By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Gamecocks head to Swainsboro for crucial region contest
Team dealing with loss of teacher
Placeholder Image
SYLVANIA —The most important game of the year for the Gamecocks could be tonight.
    In the midst of a heated region 3-AA battle where almost any team could make the playoffs, the Screven County Gamecocks (5-3, 3-2) are traveling to Swainsboro to take on the second place Tigers (7-1, 4-1).
    The only sure way for the Gamecocks to realize their preseason goal of making the playoffs will be to win out the next two weeks on the road versus Swainsboro and Southeast Bulloch. However, a loss in either game does not eliminate playoff hopes for the Gamecocks.  
    Screven County coach Pat Collins said the players are well aware of what is on the line.
    “The players know how important this game is,” he said. “They have committed every night this season to going out and doing their very best … they know winning the next two games is the only sure way to make the playoffs. A win versus Swainsboro is a major step in that direction.”
    It has been an emotional week for the Gamecocks. And it’s had nothing to do with football.
    Screven County teacher Lisa Marie Poythress Thomas died Monday morning in a tragic car accident. Collins said the event has affected the entire community and has resulted in a “somber” week of practice.
    “The players have handled it as well as they could,” said Collins. “Many of them had Lisa as a teacher. All we can do is pray for strength and move on … the players have leaned on one another and come closer together.”
    Collins said he has been pleased with the players’ attitudes at this week’s practice.
    “They have worked hard and prepared well,” he said. “What’s most important to me is that the boys said they have been having a good time at practice. It’s always good to see they are having a good time playing the game.”
    The Tigers have traditionally boasted a tenacious defense and Collins said this year is no different.
    “They are very athletic on defense,” he said. “They have eight seniors on defense. They really use their defense to set up their game and establish field position.”
    Swainsboro runs out of the wishbone and has the ability to pass effectively when required.
    Collins was proud of the Gamecock performance last week in a 54-7 victory over the region rival Metter Tigers.
    “They played with a great intensity last week I don’t think I’ve seen before this season,” he said. “They really played with purpose.”
    Travis Coles led the Gamecocks with more than 160 yards and three touchdowns last week. The combined effort showed the Gamecocks ran up nearly 500 yards rushing in the contest. The win gave the Gamecocks a perfect record at home for the 2006 regular season.      
    Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Swainsboro.