CENTRAL — Enrollment in education degree programs at Southern Wesleyan University continues to grow – something that the university’s School of Education hopes will provide relief to schools struggling to place an adequate number of teachers into their classrooms.
“Southern Wesleyan University, because of the qualifications of our graduates and the reputation of the School of Education programs, has had wonderful success with graduates securing jobs even before they officially graduate,” said Dr. Sandra McLendon, dean of Southern Wesleyan’s School of Education. “This year the combined recruitment efforts of the Admissions Office and the School of Education faculty has resulted in one of the largest pools of education majors in a number of years to help fill the needs for k-12 teachers.”
In public education, turnover is fueled by a large number of teachers from the baby boom generation retiring, with fewer new teachers being prepared to take their places. A report from CERRA (Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement) cited a 10 percent decline in teacher education graduates nationwide, with some states reporting as much as a 40 percent decline.
Greenville County, home of South Carolina’s largest public school district, still has numerous openings for teachers, especially those who are qualified to teach secondary math and science, special education, speech therapy and foreign languages. At the same time, rural schools across the state are experiencing high turnover rates and shortages in critical subject areas.
Dr. Kimberly Jedlicka recently joined Southern Wesleyan’s faculty, coming from the School District of Oconee County, where as a human resources professional, she screened, interviewed and hired teachers.
Jedlicka commented that finding qualified candidates for positions such as elementary and early childhood education – positions that traditionally have been easy to fill – has become more challenging.
“We always struggled with secondary science, secondary math, special education, speech language therapists and school psychologists. We have, in the past, not really had to struggle to recruit elementary and early childhood folks because generally they came to us,” Jedlicka said.
Many school districts are struggling to fill openings in secondary science, secondary math and special education. Jedlicka said that courses are available for teachers to add a special education certification and funding from SC Create can pay the cost of tuition and books.
McLendon noted that offering new majors – Secondary Social Studies, Physical Education in Coaching and Aging and Early Childhood Family Studies – has garnered increased interest in Education careers.
Jedlicka said that degree programs such as those offered at Southern Wesleyan University consistently turn out teachers ready to enter the classroom after the expert instruction and mentoring from faculty who have extensive experience at the school and district level.
Southern Wesleyan’s School of Education also seeks inventive learning opportunities, instilling in teacher candidates a strong ethical framework through a “Christian ethic of care” towards self, learners, colleagues and the community.
According to Dr. Mona Thornton, associate dean at the School of Education, CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation), the school’s new accrediting body, has a specific standard for recruitment requiring that Southern Wesleyan has plans and goals to recruit and support completion of high quality candidates from a broad range of backgrounds and diverse populations to accomplish the School of Education’s mission.
“Our admitted pool of candidates have to reflect the diversity of America’s P-12 students,” Thornton said.
Each year, numerous graduates are recognized by their schools and districts by being named “Teacher of the Year” and awards graduates received have included the prestigious Milken Educator Award and other honors at the district, state and national levels. The Call Me MISTER program at Southern Wesleyan is beginning to make an impact as its graduates enter lower performing schools and serve as effective role models.
Beyond the undergraduate level, Southern Wesleyan offers master’s degree programs in classroom leadership and administration and supervision both on-site and online.
Also, Southern Wesleyan’s education faculty are actively engaged in leadership roles related to educator preparation and advancing education best practices at regional, state and national levels.
For details about education degrees offered by Southern Wesleyan, go to swu.edu.
Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website now has the long-awaited star ratings. Announced months ago, the site has added six more quality measurements and has added the star features, making it easier to do comparisons when the time comes to pick out a nursing home.[cointent_lockedcontent]
To find the nursing home ratings, go online to www.medicare.gov and put “nursing home compare” in the search box. Put in your ZIP code, and you can compare up to three at a time.
The devil is in the details, as always. Look for tiny items like the number of minutes of physical therapy per resident per day, dates of last inspections, residents rights deficiencies, any mistreatment complaints, pharmacy service deficiencies and any penalties and fines in the past three years. Be sure to click and read the actual inspection reports. You might find that cleaning materials and foods were comingled, or that food was left uncovered in the freezer.
