How they stack up
Outlook: South Pointe’s drop to 3A has ramped up expectations, but for good reason. The Stallions will still be tested by a challenging non-region slate – including former region rivals York, Rock Hill and Northwestern – and a tough Region 3-3A as well. Still, most South Pointe fans will be planning a trip to Columbia the first weekend of December.
Offensively, the Stallions should be better than last year thanks in large part to the addition of offensive coordinator Jason McManus from the junior-college ranks. Coach Strait Herron called plays last year after offensive coordinator Patch Cox suddenly left the program early in the season. South Pointe lost several important playmakers to graduation, but replacements like junior receivers Nick McCloud and Josh Wilkes are ready to step forward.
Departed: DL Zeek Rodney, WR Anthony Johnson, LB Josh Massey, DL Tay Robinson-Locke, DL Jontae Henry, DL Nick Adams, WR Kyle Brandt, RB Josh Brice, FB Vinny Emmanuele (moved)
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Key players: QB Zaylin Burris, CB/WR Chris Smith, CB Devion Williams, LB/SS Marveon Mobley, LB Nick Yearwood, WR Nick McCloud, WR/DB Deshawn Davis, WR Josh Wilkes, LB Ty Barber, OL Bryan Binford, DL Brandon Fisher.
Herron said: “There’s a lot of good talent out there. If somebody is working harder than you are, we’re not gonna be afraid as coaches to say ‘hey, go sit down.’ You got to work.”
South Pointe will find itself in the position of out-numbering many of the 3A schools it plays this year, a luxury that wasn’t present at the 4A level.
“We’ve got a lot of skilled players, and I’ve told the coaches that it’s gonna be hard to keep them happy. We don’t coach to get somebody a certain number of carries or a certain number of catches. We don’t do that. We’re gonna run the plays we’ve got to run to beat the defenses in front of us. But, we’ve got to be conscious of the fact that we’ve got a lot of guys.”
Did you know? Herron’s squad will have one player on the roster this year who played varsity as a freshman on the Stallions’ 2011 3A state championship team. Devion Williams played in all 15 games in 2011 as a backup, but will be one of South Pointe’s most important players this fall after intercepting six passes and making 51 tackles as a junior last season.