Catriez Cook began his season without much fanfare, but he’ll end it playing with some of the state’s best players.
The Gilbert running back will suit up one more time in his high school career on Saturday for the South squad in the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives North South Bowl at Myrtle Beach High.
“I am excited I got a chance to play another high school football game before I go off to college,” Cook said. “This wasn’t just meant to play ball and meet new people. This was also a chance for me to promote my school and my community. The best part of the week probably is meeting new players and getting to play with a team full of all-stars.”
Cook moved from defense to offense this year and was the leading rusher in the Midlands for most of the season before being passed by Newberry’s Amir Abrams. The senior finished with 1,781 yards and 22 TDs, and also caught four TD passes for the Indians, who won the Region 5-3A title and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
Cook is one of 24 Midlands players who will play in the game. Dutch Fork’s Bobby Irby and Bryson Cannon and Chapin’s Will Webster were selected, but couldn’t play because their teams are still in the playoffs.
Irmo’s Reggie Kennedy is the head coach for the South squad and Camden’s Jimmy Neal leads the North team. Neal has a couple of familiar faces on his team in quarterback Devin Beckley and receiver Jo Jo Watson. Beckley threw for 2,797 yards and 26 TDs, with Watson hauling in 79 catches for 1,449 yards and 15 TDs.
“Having Jo Jo and all the coaches from Camden here is nice because a lot of the timing and terminology is already in sync,” Beckley said. “It’s been fun to meet some players and people that I wouldn’t have ever met differently. So I’m grateful for the opportunity to play in this game.”
Ridge View’s Latheron Rogers-Anderson also is grateful to be in the game after transferring from Lakewood. Rogers-Anderson shined on both sides of the ball for the Blazers, who made it to the third round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Rogers-Anderson rushed for 945 yards and 11 TDs, and had more than 60 tackles on defense.
“I certainly didn’t see myself in a spot where I’d be able to be in this game. When I went to Ridge View, coach (Perry) Parks brought fun back into my game, so I started enjoying it again and my stats followed,” Rogers-Anderson said.
In addition to Saturday’s game, Mr. Football will be awarded at halftime. North Central’s Cedrick Cunningham and Wando’s OrTre Smith, a South Carolina commit, are among the five finalists for the award.
What: Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl
When: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Where: Doug Shaw Stadium at Myrtle Beach High School
South All-Stars: Jeffrey Tharp (Irmo), Lane Botkin (A.C. Flora), Sekwan Jenkins (Blythewood), Cory Riley (A.C. Flora), Catriez Cook (Gilbert), Adam Rowson (Lugoff-Elgin), Joe Beckett (White Knoll), Cameron Williams (Lexington), Nick Comfort (Irmo), Elliott Campbell (Lugoff-Elgin), Jarrett Sandy (Swansea), Gunnar Kennedy (Lexington), Roger Carter (Blythewood), x-Bryson Cannon (Dutch Fork), x-Bobby Irby (Dutch Fork), x-Will Webster (Chapin).
Coach: Reggie Kennedy, Irmo
North All-Stars: Cedric Smith (RNE), Cedrick Cunningham (North Central), Latheron Rodgers-Anderson (Ridge View), Devin Beckley (Camden), Brett Burnett (Airport), Amare Barno (Westwood), Dahon Mixon (C.A. Johnson), Cam Muller (Ridge View), Jo Jo Watson (Camden), David Gibson (Fairfield Central), Travius Williams (Fairfield Central)
Coach: Jimmy Neal, Camden
x-Selected but unable to play