In state championship game, BC football can erase 75 years of Savannah prep sports history

Benedictine coach Danny Britt holds up the championship trophy after defeating Carver-Columbus for the GHSA Class 4A state title Dec. 10, 2021 at Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta.| USATNSYNDICATION

Benedictine’s football team has an opportunity that doesn’t come around too often for high school sports teams in Savannah. After winning the state championship last season, the Cadets are headed back to the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) State Championship game set for Friday, Dec. 9 (3:30 p.m.) at Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta.

There, they’ll try to topple top-ranked Cedartown (14-0) to win back-to-back state championships, something that a Savannah school has not achieved in any of the three major sports (football, basketball, baseball) since Savannah High’s basketball team won in 1946 and 1947.

Simply put, if the Cadets (12-2) can win the ‘ship, they will elevate themselves into a class all their own. Many teams have come close in the past, but none of them could win it all two years in a row. BC football in 2021 and 2022 would be deservedly mentioned among Savannah’s best ever high school sports teams.

I’m not suggesting Benedictine’s 2022 football team is the best high school sports team in this city’s history. That would be a bit much, especially given the legendary teams we’ve seen here over the years. What I am suggesting is that Danny Britt’s team can accomplish something that hasn’t been done in 75 years.

Think about that. No Savannah high school baseball, basketball (boys) or football team has gone back-to-back since the Bluejackets did so a year after World War II ended.

In 2015, Jenkins basketball won a state championship and returned to the title game in 2016 only to fall just short in a loss. Calvary’s baseball team won state titles in 2005 and 2007, but missed out in 2006. Savannah High racked up three state basketball titles in one decade (1972, 1974, 1976) but even those teams couldn’t run it back consecutively.

The Beach Bulldogs basketball team won the 1967 title in the first year of integrated competition in the GHSA. They returned one year later looking for another ring, but crosstown rival Johnson beat the Bulldogs in a legendary 1968 state championship game.

If we wanted to reach just a smidge, the Richmond Hill basketball program won back-to-back championships in 1993 and 1994, but that’s not a Savannah school, technically. Plus, that doesn’t fit into my narrative and therefore does not count in this argument.

Britt would probably admit that this year’s squad is not his most-talented team in 12 years at the helm of the program. Last year’s team was ranked No. 1 from the early parts of the season all through the state championship game. This year’s team began at No. 1, dipped to as low as 6th, and now finds itself at No. 4 in Class 4A. None of that matters much now.

You can watch the Cadets go for history live as the game will be televised on Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) and online at www.GPBsports.com. Coach’s Corner (3016 E. Victory Drive) in Savannah is broadcasting the game live for BC fans and alumni. Kickoff is set for 3:30.


SPORTS NOTES

The top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs handled LSU in the SEC Championship on Saturday, and on Sunday, they learned who they will play in the College Football Playoff. No. 1 UGA (13-0) will take on fourth-ranked Ohio State (11-1) in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl semifinal game on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. It’ll be played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a venue which has been good to the Dogs of late (LSU last week & Oregon in the season-opener). Ohio State and Georgia have only met one previous time (UGA won the 1993 Citrus Bowl). The Bulldogs opened as 7-point betting favorites (Caesars Sportsbook) versus the Buckeyes. Michigan (2-seed) and TCU (3) play New Years Eve afternoon in the other semifinal game.

Georgia Southern accepted an invitation Sunday afternoon to play in the Camellia Bowl against the Buffalo Bulls (6-6) in Montgomery, Alabama on Tuesday, Dec. 27 at noon. The Eagles (6-6) won the 2018 Camellia Bowl at Cramton Stadium in thrilling fashion. A last-second 40-yard field goal by Tyler Bass (now with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills) lifted GS to a dramatic 21-20 victory over Eastern Michigan. It’ll be the fifth bowl game for Southern since moving to the FBS in 2014. They are 3-1 in the four prior postseason games. One more note on the game, GS graduate-senior quarterback Kyle Vantrease transferred to Statesboro prior to this season.

Make your bowl picks and submit an entry into ESPN’s Hot Grits Podcast 2022 Bowl Mania group before bowls begin on December 16! It’s 100% free to enter and the winner (confidence points format) receives $150. Visit www.Fantasy.espn.com/games/college-football-bowl-mania-2022 and search for the private group name “HOT GRITS PODCAST 2022.” Password to enter is: HGP.

About The Author

Travis Jaudon

Travis Jaudon has been writing in Savannah since 2016 and is host of Hot Grits Podcast.
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