DeVonte Holloman didn’t return to South Pointe High School just for the sake of coming home.
The coach is looking to bring the Stallions back into Williams-Brice for another state championship.
“It’s great here. The support is great, my principal is great,” Holloman said after the Stallions’ 31-20 Region 3-4A opening victory over Westwood a week ago. “We’re going in the right direction.
“The expectations are high and always will be at South Pointe. I thank my boys and my staff. I can’t thank them enough.”
Holloman, a 2009 South Pointe graduate, rose to prominence as a linebacker at the University of South Carolina from 2009-13, playing with other Stallions teammates Jadeveon Clowney and Stephon Gilmore, both first-round picks in the NFL Draft.
Clowney, drafted by the Houston Texans in 2014, and Gilmore, a Buffalo Bills pick in 2012, are still playing. Clowney was traded to Seattle this year, and Gilmore signed with New England Patriots in 2017.
Holloman’s football career took a different turn.
A sixth-round selection by the Dallas Cowboys in 2013, he played for a year before a spinal injury ended his playing career. He got into high school coaching as a defensive backs coach in 2015 and then defensive coordinator under Beaufort High head coach Mark Clifford.
When Clifford retired in 2017, Holloman was named head coach. In 2018 he led the team to a 5-5 regular season before falling 31-30 to Brookland-Cayce in the 4A playoffs.
Holloman’s younger sister passed away during the season. That loss started him thinking about being closer to home. When Strait Herron stepped down as South Pointe’s coach after the 2018 season, the door opened for Holloman.
“It started with a misfortune, my sister passing,” Holloman said. “My eyes started turning toward home, and when the opportunity presented itself I couldn’t pass it up.”
Holloman — who stated at his introduction as head coach in February that he has high expectations on himself and those are the only expectations he lives by — knows that he has a lot to prove, and the Stallions have responded.
South Pointe chalked up non-region victories over local rivals Northwestern, Rock Hill, Nations Ford and Indian Land, as well as at Greenville.
“We’re starting to be cohesive as a team, not only offense, not only defense,” he said. “The team is playing well. I’m proud of my team fighting through all the adversity, just keeping their heads, keeping their minds cool.”
At Westwood a week ago, South Pointe jumped to a 13-0 lead before falling behind 14-13 on two quick Redhawks’ touchdowns by the half. The Stallions responded with an 18-6 second half to improve to 6-0.
“It’s a big win tonight and hopefully it propels us into winning this region,” Holloman said. “They’ve done me a solid favor tonight. Tonight’s my sister’s birthday and I asked them to give me a win. They did everything in their power to make me proud.”