After watching this week’s opponent on film, Mauldin High football coach Doug Shaw’s summation was this: “It’s going to be another Region 2 game.”
That’s a compliment to Wade Hampton (3-1), which has moved up from Class AAA this season and will play its Region 2 opener at Mauldin’s Freeman Field against the Mavericks (2-2) tonight at 7:30.
Region 2 is filled with heavyweights, including Byrnes, Gaffney, Dorman and Boiling Springs — last year’s Class AAAA Division I final four. And Spartanburg came over with Gaffney from Region 3 this season.
“Mauldin had been in that region before I got here, so the first year I was here, it was definitely an experience,” said Shaw, who’s in his seventh season with the Mavericks.
“So it will definitely be an experience for Wade Hampton, and hopefully they’ll do well. They’ll be representing Greenville County, just like we are. Each and every week, it doesn’t matter who you’re lined up against, you better be ready to play.”
Wade Hampton coach Kent Haltiwanger said in a way, it’s just another important game.
“Basically we’ve considered every game since we started a region game, because in AAAA, the whole thing is about points, and for us, getting into the Division II playoffs,” Haltiwanger said. “Region doesn’t matter like it did in AAA. From game one, these count for points.”
The Generals already have victories against AAAA opponents Hillcrest and Woodmont, as does Mauldin.
For the most part, Wade Hampton is not only new to the region, but new to Mauldin. The Greenville County schools haven’t played since 1991, when both were in Region 1-AAAA.
And for the Mavericks, it’s not just that they haven’t seen the Generals.
They haven’t seen much of their offense either.
“When you see the wing-T one time a year, it’s extremely hard to prepare for,” Shaw said. “We’ve done the best we can do.”
For Wade Hampton, in each of the past two weeks, running back Trent Scott has rushed for at least 100 yards and quarterback Terrence Sudberry has passed for at least 150 yards.
In Mauldin’s 35-21 win over Mann last week, quarterback Dre Massey passed for 152 yards and rushed for 107, and running back Roy Nash rushed for 153 yards.
“On film, it looks like they have more athletes than we have,” Haltiwanger said. “We have a lot of kids who haven’t started or haven’t played, even though a lot of them are seniors. But they’re coming along and starting to play a lot better now.”