Full Court Press
By now, you've probably heard the news that Battery Creek's Carlos Cave was named an assistant coach on the South Carolina staff for the 2010 Shrine Bowl.
So let's be honest: many of you probably saw Cave's 7-15 record in two years at Battery Creek and wondered what warrants him coaching in not only the Shrine Bowl but also last year's North-South All-Star game.
Well, let's explore.
Whew. National Signing Day truly wore me out -- and I didn't even have to sign off on the next 3 or 4 years of my life or field a gazillion questions like Beaufort High's Justin Parker and other highly touted recruits ended up doing Wednesday.
Beaufort County saw four of its football players sign on to compete at the college level, making for a speck of the hundreds of players nationwide who snugged numerous hats on their heads and inked their John Hancocks on the dotted line before adoring relatives and flashing cameras.
Fans on message boards are going bonkers, recruiting sites are furiously making calls to report the latest signings and those with ESPNU are tuned in for round-the-clock television coverage.
Oh, the fun and drama of National Signing Day.
Before I offer a bit more insight into the Justin Parker situation, let me set the record straight once again -- me and Justin are not related.
Could we be kin through some obscure branch on the family tree? Sure.
Do I have a great respect for Justin, especially as he handles all this attention as a teenager? Most definitely.
Just got back from Battery Creek High School, where three seniors signed off on their football futures.
As expected, defensive back Ricky Chaney inked a letter of intent with Clemson after verbally committing there last May, linebacker Spencer Shine signed with Johnson C. Smith University, a Division II school, and defensive back Cleon Wright officially committed to play at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.
The big day is here for the nation's top football recruits, who get their first crack at officially inking their next three or four years into stone. Plenty -- and I mean plenty -- of hoopla will surround this one day, but National Signing Day would be nothing without the work that's been done by coaches and recruiters in the months or years before the first week in February.
It's been a long road for Sam Pope since the former Beaufort High and Hampton University standout went undrafted last April, a road that's taken him from a rookie minicamp in Green Bay, a summer workout with the Buffalo Bills and a tryout with the United Football League's Florida Tuskers -- all to no avail.
But recently, the defensive back found a home outside of the United States.
Pope inked a one-year contract with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League on Jan. 22, joining a talented roster that won the 2009 Grey Cup (the CFL's version of the Super Bowl).
A recruiting battle that has lasted for the better part of two years over the state's top linebacker prospect will come to an end Wednesday.
Beaufort High's Justin Parker will announce his decision at a 3 p.m. press conference at his school, the senior confirmed in a Sunday phone conversation. Parker will decide between Clemson, South Carolina and LSU -- the three schools he has made official visits to during the past two months.
Following this weekend's final in-home visits with USC and Clemson, Parker said that Clemson still holds a slight lead over USC and LSU.
With the early-season rust presumingly gone and region play underway, it's time to check in and see how Battery Creek and Beaufort High's basketball teams stack up now that playoff spots are on the line.
Let's start with the area's best boys team in Battery Creek (15-2, 3-0 in Region 8-AAA).
The Dolphins' hot start comes as little surprise, what with the defending Region 8-AAA champs and Lower State finalist welcoming back seven players (including three starters) from last year's successful squad.
After garnering more than a dozen Division I scholarship offers, Beaufort High's Justin Parker received perhaps his most notable bid Wednesday when three-time national champion LSU extended an offer to the standout defenseman.
The Tigers (7-2, ranked ninth in nation) began to show their peaking interest in the state's top linebacker prospect on Tuesday, as coaches contacted Parker for more game film from this season. Prior to this point, Parker said the coaches had evaluated all of his available on various scouting websites as well as tape from the Eagles' first four games.
Less than 12 hours after ending the regular season with a 24-14 loss to Goose Creek, Beaufort High coach Mark Clifford found out Saturday that his Eagles will begin their second season on the road against Greenwood. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Beaufort (7-4, 3-1 in Region 8-AAAA) drew the No. 9 seed in the Class 4-A Division II playoff bracket while Greenwood received the eighth seed after finishing 8-3 on the season and second in Region 1-AAAA play with a 4-1 record.