There was enough entering the week for the South Forsyth football team to be focused on.
The War Eagles face Lambert on Friday, a rivalry that’s emerged into arguably the county’s most electric with the sold-out crowds to match.
Already this season’s edition had added layers of intrigue. The winner gets to host a first-round playoff game. A loss by Lambert could jeopardize its playoff chances altogether depending on the outcome of other games in Region 6-AAAAAA.
“It’s going to be crazy, like every other Lambert-South game,” War Eagles senior running back Tyler LaFlamme said.
But South’s focus was tested Tuesday with the shocking news that senior defensive standout Emmanuel “Manny” Godswill was arrested for creating the suggestion of a planned school shooting at South through his Twitter account.
Godswill has been charged with disruption of a public school and public defamation, both misdemeanors, and impersonating another or a witness, a felony.
While the War Eagles practiced Tuesday afternoon, Godswill was in custody at the Forsyth County Detention Center, where his bond is set at $6,820.
South head football coach Jeff Arnette said the topic of Godswill’s arrest wasn’t a prominent theme at the War Eagles’ practice Tuesday.
“I want to focus on the game and what it means to our school and what it means to Lambert,” said Arnette, who declined to comment on Godswill’s situation.
LaFlamme said the team doesn’t appear to be too distracted.
“[Arnette] just told us that some of us are going to have to step up,” he said. “That’s about it. He didn’t talk about it much. We weren’t tied down on that at all.”
On the field, Godswill’s absence will surely require South to improvise on the defensive line.
Godswill was a first-team All-County and All-Region player last season at linebacker where he had 57 tackles, seven sacks and five pass break-ups to help the War Eagles go 7-3.
In South’s first-ever victory over Lambert last season, Godswill had two tackles for loss and a forced fumble.