High School Football

No jamboree this year for Beaufort, Jasper football teams

Not enough teams able to participate this season

ccox@islandpacket.comAugust 11, 2012 

Beaufort High School's Eric Blakely wraps up Hilton Head High's Adam Orischak during their scrimmage Friday evening at Beaufort High School stadium. The teams won't be playing in a preseason jamboree this year, and neither will the area's other public schools.

SARAH WELLIVER -- STAFF PHOTO

This year's Lowcountry Jamboree has been called off after a number of local teams were unable to participate, Bluffton coach Ken Cribb said this week.

Only the Bobcats, Beaufort High and Ridgeland-Hardeeville were able to compete this season -- two fewer teams than a year ago.

"I'd like to get it going again," Cribb said, "but there need to be six teams in it to make it worth everybody's time."

Hilton Head Island High School, which participated last year, was unable to join in this season after the S.C. High School League barred the Seahawks from the jamboree in April after former coach Tim Singleton allowed nine transfer students to participate in scrimmages before being cleared to play by the league.

Whale Branch, meanwhile, also was unable to participate because of SCHSL punishment. The Warriors were placed on "restrictive probation" in October after a bench-clearing skirmish happened late in their Sept. 30 game with Ridgeland. Both teams, which competed in last year's Beaufort County Jamboree, had players suspended and received undisclosed fines.

Ridgeland was placed on "warned probation" for the incident, which would have allowed the Jaguars to compete this year.

However, this year's event was left with only three teams after Battery Creek -- which also competed last year -- said it had a previous commitment. The options became even smaller after Ridgeland and Hardeeville consolidated into one school.

"We realized, 'Hey, we ain't got but three teams,' " Cribb said.

Beaufort's Mark Clifford said he is sad to see it go. The Eagles coach -- who said the scheduling and preparation of the jamboree proved difficult for him last season -- had his team scrimmage Hilton Head High on Friday night in Beaufort.

"We've had some awesome jamborees," he said. "I thought the two we've had here have been great. They don't make much money, but it's still a great hype, a great thing to do."

Cribb said he would welcome a possible revival of the get-together next season. His Bobcats had their final scrimmage of the season Friday against Savannah Christian.

"I love the local flavor," he said. "I think that's the way it should be. I think the teams should play each other."

Follow reporter Chris Cox at twitter.com/MatchPointBFT.

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