What’s concerning is that not all the inspection reports are there. You’ll need to know if a facility has eight fire-code deficiencies, or that the ceiling over the food-prep area has peeling paint, or that insulin wasn’t kept at the correct cold temperature or had expired.
One thing lacking in the ratings is that nowhere will you find resident or family satisfaction. The data is mostly self-reported by the nursing homes themselves and the measures aren’t necessarily comparable between facilities, especially the ratings that don’t include full inspection reports.
While the star rating is a good place to begin, it shouldn’t be the end of your research into a good nursing home. Ask for recommendations from your doctor or people you know.
(c) 2016 King Features Synd., Inc.
There’s a lot of talk going around about people leaving the country for Canada if their candidate loses the presidential election. People can do that if they want to. But I don’t want to leave no matter who gets elected.
I doubt Congress would cooperate with anybody elected to the office, so unless every single thing passed was an executive order, it would be hard for either candidate to run the country.
If people make good on their threats, it may be the Canadians who will be building a wall.
I hope that all this is just loose talk, because we need our citizens here at home.
Even if things look hopeless to you, please remember they never really are.
If you want to feel more optimistic about the future, there is a simple solution. Stop watching the news. But, if you’re serious, according to a report from “60 Minutes” it is recommended that you visit Canada before moving.
To become a Canadian citizen, you must pledge your allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, because Canada is part of the English Commonwealth.
Also, you must learn their national anthem and learn something about their history. Another important thing to know is that French is the primary language of 7.3 million Canadians, and it’s useful to speak and understand it.
Winter sports are big in Canada. If you plan to relocate, it’s a good idea to learn how to ice skate. You would have to buy a new wardrobe and accustom yourself to wearing toboggans and boots for many days each year.
There are different kinds of festivals and foods there, and the weather is much colder than what we are used to.
There are many pluses enjoyed by Canadian citizens. Their prescription medicine and health care is affordable and good. They have socialized medicine.
Ice hockey is hugely popular there, and if you have children they will probably be in a hockey league.
Lacrosse has been the national game of Canada since 1859, and Parliament passed an act in 1994 officially declaring lacrosse the national summer game and ice hockey the national winter sport.
What about the education system? Well, this may surprise you, but out of 700 countries, Canada is ranked sixth in the world for its education system. America is number 12. There is little difference in the performance of low-income and high-income students. Teachers are better prepared, paid and secure than those in America. They are unionized.
Also, there doesn’t seem to be an obesity problem with Canadian children. Their school lunches don’t contain nearly as much salt, starch, fat or sugar as American school lunches. Also, the national government stays out of education. There is little difference in funding among school districts, unlike here.
But, although Canada is a wonderful country with very nice people, I don’t plan to relocate there.
I’m an American even if I don’t always like our political system and don’t always agree with everything that is done.
But I don’t plan on deserting my country in its time of need. It’s important to stay at home and write critical letters to all our elected officials. If I leave, it will not be by choice. They’ll have to deport me. I suppose they’d send me to Wales, as that’s where most of my ancestors lived. The only problem with that is the fact that I don’t speak the language, probably can’t learn it and would never be able to drive on the wrong side of the road. If they come to get me I guess I’ll just have to hide out in the Horse Pasture. That might work.
We all must face many hard things in this world we live in. Two of the hardest to face are the truth and death. We all must someday face both. Everyone dreads death, however the truth is the hardest to face. You can run from it, but you cannot hide. You can bury it, however deep matters not, for someday it will surface.
It will remain when all of creation is gone, for it is eternal and never changing. The truth cannot be bought nor sold, for it has no price put on it. When facing people with it, they will become angry and possibly kill you simply for showing them.
There is a reason the truth is called bitter yet a lie so sweet. The truth — so small a word yet so mighty — has destroyed many a person in history. In life, everything has two sides. When you talk only one side and ignore the other, you are not on the side of the truth. It shows weakness.
People need to hear both sides to make an honest, balanced decision. So many only want their side told, which makes them look all-knowing and powerful. I’ll consider taking the part of the silenced party when this happens.
Evil runs from the truth. I’ve always heard it said, “for lo the evil flee when no man pursue.” I wonder why? What an awful place our world would be if the truth didn’t exist. You could not believe anything, for all would be a lie. Chaos would be constant. No rest for the weary if not for the truth. Our world could never survive if not for this small word called the truth.
