Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to address the Wayne County High School touchdown club in Jesup, Georgia each football season. This group is one of the most amazing booster clubs I have ever had the pleasure to speak to.
Six years ago, on my first visit, the Yellow jackets were winless at the time, and on their way to a 1-9 season. However, on that initial visit, the booster club attendance was shocking. The room was full of enthusiastic club members, numbering almost one-hundred at that time. Even though the team was on its way to yet another dismal 1-9 season the following year, those boosters and that community were totally committed to a stellar football program at the school.
Five years ago, Jodi Grooms was hired as the new head coach and the Yellow Jackets finished 3-7, then 5-5, 4-5-1, and last year, 6-5-1 while playing their way into a trip to the second round of the GHSA playoffs, before falling to Stockbridge.
We are heading into the halfway point of the 2013 prep season and the Yellow Jackets are now 4-0 and are ranked in the AAAA top ten teams poll. As I visited the club again this week, it was great to see the progression to success. This did not happen overnight and could not have been achieved without hard work, dedication to a worthy cause, and the school, community and boosters all pulling together to accomplish it.
There is still much work to be done, since the Yellow Jackets are in one of the toughest AAAA Regions in the state. In 3-AAAA, there is Statesboro, Liberty County, and Wayne County all unbeaten at 4-0, while also in the same southern sub-region, South Effingham is 3-1 on the season. In the north division of the region, there are powerhouse Burke County and Academy of Richmond County to contend with. The four teams which advance out of this talented region will have their hands full when the playoffs begin. Class AAAA is loaded with top-notch football teams.
Region 3-A is rounding into shape after last week’s games. Defending Class A public school champions, Emanuel County Institute flexed their muscles with a convincing 32-14 win over Claxton. Savannah Christian Prep rolled past Montgomery County, 23-7, and Calvary Day defeated Treutlen County, 40-0. Johnson County remained unbeaten on the season with a win over Savannah Country Day, 26-6. For Region 3-A, the pre-season is over, and it’s now time to get down to the serious business of who will claim the coveted region title in 2013.