COLUMBIA -- Keith Richardson, executive director of the South Carolina High School League, got a perfect retiring sendoff by seeing his alma mater, Chester High School, reach the state championship game for the first time in 44 years.
Richardson, a longtime coach at Clinton whose mother still resides in Chester, was at the game to wish his former team well in the Class AAA game against Wilson at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.
"I grew up in Chester, and there has always been good football teams there; it is real good to see the enthusiam back in Chester. I am excited and happy to see them down here.
"They have been playing well, and I wish them well."
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• OLD TRADITIONS -- Carlisle Roddey, voice of the Chester Cyclones, tried to use the same good luck charm that brought Chester the Class AA championship with a 19-12 victory over Eau Claire in 1963.
Roddey brought his newborn son, Johnny, to the game, which was played in bitter cold temperatures at Columbia's Memorial Stadium.
"I had him wrapped up in a blanket. I had him wrapped up so tight, I thought that I had smothered him to death."
Johnny Roddey, who is now 45, sat in the press box behind Roddey with hopes of the Cyclones producing the same results as their last trip to the finals.
"Yes, I was brought here because I was told that I was good luck last time. I hope that it works again," Johnny Roddey said with a laugh.
• KEEPING IT CLOSE -- A 10-yard run from Wilson running back Deshawn Bonds followed by a Robby Bonanno kick gave Chester its first deficit in the Class AAA state playoffs.
Chester took an early 6-0 lead with Terrell Springs capping a 6-play, 31-yard drive with a 1-yard run.
Gene McCaskill's conversion pass, however, was incomplete.
In its previous four playoff games, Chester grabbed early leads, and used solid defensive play to preserve the victories.
• ANOTHER MILESTONE -- Chester coach Victor Floyd had a milestone victory at Memorial Stadium in Columbia in October 2004 with a victory against A.C. Flora. That was Floyd's first victory as coach at Chester High School.
• A MORRIS SIGHTING? -- Rumors were circulating on press row that former Chester Cyclone standout and current Seattle Seahawk running back Maurice Morris was in attendance to cheer for the Cyclones. However, that could not be confirmed. The Seahawks are on the road to play the Philadelphia Eagles today.
• LIVE BY THE TWO-POINT CONVERSION ... -- The Chester Cyclones converted 71 percent of two-point attempts this season, but failed on both attempts in Saturday's 14-12 loss to Wilson. The missed conversions, including quarterback McCaskill coming up inches short following a fourth-quarter score, proved to be the difference in the outcome.