P.S. It would be great if politicians and their supporters got to know it better truly. John 8:32.
Heartening interaction with Clark
An incident happened to me the other day which was quite disturbing and also touched my heart.
I’m an 80-year-old disable woman who takes a walk early morning in my driveway and across the road to the mailbox. I use oxygen and rollator.
The traffic was really bad, and I had a hard time getting across. I finally got across to mail my cards, but then the traffic was worse than earlier. Every time I tried to cross, a car would come over the hill and I would back up.
I finally got across to my driveway and thanked the Lord and got up to my ramp when the sheriff of Pickens County, Rick Clark, pulled up and got out. He asked me if I was OK and said he was concerned when he saw me trying to get across the road. He turned around and came back to check on me.
That touched my heart, because all you hear now is bad things about the police, but you don’t hear the good. That’s why I’m telling this — because I am grateful for our police and thank them for their protection and what they do every day in our community.
P.S. Needless to say, I’m changing my walking schedule!
Clarifying earlier letter
I sent a letter to the editor on or about Aug. 10. The last paragraph made a remark that some people swell with pride when they send a backpack of food home with an underprivileged child. I continued that every time teachers and administrators get a raise, the parents of these kids are pushed deeper into poverty. It’s true that tax revenue pays for raises within the district.
My mouth keeps me in trouble. When I was on the school board, we voted to allow Feed a Hungry Child to come into the schools and supply these backpacks of food. The food is supplied by Golden Harvest. There is absolutely no cost to the school district. This organization is currently helping to feed around 600 hungry kids in the county. I never meant for anyone to think that I meant that this organization had anything to do with all the numerous raises given to teachers and staff. The school board, and only the school board, did that. That is, all except Alex Saitta, and I applaud him for not spending every cent of the budget for raises.
Feed a Hungry Child has a wonderful heart and purpose. They and many other charitable organizations in this county provide food, clothing and services to those who cannot afford those things. When I ran for the school board, I went door to door and was totally surprised by how many people in Pickens County live in poverty. There are kids who eat at school on Friday and don’t eat again until Monday at school. My deepest apology to all of you who donate your time and money to those who need you. I wish I could be as selfless. Thank you, Feed a Hungry Child, and thanks to those of you in the school system who make sure hungry kids have food for the weekend. Next time I’m writing, I’ll try to think at the same time.
• Annual Ross reunion scheduled for Sunday
The annual Andy R. and Bessie Shelton Ross reunion is planned for Sunday, Sept. 4, at Kings Grove Baptist Church near Six Mile. Plates and cups will be provided.
• Gilstrap reunion planned for Sept. 10
COUNTY — Would you like to learn how to play the guitar, banjo, fiddle or mandolin? Enrollment is now underway for the Appalachian Evening Music Program. The next six-week session will begin the “week of” Monday, Sept. 12 at various locations.
This program is open to students from third grade through adults of all ages and is designed to teach students to play Appalachian music. The cost is $60 for a six-week session and rental instruments are available, if needed. Enrollment period is open now, so anyone interested in signing up for this new session should contact one of the following program directors:
Easley: Tuesday nights at First Baptist Church; Contact: Susan Ware-Snow, (864) 979-9188
Pickens: Monday and Thursday nights at the Pickens Community Center; Contact: Steve McGaha, (864) 283-4871
Six Mile: Monday nights. Contact: Sunshine Dennis, (864) 630-4039
The Evening Music Program is sponsored by Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music
(POSAM), a charitable non-profit organization. For more information about the program, visit www.YAMupstate.com, Facebook: “YAM (Young Appalachian Musicians),” or contact Betty McDaniel (director) at (864) 878-4257 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
COUNTY -— The Pickens County Veterans Affairs office is need of help in located a commemorative banner that was has been posted in various towns around Pickens County.
The banner is part of the 50th anniversary of the return of United States troops from the Vietnam conflict. The office has posted the banner in Pickens, Clemson, Six Mile, Central, Easley and at the entrance of the Pickens County Administration Complex.
After receiving some needed repairs, the banner was last posted in Liberty, where it disappeared.
The office is asking anyone who finds the banner to please return it. The office is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m-5 p.m. Call (864) 898-5926 if you find this special banner that honors our veterans.
