Vote here for the all time best in local high school football

bmccormick@heraldonline.comJuly 6, 2013 

Clover players and coaches celebrate their state championship in 2007.

ANDY BURRISS — aburriss@heraldonline.com

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    Top high school football players from York, Chester and Lancaster counties

    The polls will run at Heraldonline.com for two weeks until Sunday, July 21. The results will be included in the Herald’s annual football preview section, scheduled for release on Aug. 18.

    Players

    Thomas Addison, Lancaster

    Mike Barber, Lewisville

    William Belk, Lancaster

    Scott Brantley, Chester

    Sheldon Brown, Lewisville

    Jeff Burris, Northwestern

    Bobby Carroll, York

    Jadeveon Clowney, South Pointe

    Ernest Dixon, Fort Mill

    Gerald Dixon Sr,. Rock Hill

    James Duncan, Lancaster

    Robert Gage, Chester

    Buck George, Rock Hill

    Stephon Gilmore, South Pointe

    Lamont Hall, Clover

    Clayton Heath, Chester

    Jonathan Hefney, Rock Hill

    Chris Hope, Rock Hill

    Leon Hope, York

    Tim Jones, Rock Hill

    Johnathan Joseph, Northwestern

    Banks McFadden, Great Falls

    Wesley McFadden, Lewisville

    Ronnie McGill, Clover

    Tony McNeal, Chester

    Maurice Morris, Chester

    Cordarrelle Patterson, Northwestern

    Derek Ross, Northwestern

    Rick Sanford, Northwestern

    Ko Simpson, Rock Hill

    William Strong, Lewisville

    Vance Walker, Fort Mill

    Ben Watson, Northwestern

    Justin Worley, Northwestern

    Coaches

    Gus Allen, Fort Mill

    Steve Boyd, Indian Land, Fort Mill, York

    Bobby Carroll, South Pointe, York

    Bennie McMurray, Lewisville, Lancaster

    Guy Misenheimer, Chester

    Tommy Oates, Rock Hill

    Bill Pate, York

    Jim Ringer, Rock Hill

    Jimmy Mac Wallace, York

    Jimmy “Moose” Wallace, Lewisville, Northwestern

    Marty Woolbright, Clover

    Teams

    2011 South Pointe- The 14-1 Stallions won their first title under Strait Herron with a dominating playoff performance. They beat Union County, Greenville and Fairfield Central by an average score of 46-14 to win the school’s second Class AAA state championship.

    2010 Northwestern- The Trojans averaged over 41 points per game en route to a 15-0 state championship season under Jimmy Wallace. Northwestern quarterback Justin Worley smashed a number of state records and was named Gatorade National Player of the Year.

    2008 South Pointe- Two years after opening, South Pointe had a state title under coach Bobby Carroll after going 15-0. The Stallions beat their four playoff opponents by an average of 31 points, including a 35-14 shelling of rival Northwestern in the state final.

    2007 Clover- Jet Turner’s Clover team ran the wing-t offense right down opponent’s throats on their way to a 2007 Class AAAA-DII state championship. Clover knocked off Beaufort 23-14 in the title game.

    2004 Rock Hill- Jim Ringer and the Bearcats’ second state championship had a sweet tinge to it after Rock Hill knocked off rivals Gaffney and Northwestern in the state playoffs. Ringer’s team bested Stratford 21-7 in the final.

    2002 Rock Hill- Jim Ringer led the 15-0 Bearcats’ to the school’s first official state championship in 2002. Rock Hill allowed its final postseason opponents just seven points, including a 19-0 shutout of Irmo in the title game.

    1998 Lewisville- Bennie McMurray’s third state title team opened the year with back-to-back defeats to Chester and Clover before winning 12 of the next 13, including a 28-7 triumph over Johnsonville in the state title game. The Lions were 12-3 that season.

    1996 Lewisville- The Lions strengthened their Class A powerhouse status with a 13-2 campaign that culminated in a 25-7 win over Johnsonville in the Lions’ second state title matchup with that school over a three-year period.

    1993 Northwestern- The Trojans claimed their school’s second state title with an unforgettable 2-0 championship game win over Gaffney. The Indians handed Northwestern its only loss earlier in the season, but the Trojans’ defense clamped down on Gaffney in the final to cap a 14-1 season.

    1991 Great Falls- The Danny Sawyer-led Red Devils won Great Falls’ second state title in 1991, and their first in the modern era. The Red Devils went 15-0, thumping rival Lewisville twice and hammering Buford 40-14 in the Class A-DII state championship game.

