The 2022 high school football season begins on Thursday, August 18, with most teams in the area playing the next day on August 19. Georgia High School Association (GHSA) teams were allowed to begin practicing on Monday, August 1, and this Friday (August 5) is the first date allowed for sanctioned scrimmages between schools.
A pair of Savannah private schools will be hosting scrimmage games on Friday night, as Calvary Day welcomes Vidalia and Savannah Christian plays Frederica Academy. Vidalia and head coach Jason Cameron (former head coach at Jenkins High School) kick off at Calvary at 7 p.m. while SCPS and Frederica (GIAA) play at Pooler Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
Calvary was 12-1 last season and a Final 4 team in its last year as a Class A-Private member. Savannah Christian was 5-6 in 2021. Vidalia was 3-8 last season and Frederica was 5-6.
Savannah Christian’s scrimmage will be streamed online for free through the SCPS Athletics Facebook page and Twitter feed. Calvary’s scrimmage will likely not be streamed online, but admission to that game will be free and concessions will be available for purchase.
Although it’s just a scrimmage with starters on each team likely only playing half the game, Vidalia and Calvary is an interesting matchup as the Indians should be much improved this season and Calvary is a legitimate Final 4 threat despite moving up to Class 3A for 2022.
Five of Vidalia’s losses last season came by one possession (seven points) or less. Three of the losses were by three points or less. Although the Indians will be replacing a now-graduated quarterback and the leading rusher from last year, Cameron’s club will return all nine players who caught a pass in 2021.
Sophomore AJ McClendon rushed for 219 yards on 71 carries last season and is the leading returning rusher on the team. Juniors Jacaree Washington and Antonio Barron are threats at wide receiver as they combined for nine touchdowns and 1,194 yards as sophomores in 2021.
Of course, Calvary has plenty returning too. Quarterback Jake Merklinger, tight end Michael Smith and athlete Edward ‘Doopah’ Coleman are highlights of the offense and Troy Ford, AJ Butts and Terry Simmons lead the defense. For more information on the scrimmage, or Calvary athletics in general, follow the Cavs on Twitter @Cavalier_Sports.
FOLLOW Travis Jaudon on Twitter/Instagram @JaudonSports. Email him at travisLjaudon@gmail.com.
PHOTO CREDITS - school's Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.
Optim Orthopedics supports Benedictine Military School, Calvary Day School, Richmond Hill High School, Savannah Country Day, South Effingham High School, and St. Vincent's athletics. Benedictine Military School's team doctor is Dr. David Sedory. Dr. David Palmer is the team doctor for Calvary Day School, South Effingham, and Richmond Hill. Savannah Country Day and St. Vincent's team doctor is Dr. Thomas Alexander. Remember, Optim Orthopedics gets you back into the game!