In This Weeks Edition: 11-16-2011

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Bamberg honors its Veterans

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

“We rely heavily on our military and our veterans,” Dennis Conner, Director of Training at the Government Training Institute (GTI) in Barnwell, told a large number of veterans, their family members and other guest at the city of Bamberg Veteran’s Day Program at the Bamberg Civic Center on Main Highway Friday. “And, even though they are no longer in uniform, they are still giving back to the community,” Conner added.

Conner noted that (GTI), which was established in 2002 to aide in the “War on Terrorism” “uses military veterans everyday” and the four weeks of training he received there allowed him to “go home to his wife and children” each night during a career of 25 years in law enforcement.

“All men and women in uniform in peace time or during war help insure the freedom and democracy that we enjoy. Let us not forget to thank our veterans. We need to thank our veteran’s everyday for helping to protect our history.”

The event started with Presentation of Colors by the Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School JROTC drill team. Bamberg Mayor Alton McCollum did the welcome, followed by the invocation by Rev Robert Cannon. After the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem was sung by Susan Hiers.

Again this year the story of “The White Table” was read this year by Police Commissioner Bo Griffin and assisted by Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Foster. The nationally acclaimed Denmark Technical College Choir under the Direction of Dr. Yvette McDaniel performed a Patriotic Medley. A special moment in this year’s program came when Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Foster went around the Civic Center and allowed each veteran present a moment to introduce him or herself and tell of his or her experience in the military.

Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School Band Director and National Guard member Jordan Smith read the story of “Taps” as a Wreath was placed at the front of the Civic Center by veterans. Jordan Smith then played “Taps.” The Benediction was given by Rev. Cannon and a delicious meal was enjoyed by all in attendance.

RCES 4th & 5th graders hold Veterans Program

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

“We live in the greatest country in the world,” Cpl. Warren Hiatt of Bamberg told a large group of 4th grade students, their parents, teachers and guest gathered in the RCES mini gym on Thursday to pay tribute to America’s veterans. Hiatt, who served 39 years in the military in the Marines and the National Guard and who served two tours of duty in Viet Nam and volunteered for a third tour, told the attentive audience “we could not have choices if we did not have freedom” to go to the church or school of our choice. Hiatt noted that “millions” have gone before us so that we can “live the life we have today.”

“I love this country and the people in it. My heroes are the people who sign up each day for the military and the teachers who teach my children.” To the students in attendance Hiatt said: “Listen to your teachers and study history to know where you came from. And he told them they needed to “understand the past to understand the future.” “You can accomplish anything in life if you try.”

The program started with the Welcome by RCES Principal Mr. Johnnie Smith. Bamberg- Ehrhardt High School Band Director and SPC Jordan Smith, 246 US Army, read the story of “Taps” and performed for the group. Fourth grade students under the direction of Music Teacher Diane Wise performed a “Patriotic Medley” of songs. RCES Principal Jonnie Smith told the group in his closing remarks that they should “thank a veteran” whenever they can.

Red Raiders return to Lower State Finals

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

Ridgeland High School came to Leon Maxwell Stadium Friday night hoping that the fourth time would be the charm. As fate would have it, when the second round Class A Division 1 Lower State playoff game was over, the very athletic Jaguar team would suffer the same fate as it did in the previous three meetings with the Red Raiders (11-1) over the last two years going down to a hard fought 19- 15 loss.

Beating a tough Ridgeland team for the fourth time in two years was not a fact easily lost on B-E head football coach Kevin “Butch” Crosby. “We fought for every yard we got,” Coach Crosby said after the game. “We knew they were going to play us tough. We had beaten them three times before. It’s the fourth time, we knew they were going to come out and lay everything on the line. Our kids came out and laid everything on the line too, that’s what we work hard for.”

In a game that was eerily similar to the last meeting of the two heavyweights on September 16, at Leon Maxwell Stadium won by the Red Raiders 22-21 in overtime. The pass and catch combination of sophomore Sumner Cooler to junior Landon Sandifer provided the winning points. In the first game Cooler found Sandifer in the back of the Ridgeland end zone for the winning points. On Friday night, the combination again connected on a 33 yard pass play with under two minutes left in the game for the win, with Sandifer making a gallant effort to reach the end zone.

In a game that was eerily similar to the last meeting of the two heavyweights on September 16, at Leon Maxwell Stadium won by the Red Raiders 22-21 in overtime. The pass and catch combination of sophomore Sumner Cooler to junior Landon Sandifer provided the winning points. In the first game Cooler found Sandifer in the back of the Ridgeland end zone for the winning points. On Friday night, the combination again connected on a 33 yard pass play with under two minutes left in the game for the win, with Sandifer making a gallant effort to reach the end zone.

It was a great game for the Red Raiders on both sides of the ball with the B-E defense holding Ridgeland to 14 points, five B-E defenders recording double figures in tackles and Shrine Bowl lineman David Deleon coming up with a pick.

“The defense played a heck of a game tonight. They did a tremendous job keeping them contained only giving up 14 points.”

Having played in big games the past few years, Coach Crosby said his team knows what is at stake: “We know what’s at stake. We know we’ve got the bulls eye on our backs. We just have to stay humble and stay focused,” Coach Crosby said of his team, adding, “they are growing up each day we’re out here, just learning as we go and everything else will take care of itself.”