Brunswick, Ga. – With spring football practice looming for teams across the state, the Georgia High School Association recently released the 2018 season schedules for its member schools.
Locally, both Brunswick High and Glynn Academy have some intriguing matchups, especially early in the season as they work toward their Region 2-AAAAAA schedules.
For starters, both teams will face steep challenges in their season openers.
The Red Terrors are scheduled to kick off the season at home on Aug. 17 against Fort Dorchester (S.C). The Patriots finished 13-1 last season and lost in the Class 5A Lower State Championship Game in South Carolina.
“I like starting out with a tough team,” said Glynn Academy coach Rocky Hidalgo, who will be beginning his fifth season with the Terrors. “They’ve got really talented kids, they’re really good on offense. They averaged more than 50 points a game last year. They’ll be a challenge for us. We’ll find out what we have to work with in Week 1.”
The Pirates also will face a stiff test in their opener, also on Aug. 17, as they travel to Douglas to face Coffee, the Class 6A runner-up last season. The Pirates also
opened last season at Coffee, falling 30-13. This will be the third straight season the Pirates have faced the Trojans in the opening game. They lost each of the last two meetings including a 21-20 loss back in 2016.
“We’re doing another home and home with them. They will come over here the following year,” said Brunswick coach Sean Pender, who is set to embark on his second campaign with the Pirates.
The Pirates will take on another state finalist from last year in their second game when they travel to St. John, Fla., to take on Bartram Trail. The Bears lost to Venice last year in Florida’s Class 7A title game. They were making their first-ever appearance in the state championship game after losing in the semifinals the previous three seasons.
Brunswick will make the short trip to Darien in Week 3 to face McIntosh County Academy before having a bye week the first week in September. The Pirates won’t play their first home game until Sept. 14 when they host Camden County at Glynn County Stadium.
The game against the Wildcats will be the first of four straight home games for the Pirates who will finish out their non-region schedule against New Hampstead and Monroe from Albany.
The Pirates will begin region play at home on Oct. 5 against Richmond Hill. The next three weeks they will take on Effingham in Springfield, rival Glynn Academy at the local stadium and then finish out the regular season at Bradwell Institute.
Brunswick has an open date the final week of the GHSA regular season and would have two weeks to prepare for the state playoffs should they earn one of the region’s four postseason spots.
The Pirates finished 7-3 last year and were the No. 2 seed from the region for the state playoffs. They lost at home in the opening round to Northside.
“We’re playing probably the toughest schedule Brunswick has had in recent history,” Pender said. “Our first two games are against state runner-up teams. We’re always going to try to keep Camden on the schedule. I would like to keep McIntosh on the schedule and also have either Wayne County or Ware County in the future. It’s just hard finding six non-region games, especially when you had success the previous year. I had a hard time trying to convince people we were going to have a young team this year.”
The Pirates are set to hold spring practice starting on May 1 and will stretch it out over three weeks by having three on-field practices in the first week, three more in the middle week and then three more plus the spring game in the third week.
Brunswick will face Ware County on May 18 in its spring game at GC Stadium.
Glynn will begin the 2018 season with three straight home games. The Terrors will stay at home in Week 2 to face Washington from Atlanta after hosting Fort Dorchester in the season opener. Glynn will also host the Bulldogs in 2019 after agreeing to buy out their home game in the two-year contract agreement.
The Terrors are then set to host Groves to close out August before having an off week. They will then hit the road for their final three non-region games against neighboring Wayne County on Sept. 14, Ware County on Sept. 21 and Camden County on Sept. 28.
Following their second open week, the Terrors will kick off region play at home against Richmond Hill on Oct. 12. The next week they face Brunswick before closing out the season with a home date against Effingham and a road game at Bradwell Institute.
“It’s tough finding games early,” Hidalgo said when talking about the schedule. “We looked at a lot of teams and things didn’t work out with dates.
“We wanted to keep the teams in the middle part of our schedule – Wayne, Ware and Camden. Those are three good teams and three good gates. Those teams are really competitive and will be good for us before we go into region play. We’ll be tested.”
The Terrors were 9-4 last fall and reached the state semifinals as the No. 1 seed from the region after claiming a second straight league title.
Glynn opens spring practice on May 2. They will hold their 10 allowed practices over 13 days before rounding out the spring with a team scrimmage on May 18 at the local stadium.