Statesboro’s Sherrodric Rawls is well aware of the fact that he and the rest of his senior teammates only get one more crack at the playoffs and he intends to make the most of it. The Blue Devils came within seconds of the state championship game in Rawls’ freshman season, but haven’t advanced farther than the first round since.
“We’re definitely looking forward to the playoffs,” Rawls said. “We’re all a little tired of watching those playoff games on TV while we’re at home. We want to make this year count.”
Rawls has been one of many cogs in the Devils’ running game, which features six players with 30 or more rushing attempts this season. Rawls had to sit out Statesboro’s first three games due to burns on his feet suffered at a summer camp. Since returning to action, the only thing being set on fire has been opposing defenses.
“It was killing be to be on the sidelines,” Rawls said. “I’m just happy to be back in the game and helping out.”
Despite Statesboro’s 8-1 record and top-10 standing in the state polls, the Devils were in a do-or-die situation in last week’s Region 3-AAAA play-in game.
Rawls responded like a playoff veteran, scoring twice in Statesboro’s 45-18 win.
This week, the Devils will take their show on the road to Cairo for the first round of the state playoffs.
“I’m excited,” Rawls said. “I think that everyone is. It’s a long trip, but we know what we have to do once we get on the field.”
The Bryan County softball team had a stellar season, but entered the Class AA playoffs with just one healthy pitcher. Not one to let a little bit of overtime slow her down, sophomore Brooke Barfield pitched the Lady Redskins to within one win of the Elite Eight.
“Brooke is a great kid and a great competitor,” Bryan coach Al Butler said. “She’s only about a year and a half removed from breaking the elbow on her pitching arm. She was determined to come back strong and she did exactly that.”
Barfield pitched all six playoff games for Bryan County. During that span, Barfield pitched both ends of a doubleheader on two occasions and went all nine innings against Crawford County to clinch the Redskins’ first round series victory.
Not content to simply shut down opponents’ offenses, Barfield was also one of Bryan County’s best hitters this season. During the playoffs, Barfield hit safely in all six games and drove in five runs while scoring four more. Barfield finished the season with an impressive .441 batting average.
“She’s one of those girls that you just don’t want to have to face if you’re on the other team,” Butler said. “We’re lucky to have a great competitor like Brooke and we’re definitely looking forward to having her with us for the next few years.”