Tidbits - October 11 2018

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

GREATEST EVER?

  In  1980 Saluda entered the Strom Thurmond game as the top ranked team in 2-A, fresh off a 20-0 blanking of Batesburg-Leesville the week before.
  That night at the Rebel field, Thurmond quarterback Ira Hillary put on the greatest individual performance against a Saluda team I had ever seen.
  It’s been 38-years, but I can still see him evading Saluda tacklers when he went back to pass. The Tigers fell 34-0 to Ira.
  Nineteen years later in the state play-offs against Saluda, Chesterfield’s David Melton played one of the finest games I have ever witnessed on any level.
  He threw for two touchdowns, ran for another, passed for a two point conversion, and ran for another. He even caught a touchdown pass that was called back.
  On defense, he blocked what might have been Saluda’s game winning field goal, twice made bone jarring tackles when Saluda needed another yard for a first down, and intercepted a pass and returned it 73 yards. He totaled 307 yards in total offense, and many of those yards were accomplished on third and long plays. If I remember correctly, he also kicked off.
  I wrote in my column back then, “I hope I never see another performance against the Tigers like I saw Friday night.”
  Well, it took another 19 years, but Melton has been topped by Ninety Six quarterback Kentavius Williams.
  Against the Tigers Friday, Williams rushed for 320 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 72 yards and two more scores. In the over 450 games I’ve seen in the last 41-years, no opposing player has put up the numbers against the Tigers that Williams produced. No player had ever rushed for 300-yards against Saluda in my lifetime, and probably in school history.
  It was not that the Saluda defense didn’t give the effort. Many times they had Williams corralled and he somehow got away.
  Williams is a high school equivalent of the college Cam Newton.
  Cam single-handily led Auburn to the national championship by orchestrating five fourth quarter comebacks, including games against Carolina and Clemson.
  With Cam, Auburn is national champs. Without him the Tigers are 7-5.
  No offense to the rest of the team, but Williams is the reason Ninety Six is 7-0. He was suspended for one game, and the Wildcats edged Dixie 12-0. With Williams, Ninety Six is averaging close to 50 points a game.
  He will not lead the Wildcats to the state championship, however, unless Ninety Six finds a way to beat the best team in this conference and number one in the state, Abbeville, twice.
  The Saluda-Ninety Six game was very entertaining. Every one in the capacity crowd got their money’s worth.

QB CONTROVERSY?

  Clemson has had its quarterback controversy this year. Is Carolina next?
  Filling in for the injured Jake Bentley, Michael Scarnecchia played an outstanding game,  leading the Gamecocks to a 37-35 win over Missouri Saturday. 
  I firmly believe had Bentley started, the Gamecocks would not have won. Scarnecchia was cool under pressure in that final drive, when he marched the team down the field with just 1:23 to go.
  Bentley has not performed well under those conditions.
  Scar also threw three touchdown passes and did not have an interception. Bentley had three against Kentucky.
  I also like the way Scarnecchia looked off the defenders on several occasions. He would look one way, then turn and find a receiver over the middle. Bentley telegraphs throws.
  The only reason Bentley should start against Texas A&M is his name is a whole lot easier to say and spell than Scarnecchia!

I REMEMBER IT WELL

  Old-timers, remember the old song, “I Remember It Well,” that had
lyrics like:
  “We met at nine, we met at eight, I was on time, no, you were late
  Ah, yes, I remember it well
  We dined with friends, we dined alone, a tenor sang, a baritone
  Ah, yes, I remember it well.”
  I thought of that song last week, when all the Supreme Court controversy centered around things that happened in high school and the freshmen year in college.
  I also thought about those years in my life and I can only remember a few things.
  I feel sorry for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. She did not want all the attention. She submitted a letter to Sen. Diane Feinstein, hoping to remain anonymous, but someone in Feistein’s office leaked her name to the press.
  I don’t doubt the incident she talked about happened, but there is no real proof Judge Kavenaugh was involved. Telling someone 20 years later about the incident isn’t proof.
  One thing I would like to see come out of this is every opponent of  a U.S. Senator should spend a bunch of campaign funds finding out what that Senator did in high school. Get witnesses who saw him or her take a drink, or smoke a cigarette or marijuana joint, or cheat on a test, or get “fresh” with someone of the opposite sex.
  That’s what this whole incident has come to. Will middle school be next?
  I’m totally serious, young people. Think before you act. It may come back to haunt you 30 years from now.

ACCOMPLISHED

  Our team was lined up for the annual Larry Gentry Tournament. SHS Principal Sarah Longshore’s father David Coleman would once again join Jamie, Morgan and me.
  Morgan, however, woke up Sunday morning throwing up. That’s something we usually do AFTER we play, not before. Since I didn’t find out about Morgan until after I got out of church, we had to try find a replacement within an hour.
  First we tried our neighbor Allen Harmon, but he couldn’t play. Next, I thought of Kyle Martin, who lives at Persimmon Hill, but he was eating lunch in Batesburg-Leesville.
  Then, at 12:15 I text Wayne Grice. Wayne said he got the text when he was buying lunch for his family at BiLo. He still made it to the course before the 1 p.m. start! Unfortunately, he had to forego eating lunch.
  We had a good time, but played terribly, finishing even par. That’s the first time we haven’t finished under par.
  We did accomplish our goal of  not finishing last. We finished next to last.

ROUTINE CHANGING

  I’m too old to have a 40-year routine change, but today’s paper is the last to be printed at Bruner’s in Lexington. Bruner’s is going out of business.
  Next week’s paper will be printed at the Index-Journal in Greenwood.
  For 41 years, I’ve travelled to the Lexington-Columbia area every Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning (in the early years) in Marty and Joann’s little Vega, the LeBaron stationwagon, and one of the first Town & Country mini-vans.
  Then I bought the paper and travelled in a Dodge Ram truck, and a green, then a red, then a purple, then the current gold mini-van.
  I’ve travelled through rain, snow, two tornadoes, and a small earthquake.
  We’ve gone from laying out the pages by waxing and cutting out galleys, and taking the completed pages to Bruner’s to now emailing the pages in PDF form.
  When I started here, the pages were completed around 9:00 on Tuesday night, and I’d drive the pages over on Wednesday morning and wait while they were printed. Now, we email the pages on Tuesday  morning and pick them up around 2 p.m. that day.
  We’ve experienced all the technological changes, from a machine that you turned a dial to print each letter of a headline, to doing everything on a computer.
  We’ve done all this with the support and cooperation of the Bruner staff.
    I’m going to miss my adventures around Columbia area while the paper is being printed,  and visiting the stores where people know me not by my name but as the “Tuesday man.”
  I’m especially going to miss seeing Don, Thad, Bonnie, Blake, Calvin, Mark and Delano. We’ve had some good times, and I wish them all well.
  Now, I’m going to have become the “Tuesday man” in Greenwood.