Welcome to week three of the Pembroke Mafia Football League and its assorted affiliates and subsidiaries and random big shots.
And we’ll get to that in a second. First, a note on a memory rekindled by hearing that Richmond Hill High School is taking on Northside, or Northside Warner Robins as I tend to remember them.
Long before I became a detested editor, I was a detested sports editor and spent many a Friday night on sidelines around Georgia covering prep sports.
One of those games was Northside Warner Robins 47-0 rout of visiting Bradwell Institute in the first round of the 2003 state Class AAAAA football playoffs.
Three things from that game stand out.
1. Conrad Nix, Northside’s former and legendary coach who won over 300 games and two state titles, was an excellent interview, as are most high school football coaches I’ve been lucky enough to have the time to spend with over the years.
Nix, whose grandson Bo is now the starting quarterback at Auburn, was an Auburn graduate and that’s why Northside’s uniforms and mascot mirror Auburn’s. All of which should warm the cockles in the heart of B.J. Clark, the PMFL’s commander in chief and an Auburnite if ever there was one. 2. Late in the Bradwell- Northside game, when there was no doubt who was going to win, a kid with no legs came on the field for Northside and played several snaps. I will never forget that young man, though I’m sad to say I’ve misplaced his name. I’d never seen that before, or since.
3. Back then both BI and Northside were in AAAAA, then the state’s classification’s for its largest schools and Richmond Hill competed in AAA. Bradwell was a regional AAAAA football power and Richmond Hill struggled to win games in AAA.
Now, a mere 17 years later, Georgia’s added I don’t know how many high schools and three more classes if you count the private schools in A competing in their own league. What’s more, RHHS is a state power in a number of sports (football included) as it has grown by leaps and bounds.
By enrollment a Class AAAAAAA school but playing down due to geographic isolation, the Wildcats have become a dominant force at the state level in Class AAAAAA, and they’re meeting a peer program in Northside that has fallen on hard times of late – the Eagles are 2-2 so far in this strange year after finishing last season 3-7. It’ll be an interesting game, a yardstick for both programs, perhaps – one long among the state’s elite, the other looking to go beyond last year’s semifinal appearance.
Me, I don’t walk sidelines as much anymore and at times have a tough time keeping track of who’s what when, but I keep thinking about that kid with no legs and wonder how he’s doing today. Well, I hope.
Last week’s picks: Richmond Hill City Clerk Dawnne Greene was winner last week. Little Miss Perfect was, well, perfect. She’s only missed two all season.
Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor missed one game and has two misses on the season. Former Bryan County News Assistant Editor Ted O’Neil missed one and now has three misses on the year; B.J. , Mike Clark and the Rev. Lawrence Butler had two misses each and have now missed six for the season; District 1 County Commissioner Noah “King of the North” missed three and has six misses total; Tree Baron Bob Floyd has eight misses to date after missing five last week; you’re truly did the same; Pembroke Administrator Alex Floyd missed four and has now has nine on the season; And in last place is District 5 Commissioner Dr. Gene “The Super Dome” Wallace, with six misses last week and a total of 11 on the season, which is like a pace to become our first 100-game misser, or something like that. Rock on, doc.
This week: Arkansas State vs. Coastal Carolina: Bob, Mike, Noah and the right Rev. Lawrence take the Red Wolves. The rest of us pick Coastal Carolina.
South Carolina vs. Florida: The Gamecocks have the Gators right where they want them, as me and Alex Floyd know. All the rest pick UF. Which is sort of like choosing orange socks to go with your white loafers, pink Izod golf shirt and red and purple Bermuda shorts. It’s a Gators thing.
Navy vs. Air Force: Ben, Ted and Dawnne take the AFA. The rest of us select Navy.
Texas A& M vs. Bama: Me and B.J. know w‘sup. We pick the Aggies. I don’t know why.
Georgia Southern vs. Louisiana Monroe: Only Alex picks the latter, which sounds like the name of a fictional private eye in a paperback mystery series.
Auburn vs. UGA: Me and B.J. pick War Beagle to punk old UGA XX and win the game, too.