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SEB faces Class AAAAAA Wildcats

    BROOKLET — The goal of winning a state playoff game for the first time since their 1973 state championship season begins tonight for the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets as they travel to Richmond Hill to face AAAAAA Richmond Hill in both team’s season opener.
    The Yellow Jackets are coming off a season in which they went 7-4 and lost in the first round of the state playoffs to eventual state champion Westminster. However, they return 15 seniors to a team that is one of the favorites to win the reconfigured Region 3-AAA.
    Yellow Jacket head coach Pat Collins said he saw measured improvement between the first and second scrimmage SEB has had in the preseason. Despite the improvement, however, he said he was disappointed in the team’s execution.
    “For us to be successful against Richmond Hill, we have to have that kind of improvement again,” Collins said.
    Richmond Hill finished last season 3-7, but are only a few years removed from a 10-2 season and trip to the second round of the state playoffs.
    “They were a bit down last year, but they had several young starters on their team who are now juniors and seniors. They’re a formidable team.”
    The Wildcats have extremely talented skill position players, primarily at wide receiver and quarterback, Collins said. Containing their explosive playmakers will be critical for the Yellow Jackets success defensively.
    “I compare it to playing a team like Jenkins or Appling County,” Collins said. “They have footspeed that you have to be cognizant of and that’s what concerns me. We haven’t seen that kind of footspeed from Statesboro or Portal (in the scrimmages) so it can shock you at first and we have to be prepared for that.”
    Offensively, the Yellow Jackets will continue to do what they’ve done under Collins since he arrived in 2010. They’ll look to control the line of scrimmage and run the ball out of their wing-T attack with fullback Chase Walker expected to be the workhorse again.
    This year, however, Collins said the Yellow Jackets have the ability to throw the ball more than in previous seasons.
    “We’re getting better protection, our quarterback is executing better and our receivers are catching the ball better,” he said.
    Unlike previous seasons where SEB had as many as eight home games, this year the Yellow Jackets will play a much more balanced schedule with five home and five away, including tonight’s trip to Richmond Hill.
    Despite that, Collins said the additional road games could be beneficial to his team as such trips won’t be such a foreign experience to his team. Collins also said their road trips are all within an hour’s drive so the team won’t be on the busses for long.
    Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Richmond Hill High School.