CLEMSON — Together with local congregations and the broader community, Family Promise of Pickens County brings much-needed shelter, food and comprehensive support services to homeless families with children.
The group’s goal is always to promote sustainable self-sufficiency as guideposts to a successful future. Since July 2015, Family Promise of Pickens County has assisted 17 families, comprised of 61 individuals. The need is great and the purpose of the group’s principal fundraiser, Cardboard City, is to allow us to continue to broaden the group’s services with everyone’s help.
With Cardboard Box City, FPPC seeks to raise awareness of homelessness in our area and to raise funds to sustain its efforts. While the event atmosphere will be festive, this is an opportunity to learn about and show solidarity with those experiencing homelessness.
Start organizing your business, congregation, club, Greek organization, civic group and others to participate. Each $500 donation reserves a 10’ by 10″ box lot and a place for overnight residents to give up their warm and cozy bed for one night to support homeless children and their families. Invite your neighbors, friends, family and coworkers to pledge all or part of the rent. Funds raised will help FPPC enable families without homes to break the cycle of homelessness and enjoy the blessings of employment, home, and family stability.
FPPC’s goal for the evening of Sept. 23 is to fill Gateway Park in Clemson with a 100-box Cardboard Box City. The public is welcome for the program and entertainment from 6-8:30 p.m. including a soup line from 6-7 p.m. From 4-6 p.m. Cardboard Box City is built and overnight residents check-in. Quiet time is from 9:30 p.m. until 6 a.m., with coffee and juice served before departure.
For information about how you or your organization can help with the event, contact event leader Bob Fennell at (864) 643-7291 or email@example.com or sponsorship coordinator Marjorie Luke at (860) 614-5977 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Norma Davis Nix
Mt. Pleasant — Norma Davis Nix, 48, of 1401 Densmore Circle, formerly of Liberty, died Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, at MUSC in Charleston following a brief illness.
Born in Easley, she was the wife of Alan G. Nix of the home and the daughter of Norman “Nob” and Wanda Griffin Davis of Liberty. She was a homemaker but had previously been very active with the Adult Day Care in Liberty. She was a Liberty High School Graduate and a member of Fellowship Community Church.
Surviving, in addition to her husband and parents, are a daughter, Lauren Nix of the home; a son, Ethan Nix of the home; a brother, Mike Davis and his wife Angie of Liberty; her father and mother-in-law, Frank and Mary Nix of Easley; and brothers and sisters-in-law, Rhonda and Jim Hunter of Charleston and Susan and Dale Pickens of Easley.
Funeral services to honor the life of Mrs. Nix were held Aug. 26 in the Liberty First Baptist Church. Burial followed at Liberty Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to MUSC Children’s Hospital Fund, 59 Bee Street, MSC 201, Charleston SC 29425, or K9s For Warriors, 114 Camp K9 Road, Ponte Vedra, FL 32081, or the Foundation For Women & Girls with Blood Disorders, FWGBD, 11 Cloverhill Place, Montclair, NJ 07042-4818.
Liberty Mortuary is handling arrangements. www.libertymortuary.com
Liberty — Wallace Edward “Eddie” Fortescue, 56, of 7 Woodhaven Drive, died Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, at Baptist Easley Hospital.
Born in Easley, he was a son of the late Charles Dalton and Betty Norton Fortescue.
Surviving are two brothers, Jerry Fortescue (Jennifer) of Liberty, and Don Fortescue of Liberty; and two nephews, Calvin and Tim Fortescue.
Funeral services to honor Eddie’s life were held Aug. 26 in the Liberty Mortuary Chapel. Visitation was one hour prior to the service. Burial was at Flat Rock Baptist Church cemetery.
Liberty Mortuary is handling arrangements. www.libertymortuary.com
George W. McCue
Easley — George Walter McCue, 84, husband of the late Carolyn Lesley McCue, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016.
Born in Pickens County, a son of the late James Walter “Jim Bud” McCue and the late Marguerite Moody McCue Huff, Mr. McCue was a retired auditor with J.P. Stevens and a member of Corinth Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon. He was a member of the Bates Masonic Lodge No. 189 AFM.
