Summerville football coach John McKissick finally talked to his team about his impending 600th career victory.
“Wednesday was the first time I talked to them about it,” McKissick said. “I felt I had to say something about it because of all the attention the news media is giving it. Six hundred victories: It can fire up our team, but it can also fire up the other side.”
The other side is Ashley Ridge, which hosts Summerville tonight at 7:30. The 86-year-old McKissick, who is in his 61st year as Summerville’s coach, enters with 599 victories and a chance at another milestone.
“I never really thought about winning 600,” said McKissick, who has more victories than any football coach in history. “When I won my 500th game in 2003, it was sort of mind-boggling. People told me ‘It won’t be long until 600.’ Now, I am hearing it won’t be long until 700.”
Summerville (5-4 overall, 3-0 Region 8-AAAA) enters the game with a three-game winning streak. Ashley Ridge is 3-6, 2-1.
A Summerville win would set up next week’s showdown against Bluffton. The Bobcats, who play winless Colleton County tonight, are 9-0, 3-0.
But all McKissick is thinking about is Ashley Ridge, which opened five years ago. Walker, who coaches the Swamp Foxes, was a former coach in McKissick’s program.
“Coach Walker has done a great job,” McKissick said. “They have an outstanding offensive attack and do pretty well on defense as well. It’s going to take a great effort on our part.”
Goose Creek, the No. 1 team in Class AAAA, is coming off a huge victory against Wando and travels to West Ashley tonight. The Gators, 9-0, 2-0, will face crosstown rival Stratford in the regular season finale next week. The Knights are 8-1, 2-1.
One region championship remains to be settled as Class AAA, AA and A wraps up the regular season today. Timberland (8-1, 4-0) hosts Lee Central (7-2, 4-0) for the Region 7-AA title.
Timberland hasn’t allowed a score in 12 straight quarters, including last week’s 40-0 victory over Andrews. The Wolves have outscored their last three region foes by a 115-0 count.
Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter: @pandcphil