Originally created 09/19/06

Westside awaits true tests



WHO'S HOT: Westside. Are the Patriots the local version of the Georgia Bulldogs? Are they making a living off lame opponents? Or are they every bit a team that's whipped the opposition by a 136-30 count? Maybe a little bit of both. Talented and untested are two words that fit these Patriots.

WHO'S NOT: South Aiken. The Thoroughbreds are 1-4 and heading into region play. That's not good.

BEST WIN LAST WEEK: Aiken 20, Camden County 19: Camden's 58-game regular season win streak and No. 21 national ranking are no more, thanks in large part to a strong first half from the Hornets.

TOP AREA GAMES THIS WEEK:

1. Westside (3-0) at Screven County (2-1): The Patriots have so many offensive weapons. Can the Gamecocks shut them all down?

2. Evans (2-0) at Greenbrier (1-2): The Columbia County championship always seems more exciting on the baseball diamond, though.

3. Strom Thurmond (2-2) at Silver Bluff (3-1): Lee Sawyer clearly is no fan of "easy" weeks at the office. He's the guy who sets up this minefield of a schedule for Strom Thurmond every year.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "This was the first game my quarterback (Phillip Lee) and I came out early to work on routes and timing. We should do it more often, I guess."

- Aiken receiver Taikwon Paige, after catching four passes for 93 yards and a score in the thriller against Camden County

INJURY UPDATES: Both Laney and Thomson have starting quarterbacks with shoulder injuries.

Laney senior Chris Thomas is listed as day-to-day with what was first thought to be a shoulder dislocation against Baldwin.

"We initially thought it was something worse to his throwing shoulder," Laney coach Eric Parker said. "But turns out that's not the case. I just think he got whacked pretty good." Parker still will hold him out against winless Metter this week.

Thomson's Anthony "Pooh" Erwin is lucky his team has an orthopedist who specializes in sports medicine walking the sidelines.

His shoulder joint was popped back into place. Erwin is rather muscular, and that made the remedy a bit tougher than usual.

Thomson is idle this week, and Erwin is expected back for the Hephzibah game in two weeks.

ROAD WEARY: Laney will play three home games at Lucy Craft Laney Stadium this year. The Wildcats will open their new home against Screven County on Oct. 13.

Laney (2-1) will play its other 2006 home game this week against Metter. But it will play host to the Tigers at White Road Stadium.

So it's as much of a home game as a contest at the nest of their biggest rival can be.

STILL STREAKING: Blackville-Hilda now has won 39 regular season games in a row and 19 games in a row overall.

Reach Jeff Sentell at (706) 823-3425 or jeff.sentell@augustachronicle.com.

WHERE'S THE BEEF?


These are the biggest teams in the area this year. The list below tracks the teams with the most players weighing more than 250 pounds.

School Players
1. Washington County 15
2. Richmond Academy 12
3. Washington-Wilkes 11
4. Swainsboro 10
5. Lincoln County 9

Source: 2006 Augusta Chronicle coaches' survey