Lincoln County has essentially declared a county-wide holiday for this Friday as its favorite son Red Devils head to Atlanta for their Friday morning collision with the Trion Bulldogs.
Lincoln County schools are closed Friday, with December 19 to be used as the make-up day. Residents have adjusted their usual schedules to make sure they are at the big game. Some have visited their bank early, some will pick up their dry cleaning a bit later, and some have changed their usual Friday morning hairdresser appointments.
Here's our latest information:
Our Red Devils will leave Lincolnton at 1:30 Thursday afternoon and practice at the University of Georgia's practice field in Athens before continuing on to Atlanta. UGA's practice facility has the same FieldTurf that was installed in the Georgia Dome earlier this year. Coach Larry Campbell is impressed with the new turf, as reported by the Augusta Chronicle.
Many Red Devil fans will start leaving Lincoln County early Thursday afternoon, with most staying at either the Omni CNN Hotel or the Embassy Suites near the Dome. The fans of ALL teams will be using Gate D, the only open gate for the GHSA semifinals.
According to the Georgia Dome's website (www.gadome.com), it has updated its video camera policy for the GHSA events. Video cameras are allowed as long as they do not block the view of others.
The weather forecast (as of Wednesday night) for Friday morning in Atlanta indicates it will be COLD when the Devil Faithful congregate outside the Dome gates. At 7 AM, windchill is expected to be 24° based on a temperature of 31° and a wind of 7 MPH. Wind tends to howl faster through the concrete canyons around the Dome, so it will probably feel even more bitter.
Cordarryl Coppin focuses on "what's best for Lincoln County squad," as reported in The Augusta Chronicle.
The Augusta Chronicle, in a story about the Devils apparent curse on tailbacks, reported that Coach Larry Campbell said, "We're not going to put anybody at tailback this week." He's kidding -- right?
Per WJBF NewsChannel6, Coach Campbell will be wearing an "A" cap Friday, to honor Abbeville High (SC) Coach Dennis Botts who unexpectedly passed away earlier this week. Coach Botts was the all-time winningest coach at Abbeville High, where he coached 15 years. Coach Campbell and wife Connie are from the Abbeville area.
And for a final item on last week's awe-inspiring Devil win over the Metter Tigers, click here for their hometown write-up. The article is very positive toward our Devils and their outstanding play last Friday. The Devil victory ended a 16-game home winning streak for the Tigers, and the 56-7 shellacking was the worst playoff loss ever for Metter.
In the other Class A semifinal game, Saturday at 9 AM, Hawkinsville and Clinch County will have a rematch of 2002, but everyone expects a much closer game than the Panthers' blowout of those other Devils last year. Click here for Ole Timer's story on last week's win over Commerce and, as Ahill so aptly put it, "'Roll out the red carpet on Peachtree baby, ‘cause the Devils are coming to town.' Hawkinsville is 13-0 for the first time in their long history.