Monday, September 17, 2012
It’s Berkeley – Timberland. Part 3.
Here we go again, again.
The cross-county rivalry resumed in 2010. Until then the Stags and Wolves hadn’t met up since 2007, when Timberland was still in AAA.
When the series stopped in 2007, the Stags had won all eight encounters between the two schools.
The Berkeley – Timberland quickly took a backseat to the Cane Bay rivalry mostly because of Stags coach Jeff Cruce. In 2010, the Cruce-led Cobras beat Berkeley for the first time and won the school’s first region championship. In 2011 and just last week, Cane Bay has enjoyed beating Berkeley because Cruce jumped ship to take the Stags AD and coaching job. While the Stags and Cobras still play, that rivalry has lost a little of its zing when Cane Bay made the jump to AAAA.
But this Friday it’s all about Berkeley and Timberland, two schools that really don’t like each other.
Since resuming their rivalry in 2010, the Wolves have won the last two meetings in convincing fashion. Overall, since 1996 and the merging of Macedonia, St. Stephen and Cainhoy High Schools, these schools don’t like each other much.
It’s more of a big brother vs. red headed (or orange headed) stepchild. Timberland can be called a little green with envy over the attention afforded Berkeley, even though the Wolves have garnered more state championships in the last 15 years – four – than the Stags lone title in 2009.
These two schools are my two top schools with geography and proximity tilting the scales in the Stags’ favor. I love covering both schools.
Until I moved to Moncks Corner in 2008, I had not covered a single state championship team in more than 20 years of sports coverage in newspaper and radio. Since moving here I’ve watched three state championship teams split between the two schools. Big news back then was when one of the local boys signed a full ride to Georgia Tech, the first big time scholarship signed by any player from the schools I’ve covered.
Then I move here and find big time scholarship signings an almost common occurrence. On National Signing Day the number of students signing athletic scholarships (23) overflowed the school board’s meeting room and had to be moved to the BHS auditorium.
Since moving here there’s not a weekend that passes when I don’t say to someone I know from Georgia, “See that guy? He’s from Berkeley. See that guy? He went to Timberland.”
Or even, “This guy played at Cross.”
NFL Week One had representatives from both Berkeley and Timberland on the field in Tracy White (New England) from Timberland, and Omar Brown (Baltimore) and Ronald Aiken (Arizona assistant coach) from Berkeley.
If you turn on the radio and scroll down the dial you might pick up former Berkeley guys in Doug and Ryan Stewart on their nationally syndicated, “2 Live Stews.”
At the heart of it all though, is Berkeley vs. Timberland.
Think Yankees/Red Sox or Bears/Packers. Not even Summerville, Goose Creek, or Stratford compares to this. These aren’t just games, they are events.
And Friday night is Ali/Frazier 3’s Thrilla in Manila, or an uncivil Civil War.
I’ll be there with bells on.
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