Surviving are three sons, Bobby Alan McCue (Linda) of Marion, Iowa, and Joe Ronald McCue (Lothel) and George Pat McCue (Kathy), all of Easley; two brothers, Buddy and Joe Julian of Easley; a sister, Avanell Timms of Greenville; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Aug. 27 at Corinth Baptist Church, with burial following.
Condolences may be expressed online by visiting www.robinsonfuneralhomes.com or in person at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, which is assisting the family.
Flora Lee Chapman Brown
PICKENS — Flora Lee Chapman Brown, 91, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2016.
Born in Pickens County, Mrs. Brown was a daughter of the late Silas Robert Chapman and Maude Nix Chapman and wife of the late James Winfred Brown.
She was a proud graduate of Pickens High School, Class of 1942. She retired from J.P. Stevens Co., White Horse Plant. Mrs. Brown was a member of Pickens First Baptist Church and the T.E.L. Sunday School Class. She loved to work in her yard, especially cutting her own grass and she was an avid University of South Carolina fan, having appeared in a commercial on the SEC Network with her great-granddaughter.
Mrs. Brown is survived by her son, Steven W. Brown (fiancée Meg) of LaGrange, Ga.; her daughter, Georgia Brown Dickard (Jimmy) of Liberty; grandchildren Zack Brown, Stephanie Brown, Mac Dickard and Faith Dickard, and great-granddaughter, Rowan. She is also survived by her brother, James Frank Chapman and sister, Lula Mae Chapman, and sister-in-law Mary Maude Medlin.
In addition, she was predeceased by a brother, John Clyde Chapman.
A memorial service was held on Sunday, Aug. 29, at Pickens First Baptist Church.
The family would like to thank her neighbors, Randy and Tammy Johnson and Sue Hiott, for their friendship and assistance through the years.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 327, LaGrange, GA 30241.
Dillard Funeral Home assisted the Brown family.
Lena Williams Garland
Easley — Mrs. Lena Williams Garland, 98, of Easley, wife of the late Bennie Harold Garland, passed peacefully Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016.
Born in Habersham County, Ga., she was the daughter of the late Dewey Williams and Annie Bertschin Williams.
Mrs. Garland was a member of Welcome Missionary Baptist Church in Easley and most recently attended Victory Baptist Church in Easley. She worked for Judson Mills in Greenville for 20 years before retiring in 1973. She enjoyed gardening, especially working with flowers. Mrs. Garland adored her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and only great-great grandchild.
In addition to her parents and husband of 67 years, Mrs. Garland was preceded in death by her son-in-law, Joe “Donnie” Matthews; grandson, Steven Matthews; and great-granddaughters, Amanda Leigh McJunkin and Lynn Brevard Payne.
Mrs. Garland is survived by her son, Samuel Payne (Judy) of Simpsonville; daughters, Betty P. Matthews of Greenville, and Ellen G. Matthews (Roy) of Easley; brother, Rev. Luther Williams; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
Graveside services were on Monday, Aug. 29, at Robinson Memorial Gardens, 1425 Powdersville Road, Easley, with the Rev. Greg Phillips officiating.
Mrs. Garland’s family would like to thank the staff at NHC HealthCare in Mauldin for all their support and care.
Family has requested donations be made directly to an organization of one’s choosing in memory of Mrs. Garland.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.robinsonfuneralhomes.com or in person at Robinson Funeral Home-Powdersville Road, which is assisting the family.
Greenville — Charles Floyd Bay, 96, of Greenville, met his Savior on Aug. 27, 2016.
He was born in Pickens County March 21, 1920, the eldest son of the late Charles Albert and Minnie Mae Childress Bay.
Mr. Bay served his country as a private first class of the United States Army during WWII, where he received a Purple Heart from injuries he received. He was a member of City View Baptist Church and was retired from Monaghan Mill in Greenville following 37 years of service. Mr. Bay enjoyed fishing and working on cars with his son, Larry.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Bay was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Lois Durham Bay, his brother, Carl Bay, and his son-in-law, Milton Dorr.
Survivors include his two children, Sandra Bay Dorr of Easley and Charles Larry Bay (Gina), also of Easley. He is also survived by his friend and caregiver, Frankie Durham (Cathy) of Greenville, and two granddaughters, Audra Dorr Brown (Philip) of Easley and Jennifer Bay Phillips (Joshua) of Travelers Rest. He is also survived by two great granddaughters, Anna Sophia Brown and Ava Claire Brown.
