More Jackson County Opinions...

 September 6, 2000

By Adam Fouche
The Jackson Herald
September 6, 2000

Jefferson, Banks 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 me.
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 me.
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 action.
Friday night's game will certainly be an exciting rematch of sorts.
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 them.
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 South Forsyth.
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

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By Rochelle Beckstine
The Jackson Herald
September 6, 2000

Charleston rain
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 bureau.
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 floor.
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.
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