Match PointA look at tennis and high school sports in southern Beaufort County.
It sounds like quite a large crowd is making the trip up from Bluffton to Myrtle Beach to watch the undefeated Bobcats take on the defending state champion Seahawks tonight, but if you can't make the trip, we want to give you the next-best experience. Get those web browsers rested up, because they're going to be busy tonight.
There has been plenty of buildup for Friday’s third-round playoff game between Bluffton and Myrtle Beach. Heck, the trash talk started Saturday on Myrtle Beach’s team website. From what I can tell, it seems the two teams genuinely don’t like each other, which often makes for a fun game.
But I’m obligated to remind you there was plenty of buildup last season — perhaps even more — and we were left with a 47-0 dud won by an impressive Myrtle Beach football team.
OK, look, I’ll state this up front: I know I’m in the minority with my thoughts on this week’s game. I know we all want to see the game we saw (or missed) last year. I know many coaches and even prep writers across the state expect we will.
You can look past the Bobcats’ 11-0 record and chalk it up to an easy schedule. I don’t blame you. You can ignore their second straight region title and point out that Berkeley and even Cane Bay had rebuilding years. You’re entitled.
It's probably safe to assume everyone in this area knows by now the story of Chip Mullen, the Hilton Head High student with Down syndrome who has become a fixture on the Seahawks' football and wrestling teams.
The first — and most often — question I was asked before the 2011 high school football season began was this: Are the Bluffton Bobcats actually good enough to win a state championship?
I’m usually willing to argue just about anything (and win all of them, of course), but I think my unusually noncommittal answers on the topic varied from “Maybe.” to “I don’t know.” to “Let’s just wait and see.”
The answer I usually hear from most of you: They haven’t played any quality teams, so the ones they’re about to face in the playoffs will hit them like a ton of bricks.
This week will take us just past the halfway point in the Region 7-AAA schedule.
Bluffton is exactly where most of us expected them to be — still undefeated, still dominating offensively and still standing tall on defense.
On the other hand, Hilton Head High surprised me last week. The regular readers of my blog know I picked the Seahawks to lose last week, and they built a 21-0 halftime lead before hanging on for a 21-6 victory against Lake Marion. Needless to say, I was wrong.
I tried to come up with some sort of catchy name for this week’s games for Bluffton and Hilton Head High — but Judgment Week was the best I could do. I give up.
Anyway, it’s an important week for both the Bobcats and Seahawks. Bluffton probably faces its toughest region challenge when Cane Bay visits Bobcat Stadium. Both teams may not admit it, but they likely believe they are playing for a region championship.
The second season — as coaches around here like to call it — is finally upon us. The Region 7-AAA schedule kicks off tonight with a full slate of games, so what better time to break down the region?
Bluffton High School is looking to repeat as region champions, and they certainly appear to be in good position to do so with Cane Bay and Berkeley — the second- and third-place finishers from a year ago — seemingly in rebuilding mode.
I’m sort of running out of adjectives and descriptive phrases for Bluffton’s dominance this season, offensively and defensively. The Bobcats have made blowouts look almost routine and 60-point outputs a weekly occurrence.
Will they hit 60 again Friday against Wade Hampton? Scroll down for my prediction (and feel free to add yours in the comments section).
Bluffton High School is still undefeated — and still destroying opponents in unprecedented fashion — while Hilton Head High is still in search of its first victory. Sounds a lot like last week, right?
The Seahawks host Hardeeville High School in a Friday night matchup I think could go either way. Seahawks coach Tim Singleton makes his return as the Seahawks head coach tonight after sitting out two games as part of a school-imposed suspension.
For those of you wondering, Singleton is still refusing to speak to the media, though he was very polite to me while declining comment after Thursday’s practice.