A graveside service was held on Aug. 30 at Hillcrest Memorial Park and Gardens in Pickens.
A message of condolence may be expressed to the family by visiting www.DillardFunerals.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Richard M. Campbell Nursing Center, 4605 Belton Highway, Anderson, SC 29621.
Dillard Funeral Home assisted the Bay family.
Crystal M. Castorela
Pickens — Crystal Marchbanks Castorela, 37, wife of Moises Castorela, passed from this life on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016.
Crystal was born in Pickens County, a daughter of Brad and Nancy Carlisle Marchbanks. She was a homemaker and an avid lover of all animals, especially her furry babies Tanner, Pepper and Mercedes. Crystal was a Baptist.
Survivors include her husband Moises, of the home, her parents, Brad and Nancy Marchbanks of Pickens, sisters, Deidra Bannister (Chris) and Suzanne Rowland (Eddie), all of Pickens, nephews, Jacob Nagle and Brandon Rowland, and nieces, Makenzie Rowland and Makayla Rowland. Also surviving are her father and mother-in-law, Miguel and Jovita Sandoval of Mexico, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Imelda Valdez (Manuel), Maricela Vargos (Adrian), Jazmin Perez (Aristeo), Roberto Castorela, and Eduardo Sandoval, and nieces and nephews, Naomy Valdez, Adriana Vargos, Sherlyn Vargos, Johann Valdez, Alger Vargos and Sacdiel Perez.
Crystal was preceded in death by a nephew, Derek Bannister, and a niece, Hayleigh Rowland.
The family received friends at Dillard Funeral Home Aug. 30, with funeral services following in the funeral home chapel. Burial followed at Hillcrest Memorial Park and Gardens.
Memorials may be made to The National Kidney Foundation, at www.kidney.org, Cistic Fibrosis Foundation, www.cff.org/ , or to The Foothills Humane Society, 500 5 Forks Rd, Liberty, SC 29657.
A message of condolence may be expressed to the family by visiting www.DillardFunerals.com.
Dillard Funeral Home assisted the Castorela family.
Sandra R. Brake
Greenville — Sandra Ray Brake, 69, of 31 River Meadows Court, formerly of Liberty, passed away peacefully Sunday at her home.
Born in Liberty, she was the widow of Lewis Brake and a daughter of the late Vernon William and Irene Covington Ray. She was retired as a seamstress from Gerber. She loved sewing and doing all sorts of crafty projects, decorating and gardening. She was a member of Galilee Baptist Church.
Surviving are two daughters, Donna Smith of the home and Joyce Robinson (Bobby) of Pickens; two sons, Ronald Brake (Lilly) of Central and Billy Brake (Terri) of Pickens; a sister, Carolyn Wardlaw of Easley; three brothers, Dale Ray of Norris, Billy Ray of Pickens and Bill Ray of Pickens; eight grandchildren; and 14 great grandchildren.
In addition to her husband and parents, she was predeceased by a son, Jimmy Brake; a sister, Frances Edwards; a brother, Roy Ray; and a granddaughter, Kristal Nichole Pena.
Funeral services to honor the life of Mrs. Brake will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31, in the Liberty Mortuary Chapel. Burial will follow at Liberty Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be held prior to the service from 1 until 3 p.m. at the mortuary.
The family will be at the home. Memorials may be sent to Heartland Hospice: 421 S.E. Main Street Suite 100 Simpsonville, SC 29681.
Liberty Mortuary is handling arrangements. www.libertymortuary.com
PENDLETON – What do you do when you get punched in the face?
Friday night versus Pendleton, the Pickens Blue Flame took an early punch from the Bulldogs and could never recover, falling 31-10.
Coming off a fine defensive effort against Easley in its season opener, Pickens couldn’t match the Pendleton intensity early. The Bulldogs came out throwing and ran very little of the wing-back attack that has been a staple at Pendleton under coach Paul Sutherland.
“In our defense, they came out and did some different things that we were not prepared for with their whole offensive set,” Pickens coach John Boggs said. “It took us a while to adjust. (Brad Johnson) ran the ball well. He was a beast early on. It took us a while to adjust.”
