The Jackson Herald
September 6, 2000
County are becoming harsh rivals
I hesitate to say this for fear of being
ostracized, but I must admit that I grew up in Commerce and I
graduated from Commerce High School. And yes, now I cover football
for one of our most bitter rivals, the Jefferson Dragons.
For the most part, I think the coaches at Jefferson have accepted
After all, I don't walk into the field house wearing Tiger T-shirts
and I even had the gall to pick Jefferson over Commerce in last
year's pigskin pickers. (I would like to remind everyone, however,
that I came in last in the pickers.)
But to be honest, my loyalty does reside just over the river.
However, I do find myself rooting for the Dragons at every one
of their games I cover.
Standing on the sidelines with the players, I feel the emotion
of the game and I can't help but be excited at the big plays
and be let down by the fumbles and incomplete passes.
I think last year's game against Banks County was when I really
began to get into Jefferson football. I remember thinking the
Dragons had no chance, down by 14 points with less than three
and one-half minutes to play in the game. But that team shocked
Even without offensive anchor Stephen Sims, the Dragons managed
to mount a fourth quarter comeback. Somehow lady luck was on
the JHS sideline, for a time anyway.
I remember the excitement when Ben Songer landed a perfect onsides
kick scooped up by then senior Steve Green. Several plays later,
Justin Gooch found his way into the endzone, sending me and the
Jefferson sideline into hysteria.
A botched point-after attempt set the game at 20-20 and sent
it into overtime, where the Leopards later took a win off penetration
and ended Jefferson's playoff hopes.
I will never forget that cool November night and the game I witnessed.
I know it was one of the most exciting I've watched as a reporter.
But what I think that game may have done is set in motion a bitter
rivalry between Jefferson and Banks County, more so than already
existed. I hope it is a rivalry that will develop over the next
several years and it should offer fans some exciting football
Friday night's game will certainly be an exciting rematch of
The Leopards will be coming back to Jefferson, only this time
in September. The Dragons will be without Stephen Sims, not because
of injury but because of graduation.
Banks County will be without one of their key recievers, Mike
Ivey. And this time, Jefferson will likely be thirsty for a victory
over the team that stole their playoff hopes right out from under
That should set up a great football rivalry-the kind that exists
only in high school football.
I only wish I could be there Friday night. But as often happens
in my line of work, I have to go to another game - Commerce against
I can't really complain, though. After all, if you can't watch
Jefferson, you might as well watch Commerce.
Adam Fouche is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers. His email
address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jackson County Opinion Index
The Jackson Herald
September 6, 2000
I learned a few things recently about
the rain in Charleston.
First, it is not as welcoming as the people who work in the visitor's
I would more correctly align Charleston rain with the meter maid
who waited outside the visitor's bureau beside my car for the
meter to run out. Two minutes over the amount paid for and my
husband and I returned. We found a ticket with no meter maid
in sight. This is after I assured my husband when he reminded
me of the time that no one was actually just waiting for our
time to expire. The rain was like that. It started when we were
30 miles away from Charleston and stuck around long enough to
make the air heavy with humidity.
Second, the rain can make a dull day exciting, but can also end
the exciting time.
The storms moving into the area made our day at Kiawah Island
spectacular. In the morning when we arrived, the waves were not
worth mentioning. I had time to search for sand dollars and to
watch as my husband buried his brother in the sand. But, as the
wind picked up speed and rain started to softly fall, the waves
came in with more and more force. I couldn't resist, so I ran
out and rode one wave all the way in to the beach. The rain hitting
my face from above and the surf whipping my body to the shore
quickly became my favorite part of our four-day trip. I don't
think I've ever enjoyed rain more. But soon the rain brought
thunder and lighting and the red flag was raised. "Everybody
out of the pool!" my dad would say if he had been there.
Third, rain comes unexpectedly.
On the same day that we visited the ocean, we decided to walk
about 10 blocks north and get some Chinese food. It was about
six o'clock and the rain had come and gone, leaving the sky a
perfect blue. We dressed in clean clothes after taking a shower
at our hotel and began the 20-minute walk to the restaurant.
We ordered our food and chose a table by the window so we could
watch the traffic on King Street. So, of course we saw what happened.
Our food came and we started eating. All of a sudden, literally
out of the blue sky, a pelting rain began. The kind of rain that
you know has no intention of stopping any time soon. Still, we
ate as if the food in front of us was our last meal. Families
came into the restaurant with umbrellas and in rain coats. We
sipped our drinks and watched and waited. Finally, it dawned
on us that we were going to get wet. I strengthened my resolve
and accepted it. I stepped out on the sidewalk and began walking.
One block later, I took my sandals off because they wouldn't
stay on my feet. I glanced back to see my husband and his brother
darting from one shop's overhang to the other, trying to keep
dry. They looked like little rabbits scurrying from burrow to
burrow with their little packages of Chinese leftovers. Several
cars slowed to watch our progress and we probably made a score
of people giggle. Huge puddles in the roads splashed my jeans,
and my T-shirt became nearly transparent. At the overhang of
our hotel, three doormen opened the doors for us and told us
to go on in, that they'd clean up the mess behind us. I walked
barefoot dripping wet even after I had wrung the water from my
hair and shirt over the marble floors and Persian rugs to the
elevator while other guests' mouths hung open and several asked
stupidly if it was raining outside. Several towels and another
shower later, I watched the rain from my bedroom on the seventh
Rain never seems to last quite long enough.
It seemed to us that every time we walked a distance from our
car, the rain would start. Not anything like the pelting shower
we had after our Chinese dinner, but the little spurts of misty
rain stalked us at every turn. We'd dash for the car or open
our umbrellas, which we carried everywhere after our soaking.
And then the rain would stop, leaving the memory behind in the
wet, steamy streets, but no evidence in the clear, blue sky.
And, too soon, our trip ended like the rain, with a few photos
and a multitude of memories, but no lasting evidence of the sunburn,
the taxing hours in the car or the days of relaxation.
Rochelle Beckstine is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.