemed to be the picture of health, when he had a stroke in his early 50’s. Then a few years ago, he got cancer. Life isn’t fair. He was only 60 when he died.
  In all the years I coached and worked with the Civitan youth baseball program, few opposing players impressed me as much as Rusty.
  He was a good, but not an exceptional player. What made him stand out was the way he hustled. He played catcher, and little league catchers spend their “careers” chasing wild pitches. Rusty chased them all as hard and fast as he could. You remember things like that.
  In his adult life Rusty worked with the Whitten Center, Burton Center and as Saluda County Recreation Director. You have to be a special person to work with the mentally and physically disabled, and to lead youth sports. Rusty did those jobs, just as he played little league, giving his all.
  Rusty you touched all who knew you, and you will be greatly missed.