Tidbits - November 18, 2021

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


NO CIGARS, AGAIN
  I know Saluda fans are tired of losing to Abbeville, 80 percent of the time since 2015, but at least the Tigers were there.
  The 49-34 loss to the Panthers Friday was closer than the final score indicates.
  Yes, Abbeville never punted and rushed for 403 yards, but Saluda only punted twice and got 371-yards in passing. In fact Saluda had more total offense than Abbeville, 460 to 422.
  Saluda’s losses this year were to the top two 2-A teams in South Carolina, and the No. 2 2A team in Georgia.
  The Rabun County loss was a total disaster, but the Tigers were in the games with Abbeville and Gray Collegiate.
  Exchange Saluda’s two field goals for touchdowns Friday, and the score is 49-42 Abbeville, with Saluda driving toward a potential tying or winning score in the finals minutes.
  Exchange Saluda’s two field goals for touchdowns against Gray Collegiate, and the Tigers lead 14-13 in the fourth quarter.
  How close the Tigers were, but it’s been one of those seasons. Due to Covid, the Tigers had games against Ninety Six and  Batesburg-Leesville cancelled. The Tigers would have  been highly favored in both those games, and possibly would have finished the regular season 10-1, since there would have been no Rabun County fill-in game.
  Saluda’s offensive players missed out on two games worth of good stats that can’t be replaced. Montrevious Baker may have gained close to 1000 yards rushing, and Jonah McCary would have had over 2000 yards passing.
  That’s the way it goes in these Covid times.
  Next year, the Tigers return nearly 30 lettermen, led by 20 seniors. The Tigers will be good again.
  Who knows where the Tigers will be in realignment?
  Saluda has enjoyed seven straight years of non-losing records. It has been a fun ride.


NUMBER TWO
  My brother Jamie likes sports’ records like I do.
  Sunday, he brought me a sheet of paper that showed Saluda High Coach Stewart Young has surpassed Mooney Player as the number two winningest coach in Saluda High School history.
  Stewart’s record is now 67-29. Mooney left Saluda High with a 63-15-3 mark. Both coaches had one losing season, Stewart 2-8 and Mooney 2-7.
  The all-time winningest coach is Bettis Herlong, 87-51-6. Bettis had two stints, 1949 to 1956, and eight seasons in the 70s.
  Bettis didn’t win a state title, but he had two teams play for the championship. Mooney had two state titles and Stewart has won.
  Congratulations to Stewart on the accomplishment.


SURPRISED?
  Okay, I want see a show of hands from Gamecock fans who were surprised Carolina lost to a pitiful Missouri team after their win over
Florida last week.
  That’s what I thought. Not a single hand was raised.
  We are indoctrinated to expect the very worst, and the worst happens. That what Gamecocks do to you, and it’s not very nice.
  It makes no sense. The Gamecocks rushed for 284 yards against Florida last Saturday, and against one of the bottom rush defense teams in America, they gained 57-yards this Saturday. How is that possible?
  How is it possible for four starters from last year’s offensive line, who blocked for the SEC leading rusher against a 10-game SEC schedule be so awful this year?
  It has have something to do with the blocking schemes ... and coaching. Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin said the offensive line was easy, “that fat guy blocks that fat guy.”
  We all remember Shane Beamer got the shaft when hiring his coaches. He retained Mike Bobo as offensive coordinator, and hired a well-respected offensive line coach. Then Bobo took the Auburn job and took the offensive line coach with him. Ironically, the line coach shafted Bobo, too, and took another job. Serves Bobo right.
  Beamer decided to go with an untested offensive coordinator, who previously worked with the Carolina Panthers. He’s  tested now, but has flunked so far.
  The quarterback situation has been unfortunate for the Gamecocks, too. A healthy Luke Doty might have made a difference, but we’ll never know.
  Carolina plays Auburn this Saturday, and I hope the Gamecocks win to get even with Bobo!


HOW DOES HE?
  I like Gamecock men’s basketball coach Frank Martin, but I can’t figure out how every year he continues to recruit players who can’t shoot.
  Friday, Carolina lost 66-62 to Princeton.
  Let’s put that into prospective. Princeton is an Ivy League school, and the Ivy League does not offer athletic scholarships.
  In others words, an SEC squad lost to a team of walk-ons, and the reason they lost is because they shot 15 percent from the three-point line.
  One guard was 0-10. In the first game, he was 1-7. In the Carolina win Sunday, he was 3-12. So, in the first three games, he hit four of his 29 three point attempts. That a shooting percentage of 14 percent. Why is he even on the court? I know Martin like good defensive players, but I rather have a bad defensive player who shoots better than 14 percent.
  Oh, well, the team that made it to the Final Four couldn’t shoot either.
  I’d love to see just one Gamecock player who could shoot. Just one.....