High School Notebook: Former Fort Mill coach inducted into SCACA Hall of Fame

bmccormick@heraldonline.comAugust 7, 2013 

Fort Mill High School’s most successful football coach, Gus Allen, was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Associations’ Hall of Fame during its annual gathering in Greenville last week. Allen, 85, who lives in Rock Hill, won 271 games in a 40-year coaching career that also took him to Virginia for 10 years.

“I didn’t think I was gonna make it,” Allen said. “That was a big surprise. I’m delighted.”

Allen was nominated by his son, Nation Ford football coach Michael Allen.

“I am really proud of him,” Michael Allen told the Fort Mill Times earlier this year. “I know the influence he had on young people and other coaches. I am very happy for him. He is very deserving of the honor. I learned a lot from my dad.”

Gus Allen was 63-34-2 during a nine-year stint in charge of the Yellow Jackets during the 1970s and early 1980s, easily one of the school’s best stretches. Fort Mill finished 10-1 in Allen’s first season(1973), one of five Yellow Jackets’ postseason trips. Allen was voted region coach of the year five straight years (1973 to 1977) and took Fort Mill to the Upper State championship in 1975, before losing to Woodruff.

“It was great; had some great kids, it was just a great neighborhood,” said Allen, who coached his son at Fort Mill, and was inducted to the York County Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

Upcoming football scrimmages

Fans and coaches alike are eager to see what local high school football teams look like ahead of the 2013 season and a steady stream of scrimmages and jamborees over the next few weeks should provide ample opportunities to do so.

Northwestern is getting the earliest jump with a scrimmage Thursday night at District 3 Stadium against Irmo (6 p.m.) and another on Saturday at D3 against West Charlotte (also 6 p.m.).

Fort Mill gets competitive action underway at Crestwood on Friday in Sumter. They’ll also travel to Charlotte Country Day on Aug. 15 for a 6 p.m. workout against the private school Bucs. Crosstown rival Nation Ford will host South Pointe and Dorman on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Chester is holding a four-team scrimmage Monday at 6 p.m. when Westwood, Lancaster and West Meck will come to town. West Meck will bring along quarterback Jalan McClendon, who has committed to N.C. State.

York will scrimmage Richland Northeast on the road Saturday at 10 a.m. (at Spring Valley High School), before an Aug. 13 home scrimmage against Ashbrook at 6 p.m. before the Bank of York Jamboree Aug. 16, which starts around 7 p.m. York will face Steve Taneyhill’s Union County squad that night.

Great Falls scrimmages Ridge Spring-Monetta at home Aug. 13 at 6 p.m., while Lewisville will get in some work Friday at home against Blacksburg.

And in a headlining scrimmage, South Pointe and Byrnes will scrap on Tuesday at District 3 South Stadium at 6 p.m.

Rock Hill girls’ golf tryouts

Rock Hill girls’ golf coach Matt Bell says tryouts will be held Thursday at 3 p.m. at Carolina Crossing Golf Club. Contact Bell via email (mbell@rhmail.org) or phone (803-517-4096) for more information.

Northwestern 1973 cross country reunion

This fall will mark the 40th anniversary of Northwestern’s first state championships, won in 1973 by the school’s now-dominant running program. The cross country squad, coached by late Rock Hill coaching legend Bob Jenkins, won the two-year-old school’s first title that fall, before the track and field team won the state and dual meets in the spring for Northwestern’s second and third championships.

The ’73 cross country team will be honored Sept. 13 at a halftime ceremony during the Byrnes-Northwestern football game at District Three Stadium. Prior to the game there will be a celebration of the team’s achievement at the White Horse Restaurant on Camden Ave. from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., which is free and open to the public. Organizer Johnny Schwartz, the captain of that first Trojan state championship team, hopes the community will come out.

Bret McCormick •  329-4032. Twitter: @BretJust1T

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