Tidbits - September 2, 2021

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


MILESTONES?
  As I’ve mentioned many times, I’ve only missed two Saluda High School football games since 1977, and I’ve been the public address announcer for the home games for around 40 years, so I can pretty accurately declare “milestones.”
  Counting the Greenwood Jamboree, the Saluda Tigers, coaches and fans have experienced a weather delay in games for three straight weeks. It’s wearing me out.
  I got home from Greenwood and the Thurmond game in Johnston around midnight. Friday, I got home at 11, after the home game with Ridge Spring-Monetta.
  As you know, I don’t just watch the games. I write down every play, and at home I write down every play and announce. That is classified as work.
  Friday, I was at the stadium for five hours, thanks to the one hour lightning delay, but like after the Strom Thurmond game the week before, I  couldn’t fall asleep when I got home.
  I was at the Greenwood Jamboree for five hours, too, but when I got home from that one, I slept through the night for the first time in years.
  The difference? The Jamboree didn’t count.
  Even though I am 70-years-old, I still get excited when the Tigers play well against old rivals. We all know by now, I have never missed a Strom Thurmond-Saluda game, but I’ve also never missed a Saluda-RSM game.
  The Trojan-Tiger series began in 1980, when Melvin Bouknight was Saluda’s head coach, and the teams have met every year since, except, of course, last year’s Covid shortened season.
  Saluda leads the series 33-8, and has won 16 straight. In the last 13 games, Saluda has won by an average score of 33-7.
  What I am getting at is a good 2A team should beat a good 1A team. In 2019, Saluda beat the Trojans 41-6. That year Saluda won the state championship at the Benedict stadium, and that game was followed by RSM playing for the 1A title.
  Saluda won 43-6 Friday, and I’d like to see our two local teams in their respective state championships again.
  The Tigers have won their first two games by a combined score 95-26. I know blowouts will not continue, but what this created is the opportunity for an experienced, young team, to get even more experienced.
  Back-ups have played most of the fourth quarter in the first two games, including many freshmen and sophomores.
  In the first two games, five different running backs have carried the ball, seven different receivers have caught passes, and nine different Tigers have scored points.
  Looks like it’s going to be another fun year.


NOT ME!
  I’ve written many times about the challenges I’ve had with player names as the public address announcer.
  If I were the public address announcer at Clemson, however, this might be the year I’d retire.
  You see the Tiger starting quarterback is D.J. Uiagalelei, and his back-up is Taisun Phommachanh.
  Makes me even gladder I’m a Carolina fan, because I don’t have to learn how to pronounce their names!


HERE WE GO
  I’m really glad college football has started back.
  Already there have been some social media zingers.
  Nebraska is under investigation for some illegal practicing by the NCAA, but after the Cornhuskers lost to Illinois in the season opener someone posted, “The NCAA has dropped its inquiry against Nebraska,  because it is obvious they haven’t practiced.”
  Soon after the loss, a meme started running, “Will Nebraska’s Scott Frost be fired before the end of the year, Yes or No.” Ninety percent of the voters said, “Yes,” including me.
  I’m anxious to see Shane Beamer’s coaching debut for the Gamecocks. They’ll be playing the same time was Clemson-Georgia. No problem, with my three TV set-up.
  By no fault of their own, Clemson’s schedule has been chosen the easiest in the ACC, so reserve that spot in the playoffs again.


SO SAD WEEK
  Last week was incredibly sad as I kept up with the life tragedies of two of my Facebook friends.
  Crystal Derrick shared her feelings as she watched her hospitalized, youngest daughter, Dixie, who was shot in the head at a Greenwood apartment complex last Thursday.
  Dixie did not make it. She was only 19. We extend our sympathy to Crystal and her family.
 Christy Shealy Mills daily shared the condition of her husband, Glen, as he battled Covid in the hospital. In the early going, Glen wanted to tell everyone to get vaccinated. Several vaccinated members of his family also got the virus, but they had few problems. Glen had delayed getting his shots.
  It appeared Glen was getting better. Doctors were going to remove the ventilator, but he suddenly took a turn for the worse, and was soon gone.
  In the many years I’ve emceed pageants, talent shows and banquets, it was rare that Christy and Glen weren’t also there. They often provided the sound equipment, entertainers, or even the stage. Often the entertainers included their four, talented children, Laney, Matthew, Andrew and Zanna.
  Christy has taught dance for many years in Saluda County, but Glen was the behind the scenes man. How do you think all that stuff got there?
  You can say, he was “the wind beneath her wings.”
  Glen was a fine man who will be greatly missed.