On the second series, Pendleton got on the board first as Johnson, a standout defensive end recruit playing tailback for the Bulldogs, took it 66 yards, bouncing off two defenders, for the score with 8:22 left in the first quarter, making it 7-0.
“He’s a heck of a player,” Boggs said of Johnson. “He’s probably not as effective defensively as he could be right now because he plays so many snaps on offense.”
The Bulldogs then went to the air for the next score, as quarterback Jamal Blakely hit JJ Walker for a 33-yard touchdown, splitting two defenders with 5:04 left in the opening quarter. The play came following an 18-yard loss due to a high snap, one of four in the first half.
The next Pendleton drive, the high snap came back to bite the Bulldogs, as Pickens’ Lenny Russell fell on it at the Blue Flame 27.
The offense couldn’t get going, however, and Stone Prince nailed a high punt, but an illegal procedure penalty brought it back. The next snap was bobbled, and Prince was hit and fumbled. Pendleton’s John Ammons scooped it up and ran 15 yards for the score with 9:42 left in the half making it 21-0.
“That was a big mistake on the punt team after a huge punt,” Boggs said. “Then to turn around and have that penalty, and we had the bad snap that led to the score for them — that was huge.”
On its next possession, Pendleton reached the Pickens 2-yard line before another high snap. The Bulldogs then settled for a 32-yard T.J. Williams field goal with 2:33 left in the half.
Offensively, the Blue Flame struggled until finally finding the scoreboard late in the half. The offense seemed to get going on a scramble by quarterback Tanner Stegall. He later scrambled for 20 more and then hit Cole Stewart on a nice back-shoulder fade pass for 30 down to the 10. Two plays later, Brandon Batson ran in from three yards out, making it 24-7 with 18 seconds left in the first half.
Pickens got the ball to start the second half, and Jamal Blythe had a huge 53-yard return to the Bulldog 36. Batson then ripped off a 27-yard run. The drive stalled, and Dylan Banyard kicked a 23-yard field goal with 10:20 left in the third quarter.
“I thought we battled,” Boggs said. “There at the beginning of the third quarter, made it 24-10. Jamal had another big return coming out for the second half. You get down close and then you kind of sputtered on offense the rest of the night. They were able to then control the clock, run the ball, and we gave up some first downs.
“Good teams can’t do that. You can’t make those crucial mistakes. We had a big mistake on the roughing the punter. That was huge. You can’t do that. We were still in it and had plenty of time.”
Pickens did make some big plays — Daniel Hooper picked off a pass in the end zone. But some negative plays — including a late roughing-the-punter penalty — didn’t help.
Then with 3:16 left in the game, lightning was spotted in the area and there was an hour-plus delay. When teams resumed, Stegall, who had been picked off by Dion Black before the delay, was picked off again, and this time Black ran it back 20 yards for the final score with 8.9 seconds left.
“Teams learn how to compete,” Boggs said. “This team is learning how to compete. To learn how to win, you’ve got to make those plays. You can’t let things snowball and get out of hand and be worse. That’s kind of what happened tonight.”
Pickens will play at undefeated county rival Liberty on Friday night.
“We’ve got to worry about us,” Boggs said. “We can’t look ahead to this team or that team. We’ve got to correct our mistakes and clean some things up with what we are doing wrong. We have a lot of things that we’ve got to get better at. A lot of it is youth and inexperience, but a lot of it will have to come through practice and preparation. We’ve just got to get better. I know that will be a big game for both of us.
“We’ve got a long way to go. This team has a lot of good football in it. It’s a little frustrating for them starting the season 0-2.”
Pickens made a switch on the offensive line against Pendleton, splitting up Dorian Butler and Braden Gravely, who moved from left guard to right tackle.
“Brad Johnson had a little bit to do with that,” Boggs said. “That’s probably a more a natural position for Braden anyway, getting him out there on the edges. It helped with our pass protection, too.”
Cornerback and receiver Sam Lawson limped off the field early in the third quarter and did not return.
“Sam Lawson went down tonight with some severe cramping. Hopefully he will be fine,” Boggs said. “They had to send him home. They put an IV in him, and I think they put a second bag in him when he left.”
Friday’s game will be the home opener for the Red Devils. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.