    1989 Northwestern- Jimmy Wallace’s established blueprint from a successful tenure at Lewisville carried over perfectly to larger Northwestern. The ’89 Trojan team was the school’s first of three state championships. Wallace’s crew avenged a regular season finale loss to Rock Hill by beating the Bearcats in the state semifinals before dropping Lancaster 14-6 in the state title game.

    1987 Lewisville- In his first season after taking over for Jimmy Wallace, Bennie McMurray led Lewisville to its second straight title in the mid-1980s. It was also the Lions’ second straight 14-0 season, though they allowed 51 points in ’87.

    1986 Lewisville- In Jimmy Wallace’s last season at Lewisville, “Moose” led the Lions to an undefeated 14-0 campaign, including a 26-6 beating of Timmonsville in the Class A state championship. The Lions outscored opponents 431-48 in a season that can simply be termed dominant.

    1986 York- Bill Pate’s team lost three of its first four games in 1986 before rattling off 10 straight wins, including a 10-7 victory over Strom Thurmond in the Class AAA state title game.

    1963 Chester- Led by brilliantly named coach Ears Wilson, the Cyclones went 11-2 and won the Class AA state championship, the last of the school’s five titles.

    1959 Lancaster- Lancaster, then known as the Blue Hurricanes, went 11-1-1 in 1959 to win the Class AA state championship. Wade Corn’s club topped Georgetown 21-6 in the final, still the school’s only football state championship.

    1936 Chester- The final of coach Lawrence Spearman’s five state championships in the 1930s at Chester, the Cyclones pitched six consecutive shutouts during one stretch of the ’36 campaign. A state title was confirmed when Sumter lost late in the season.

    •  Don’t see a player, coach or team you think should be included in the list? Email sports@heraldonline.com with your suggestion. Please include “All-Time football” in the subject line.

Leaf through the golden-browned vintage photos that ran in the Herald sports pages through the years and the names and faces come alive.

Tim Jones. Jeff Burris. Dee Feaster. Cookie Massey. Mike Barber. Ernest Dixon. Jim Ringer.

Their accomplishments reach out from history through intent stares. Their eyes tell us to forget Clowney or Gilmore or Worley. They were the best. Not these new kids.

Every generation thinks their high school football stars were the greatest ever. The black hole phrase “Back in my day…” has launched countless debates that have dragged long into summer nights, as high school fans pass the time until the resolving of arguments returns to the actual gridiron.

The Herald has decided to try and settle this score… at least for now. Starting today , Heraldonline.com will host a poll listing what the paper’s staff – and a few other local football minds – think are some of the best high school football players to ever strap on pads in our coverage area. The results will be published in the Herald’s football preseason preview on Aug. 18.

We’ll have polls for the best teams and coaches from the area as well.

Surely those topics have come up in casual conversation before?

Perhaps you favor one of Bennie McMurray’s Lewisville juggernauts from the 1980s and ‘90s or either of Moose Wallace’s Northwestern clubs in 1993 or 2010. Maybe Jim Ringer or Bobby Carroll is the top coach in your all-important opinion.

As difficult, if not more, will be selecting the area’s best 20 all-time high school football players. Jones, Burris, Feaster and 31 other names are included in the player poll. Many more aren’t.

It’d be unfair and just plain wrong to try and decide this ourselves, especially in a region with so much historical prep football excellence.

Maybe you’re in the new school. You can think of 10 Jadeveon Clowney hits at South Pointe that were better than the one he exacted on Michigan running back Vincent Smith during the Outback Bowl. You also think there won’t be an area high school quarterback as good as Justin Worley ever again. Fair enough.

Perhaps you go a little further back, to when jean shorts and the hightop fade haircut were first cool. You might have seen Gerald Dixon Sr. nearly decapitate an opposing ball carrier one Friday night, or remember that one fourth and short when Clover’s Ronnie McGill ran over an entire defensive unit en route to the end zone. Make the memory count; vote for them.

Or maybe you’re from the real old school, back when the thought of dial-up internet, let alone wireless, hadn’t yet tickled the mind of any serious inventors. You recall Rick Sanford effortlessly patrolling Northwestern’s secondary or maybe even Banks McFadden dominating for Great Falls in the 1930s. These guys need your votes the most.

Each generation stakes a claim for being the best. Even as the years dull the edges on the rest of our memory, these seem only to sharpen. They’re youthful memories that long outlast many of the banal, sadder moments of our lives. The players, teams and coaches that inhabit them live on exactly as they were, and we won’t forget them.

Bret McCormick •  329-4032. Twitter: @BretJust1T

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