The coaches on either sideline Friday night in the second round of the 4A Division II state playoff game between York and River Bluff know each other well.
York (10-2) is coached by Bobby Carroll, best known for coaching Jadeveon Clowney at South Pointe High.
River Bluff (8-4) is coached by David Bennett, who coached Coastal Carolina from 2001 to 2010 before starting the River Bluff program last year.
“He’s a winner from Day One, and I’ll tell you one thing, him getting in high school football was bad news for a lot of dudes,” said Carroll about Bennett. “He’s got ’em right. They’re playing great, they’re winning and they’re believing.”
This won’t be Carroll and Bennett’s first meeting. In fact, they go way back, first facing off as players in 1978 and then again in 1979 when Carroll was a Shrine Bowl-bound lineman at York and Bennett was the quarterback of Cheraw’s first state championship team. Bennett’s Braves won 15-14.
Near the end of the game, “I kicked him in the head because he was kind of mouthy,” said Carroll, grinning.
“Bobby will tell you (that) him kicking me in the head while we were running the clock out was an accident,” Bennett said.
The two went on to play football together at Presbyterian College and have been friends since.
When their teams face off at York, there is no question which will be considered the underdog, at least in Bennett’s opinion.
“It’s the first year of varsity football, we’re the 16 seed and we’re still playing? We are the underdog,” he said.