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Football is back, baby!

After a couple of months of padded camps and two scrimmages, it was good to be back on the sidelines Friday night for a real high school football game. I worked the Lamar County-Wilcox County game which was a battle between two ranked teams.

Lamar County blew the game open in the second half, rolling to a 47-12 win that wasn’t that close. Wilcox got a score on a bizarre play late in the first half in which the referee blew the whistle right after the snap. All the players froze. After a long pause, a Wilcox player ran the ball into the end zone for a score. After much discussion the touchdown call stood.

It’s early in the season for the refs, too.

Lamar battles Upson-Lee this week. The Knights beat Union Grove last week 21-20. Union Grove missed a field goal as time ran out to save U-L.

Meanwhile, Pike County got hammered by Temple 57-6. Lamar plays at Temple Oct. 13.
The start of the high school football season means that college football is rapidly approaching.

It has been a long summer though I have been drawn back into watching the Braves. The pitch clock has greatly sped up the game which was something of a game changer for me. It helps when the local team is winning and winning big.

I had really been looking forward to the World Cup but the dismal performance by the US team ruined that.

My only other summer diversion was a pleasant one. Last month I went with some soccer coaching friends to Atlanta two watch two Premiere League games. I watched in awe as Brighton topped Brentford 2-0 and Chelsea and Newcastle fought to a 1-1 draw.

It was amazing to watch the best players in the world play the game I have come to love. Mercedes Benz Stadium was packed to the gills and it was a people watcher’s paradise. If you are not a soccer fan now, it is coming for you!

Next weekend, the gates open at newly remodeled Sanford Stadium in Athens and we will get to watch Carson Beck take over for Stetson Bennett under center for the Dawgs.

Bennett’s are huge shoes to fill. Herschel Walker was the best ever athlete and Georgia but Bennett was the best football player in school history.

Build the statue. Do it now!

Beck will face cupcakes in Tennessee-Martin and Ball State the first two weeks. That should give him time to settle in before South Carolina comes to Athens.

Meanwhile, the Jackets will battle high school football for ratings on a Friday night as they battle Louisville Sept. 1 at the Benz. They debut on Mark Richt Field at Hyundai Stadium Sept. 9 when powerhouse South Carolina State comes calling.

Yes, football is back and the temperatures are starting to cool. What lies before us is the best part of the sports year. Enjoy it. It will be over all to soon.

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