A new high school football all-star game is coming to the Midlands.
The inaugural Columbia Metro Senior Bowl will take place Dec. 22 at Irmo High School. It will feature some of the top senior players from 38 public and private schools in the area.
“With all-star games, some kids get overlooked, and we want to give them one last chance to play ball,” said Ridge View coach Perry Parks, who is the game’s organizer. “You are giving kids that play SCISA a chance to play against public schools. And with the evaluation period, Division II, III and JUCO coaches can come to the game and practices.”
Parks toyed with the idea last season but couldn’t secure funding for the game. He already has lined up three sponsors for the game. Team Issue, a division of Big Game USA Football, will be the title sponsor for the game. Former NFL players Roman Harper and Mike Tolbert also are lending a hand with Harper’s Hope Foundation and Tolbert’s Spade Foundation helping out with sponsorship.
Players also will participate in a toy drive for both foundations. Parks also said a portion of the proceeds will go toward Palmetto Children’s Hospital.
“We are going to use the game of football to do good,” Parks said. “We think that this can be a great event and has a chance to grow every year.”
Fairfield Central’s Demetrius Davis will be the head coach for the East team and Irmo’s Reggie Kennedy will coach the West squad.
Each school is guaranteed at least one player, with Class 4A and 5A schools getting two. No more than four players can be selected from each school, excluding specialists such as kickers and long snappers.
Players picked for Shrine Bowl and North-South games aren’t eligible to be nominated. Coaches have until Friday to nominate players, and rosters will be selected this weekend.
BSN Sports will provide the uniforms and coaches’ apparel for the game.
Columbia Metro Senior Bowl
When: Dec. 22, 2 p.m.
Where: Irmo High School
East Team: AC Flora, Columbia, Dreher, Eau Claire, CA Johnson, Keenan, Lower Richland, Blythewood, Richland Northeast, Spring Valley, Westwood, Ridge View, Fairfield Central, Ben Lippen, Cardinal Newman, Lugoff-Elgin, Camden, North Central
East coaching staff: Head coach: Demetrius Davis, Fairfield Central Assistants: Jason Seidel, Blythewood; Rodney Barr, Lower Richland; Mike Armstrong, Lugoff-Elgin; Treigh Sullivan, Dreher; Collin Drafts, AC Flora; Tyronne Drakeford, North Central; Brian Butler, Ridge View
West Team: Gilbert Lexington, River Bluff, White Knoll, Pelion, Airport, Brookland-Cayce, Gray Collegiate, Swansea, Newberry, Chapin, Dutch Fork, Irmo, Heathwood Hall, Hammond, Batesburg-Leesville, Whitmire, Mid-Carolina
West coaching staff: Head coach: Reggie Kennedy, Irmo Assistants: Erik Kimrey, Hammond; Robert Stogner, Chapin; Marlin Taylor, Dutch Fork; Gary Smallen, River Bluff; Kirk Burnett, Airport, Phil Strickland, Newberry; Mark Cagle, Gilbert