Highschool soccer video games within the Savannah space scheduled for 2021

The football season is just around the corner and high school fans look forward to seeing some excellent teams in an exciting season at the Coastal Empire.

Here’s a look at some of the games to circle around on the calendar when things start locally.

August 20 – Prince Avenue Christian on Calvary Day

The Cavaliers face a major test just outside the gate when the defending champions of the Class A Private State Champions walk into town. Last season, Calvary Day freshman Jake Merklinger made his quarterback debut against Prince Avenue star Brock Vandagriff, now at the University of Georgia, when Prince Avenue beat the Cavs 42-7. Calvary bounced back to eventually reach the state semifinals.

Merklinger brings a year of experience and deals from Michigan State and Cincinnati with him as he prepares for another tough start.

August 26 (Thursday) – Islands in Windsor Forest (Memorial Stadium)

Windsor Forest defeated the previously undefeated Sharks last year in the regular season finale 10-7. Expect another highly competitive battle at Memorial Stadium.

August 27th – Christopher Columbus at the Benedictines (Memorial Stadium)

Benedictine, led by quarterback and Auburn commit Holden Geriner, will receive national power from Miami at the Riddell Catholic School Classic.

More:Benedictine’s blue-chip quarterback contender Holden Geriner announces college engagement

Columbus won the state crown in 8A, Florida’s highest classification, in 2019. This kicks off a home and away streak between schools, with BC heading south to play in 2022.

Benedictine Holden Geriner throws Za'Quan Bryan to touchdown in a playoff game against Jefferson on December 18, 2020.

September 9, Thursday – Brunswick at New Hampstead (Pooler)

The Pirates reached the second round of the class 6A playoffs last year and have former Phoenix trainer Thomas Tedder as their defensive coordinator. New Hampstead is on the rise under third-year coach Kyle Hockman, who moved south after a stellar tenure with McEachern. Keep an eye on Phoenix quarterback Pauly Seeley, the junior who took off-season offers from Elon, Bowling Green, and Western Kentucky.

September 24th – St. Andrew’s on Memorial Day

A fight between local GISA troops. Blake Henry leads the Lions in his freshman year, competing against a matador roster that has been a traditional GISA power.

September 24 – Effingham County in South Effingham

Expect a crowd of 8,000-10,000 for this cross-country rivalry. Effingham has a blue-chip recruit in second receiver Keion Wallace, who has offers from Georgia Tech and Texas A&M. Effingham leads the overall series 15-12 and has won seven of the last 10 games.

October 2, Saturday – Munroe (Fl.) At Jenkins (Memorial Stadium)

Tony Welch is back in Savannah training the Warriors after leading his alma mater in Claxton. Longtime Savannah coach Russell Ellington will also be back in town as Munroe’s offensive coordinator.

October 8 – Benedictines at Jenkins (Memorial Stadium)

This will be the first meeting between the teams since they were promoted to Class 4A to play in Region 3-4A, as the SCCPSS played an intra-county schedule last season. Both teams call Memorial Stadium their home, and a large audience should be expected. BC reached the Class 4A semi-finals last year while the Warriors reached the Class 3A Final Four in 2019 before having a bad year last season.

October 8 – Effingham County in Richmond Hill

The Wildcats have developed into one of the top teams in the Coastal Empire under Matt LeZotte and reached the semifinals of class 6A in 2019. John Ford leads the rebels in his freshman year and takes over for Buddy Holder.

More:Bleckley County coach John Ford will lead Effingham football

Last year, Richmond Hill finished runner-up in the region behind Glynn Academy and reached the second round of the state playoffs. Effingham County lead the series 8-3, but the Wildcats have won the last two games by a combined score of 86-14.

Oct 15 – New Hampstead at Islands

Islands received a 99-yard pick six in a 26-14 win at Bubba Chisolm’s Pooler Stadium in the fourth quarter of last year – giving the Phoenix their only regular season defeat.

Islands’ John Dickerson IV made a touchdown catch that earned the # 1 spot on ESPN Plays of the Day that same night.

Islands High School's John Dickerson IV makes a one-handed catch for a 12-yard touchdown against New Hampstead at Pooler Stadium on November 6, 2020.

Here a rivalry arises between these opponents from Region 3-4A.

October 15 – Savannah Christian on Calvary Day

One of the top rivalries in Savannah has gotten even more interesting since Baker Woodward, a former Calvary standout in his playing days, took over as the coach of Savannah Christian. SCPS has a 26-16 lead in the all-time series and has won the last four meetings. Woodward is 4-0 against his alma mater.

October 22nd – Calvary on Savannah Country Day

The Cavaliers face cross-city rivals for consecutive weeks and this promises to be a good game with two of the Coastal Empire’s best quarterbacks in SCD senior Barry Kleinpeter facing Calvary runner-up Jake Merklinger.

October 28, Thursday – Islands with Benedictines

Islands has established itself as one of the best public school programs in the region in recent years, and Benedictine is an enduring private school power – it won state titles in 2014 and 2016. This is the final regular season game for both teams, and a No. 1 seed in the playoffs could be at stake.

Dennis Knight reports on sports for the Savannah Morning News. Contact him at [email protected] Twitter: @DennisKnightSMN

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