Newberry coach Phil Strickland won’t be too disappointed if he isn’t able to coach in next week’s Shrine Bowl game.
That would mean Strickland, the head coach for the South Carolina Shrine Bowl squad, and the Bulldogs would be playing for the Class 3A state championship Dec. 17 at Williams-Brice Stadium. Newberry must first defeat Chapman on Friday in the 3A Upper State title game.
The Bulldogs are looking for their third consecutive title appearance and are in the Upper State title game for fourth time in the past five years.
“It’s the furthest thing from my mind,” Strickland said of Shrine Bowl. “I do what I need to do Shrine Bowl-wise, but my first priority is Newberry football, and we are here to trying to win championships.“
Strickland said he’ll be making the decisions for the SC squad up until Friday night. If the Bulldogs win, Hanahan’s Charlie Patterson would likely coach the Sandlapper squad against North Carolina at Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium.
Normally, there would be no conflict between Shrine Bowl and state championship weekend. But with the season pushed back two weeks because of Hurricane Matthew, both the North-South All-Star game (set for Dec. 10) and the Shrine Bowl have had to adjust rosters and coaching staffs.
Strickland is one of three SC coaches on the staff of teams still playing. Spartanburg assistant Rick Scott’s team is playing for the Class 5A Upper State championship and Lake View head coach Darryl King’s squad will play for the Class A Lower State championship.
There are 15 players picked for the game that will play Friday night, so somereplacements likely will be needed to fill out the rosters.
“We have been meeting quite a bit with the coaches and we’ve got a list and scenarios,” Strickland said.
Five Midlands players added to North-South rosters
Five players from the Midlands were added over the weekend to rosters for Touchstone Energy North-South All-Star football game.
C.A. Johnson’s Dahon Mixon, Westwood’s Jason Barno and Fairfield Central’s Travius Williams were added to the North team, while Blythewood’s Roger Carter Jr. and Lugoff-Elgin’s Elliott Campbell were added to the South squad.
Practice for Saturday’s game began Monday in Myrtle Beach. Irmo’s Reggie Kennedy is coach for South team, and Camden’s Jimmy Neal will lead the North squad.
Nineteen players from the Midlands were selected to play in the game when the rosters were announced, and seven more have been added because of injuries of and players still in the postseason. Dutch Fork’s Bobby Irby and Bryson Cannon, as well as Chapin’s Will Webster won’t play because their teams still are in the playoffs.