The much anticipated season opener for the Cross Creek Razorbacks football team will have to wait for another Friday.
That also goes for its intended opponent Butler.
The scheduled season opening matchup between the two schools slated for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday, Aug. 18 was cancelled and will not be rescheduled, according to a Friday press release from the Richmond County School System. This comes on the heels of a school fight that broke out at Butler High Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Josey’s football team will also have to navigate a schedule change due to school violence.
After a school shooting incident at Josey High School on Wednesday, the Eagles’ season opener, originally slated as a home game against Savannah, was changed to a road trip to Savannah.
According to the Eagles’ 2023 season schedule at maxpreps.com, the game will take place in Savannah on Saturday, Aug. 19 with a 5 p.m. kickoff. It will be coach Lawrence Pinkney’s head coaching debut with the school.
As for Cross Creek and Butler, the Razorbacks will open their season Friday, Aug. 25 by hosting Glenn Hills at 7:30 p.m. Meanwhile, Butler won’t take the field until Friday, Sept. 1 when it welcomes KIPP Atlanta Collegiate.
Cross Creek coach Ezzard Horn, in his second year at the school, said that while his team was disappointed at being unable to play, he was glad for a chance to give some of his key players a chance to rest and recover from a physical preseason camp.
“A few guys had some bumps and bruises, so we were able to rest them up,” Horn said. “But our guys were ready for [Friday] night.”
Horn said he began preparing his team for a likely cancellation of the game when news of a fight at Butler and a school shooting at Josey broke on consecutive days this week.
“With what’s been going on in our city lately, I braced my team for it,” Horn said. “And they understood why the call was made to cancel the game. But my guys were looking forward to getting out there and competing.”
Horn is entering his second season at the program’s helm, but it will be his first time entering the football season with the benefit of a full offseason to prepare for the fall. The Razorbacks finished 2022 with a 1-9 record with a 32-8 win over Savannah being the team’s lone win. Butler defeated Cross Creek 30-0 in last year’s season opener en route to a 4-6 mark.
In a week that’s been marred by school violence and threats of violence across the CSRA, Friday’s Thomson at Burke County game has also been impacted.
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office announced via Facebook that it would be “increasing patrols at Friday’s high school football game at Burke County High School and afterwards.” This is due to the Sheriff’s Office having to respond to three incidents of fights in Burke County Schools, along with a fight in the surrounding community that were all gang related.
“The Burke County Sheriff’s Office wants all students, faculty and families to enjoy the festivities without any incidents,” the Facebook statement said. “Our agency will not tolerate any violent altercations, and all parties will be taken into custody.”
Burke County defeated Thomson at Thomson 24-21 last year. It was the only loss for the Bulldogs before winning the Class AA state championship. Burke County leads the all-time rivalry series 21-18.