Last year the Green Wave opened the season at home against the Rams and fell 31-7. Easley rebounded with a much more respectable 14-7 loss to AAA power Daniel a week later, but was unable to earn a notch in the win column last season.
Hillcrest did not fair much better in the 2008 season, losing four straight before edging Easley’s Region 1-AAAA rival Hanna 16-15 midway through the season. Hillcrest did not win another game all season, but as a member of the state’s Big 16, the Rams automatically advanced to state playoffs, where they lost 24-0 to Irmo. The Rams will come into their season opener carrying a six-game losing streak.
The Easley-Hillcrest game will be one of several played a week before the “official” opening week of high school football in the state.
The Green Wave will face Daniel in the home opener of the 2009 season. The Lions will come into the game riding a 17-game regular-season winning streak. Daniel completed last year’s regular season 10-0, then they were 3-1 in the playoffs, falling 27-24 to Chester in the Upstate title game. Chester fell to Myrtle Beach in the AAA state championship game a week later.
The Green Wave will then have a week off before facing Pickens at home Sept. 11. Pickens topped the Green Wave 48-30 last season, breaking a four-year winning steak by the Green Wave in the series. Easley topped Pickens 13-10 in two overtimes in 2004 to break the school’s 31-game losing streak — a mark Green Wave fans would like to keep as the worst losing steak in school history.
Pickens has not won at Easley since 2003, when the Blue Flame defeated the Green Wave 21-14.
Easley goes on the road the next week to Eastside. Last year Easley fell 31-29 to the Eagles. Two years ago, when Easley last played at Eastside, the Green Wave won 31-10.
The next week Easley plays rival Wren in the non-conference version of their annual match-up. Easley plays Wren twice each year — once at home and once on the road, assuring each school of at least one good gate each year. The first match-up is a non-conference game, while the second match-up — traditionally the final game of the year — counts in the Region 1-AAAA standings.
Wren is riding a four-game winning streak in the series.
Easley’s final non-conference game of the season will be home against Mauldin Oct. 2. Last year’s game against Mauldin was one of the low points of the season with the Mavericks rolling past the Green Wave 62-0.
Easley The Mavericks finished the regular season 6-5 before losing to Clover in the first round of the state AAAA-Division II playoffs.
Playing in Region 1-AAAA has not been pleasant for the Green Wave for the past two season, as Easley is 0-10 during that period in conference play. Adding to the difficulty this year is the fact that four of the five conference games will be played on the road.
Easley opens conference play at Hanna Oct. 9. Easley fell to Hanna at home last year 25-0. Hanna broke a five-game losing streak with last year’s win over Easley. The Yellow Jackets finished the regular season 5-6, but still managed to earn a spot in the AAAA Division II playoffs, where they lost to Goose Creek in the first round.
Easley’s second game in Region 1-AAAA play will be at Laurens Oct. 16. Laurens defeated Easley 44-3 last year at Brice Field. Laurens was 4-1 in Region 1-AAAA play, losing only to conference champions Greenwood, and 7-4 overall in the regular season.
The Raiders were the final Region 1-AAAA team alive in the playoffs, making it to the state quarterfinals before losing to eventual state champions South Pointe.
Easley then travels to defending Region 1-AAAA champions Greenwood Oct. 23. Easley lost to the Eagles 34-6 at home last season. Greenwood was 5-0 in Region 1-AAAA play, but was upset by Lancaster in the first round of the state AAAA Division II playoffs.
Easley’s only home Region 1-AAAA game will come Oct. 30 against Westside. Last year the Rams defeated Easley 48-13. Westside finished the season 4-7 and missed the state AAAA Division II playoffs.
Easley’s regular season finale will be the rematch against Wren at Hurricanes Field Nov. 6.
Jabo Burgess returns as the Green Wave coach. He is 17-28 in four seasons as the Easley skipper.
Easley Green Wave Schedule
Aug. 21 at Hillcrest
Aug. 28 DANIEL
Sept. 11 PICKENS
Sept. 18 at Eastside
Sept. 25 WREN
Oct. 2 MAULDIN
Oct. 9 at Hanna
Oct. 16 at Laurens
Oct. 23 at Greenwood
Oct. 30 WESTSIDE
Nov. 6 at Wren