Malik Williams’ little bit of history was easily lost in the emotion of Chester’s double overtime loss to Powdersville in the second round of the 3A football state playoffs last Friday.
His seven-touchdown effort in the loss to the Patriots gave the senior QB Chester’s school record for single-season touchdowns, at 42. Williams broke Tony McNeal’s old record of 38, set in 2008. McNeal quarterbacked Chester teams from 2008 to 2010 before playing briefly at Clemson. A serious knee injury cut his career short, but he’s remembered fondly in Chester, especially for his sophomore season in 2008 when he was named All-State and led the Cyclones to a second straight appearance in the 3A state finals.
Chester coach Victor Floyd pointed out that McNeal achieved his school record in 15 games.
Williams, the 5-foot-11 Appalachian State commitment, ran for 1,565 yards and 27 touchdowns, and threw for 14 more (with just two interceptions), all in just 12 games. He also returned a kickoff earlier in the season for an 80-yard score, giving him 42 total TDs and 3,611 total yards in 12 games.
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It’s kind of natural for him.
Chester coach Victor Floyd on Malik Williams transitioning to receiver.
Williams’ accomplishment is appreciated by Floyd because he did so much the last two years to help reestablish the Cyclones program.
“He’s had a great season,” Floyd said Tuesday. “He was able to compensate for us being young and needing to grow.”
Williams has an official visit to Appalachian State this weekend. But he still has another high school game to play, the North-South all-star game next week in Myrtle Beach. He’ll begin to shift to wide receiver, the position he’s been recruited to play by Appalachian State. Floyd said that Mountaineers coaches have floated the possibility of giving Williams a shot at QB - remember their success with similarly undersized QB Armanti Edwards - but that his star senior is ready to play receiver.
“He’ll be fine. He’s a pretty gifted route runner. He gets to do some of that in practice,” Floyd said.
Zhenya Deller added to North-South squad
Rock Hill kicker Zhenya Deller has been added to the North-South all-star game. The senior hit 8 of 11 field goals, with a long of 45 yards, hit 31 of 53 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks, and averaged 34 yards per punt this fall. He’s signing with USC Lancaster on Wednesday to play college soccer.
Deller isn’t the only local to be added to the North squad’s roster. Lancaster linebacker Desmond Ricks was a late addition as both the North and South teams tinker with their rosters based on injuries, playoff runs and other mitigating factors. Ricks is a South Carolina State commitment.
The pair join a long list of locals already headed to the all-star game in Myrtle Beach next weekend. Caliph Brice and Ali Shockley (Northwestern), Mike Hill (Lewisville), Ricks’ teammate Ant Foster (Lancaster), Malik Williams (Chester), Cort Neely (South Pointe), and Alex Stennett (Nation Ford) were all named to the initial roster. Stennett has since been added to the South Carolina Shrine Bowl team, and there could be more local kids added to both games’ rosters as schools win or lose in the playoffs this Friday.
Highlights from Lewisville’s win over McCormick
The Chester News and Reporter’s Travis Jenkins posted this video from the Lions’ second round 1A playoff win over McCormick:
Offers, commitments, decommitments
With high school and college football seasons beginning to wrap up for schools, scholarship offers and commitments are starting to fly around. A couple of notes from the area:
▪ Northwestern’s Wally Wilmore announced his commitment to play football at Army last week. Wilmore attended a prospect camp at West Point this summer and won cornerback MVP honors. He played well for the Trojans at receiver - racking up over 600 yards in seven games - but missed four contests with a hamstring injury.
▪ Northwestern QB Gage Moloney - recovering from a broken bone near his wrist - has backed off his commitment to Ohio. He tweeted this last week:
“After talking with my family and coaches, I’ve decided to decommit from Ohio and reopen my recruitment. We feel this is the best decision for me at this time. I want to thank Ohio for the opportunity but I will taking the next few weeks to decide where I will be going to school next year.”
▪ Former Fort Mill athlete Deryan Sanders has his first offer, from Division II Missouri Western. Sanders was recently named first team all-conference out in California where he’s playing junior college football at Monterey Peninsula College. He’s a sophomore and will be moving on to four-year NCAA football this coming season. He said in a message on Twitter that he’s also met with coaches from UAB and New Mexico.
▪ Chester senior Jalyn Reid tweeted an offer from Gardner-Webb, which was confirmed by coach Victor Floyd. The running back/linebacker ran for 595 yards and eight touchdowns, and also made 55 tackles at linebacker. Floyd called Reid “real explosive,” citing his 4.5 40-yard dash and 11-foot broad jump recorded at the Shrine Bowl combine. Reid’s broad jump would have put him in the top-four at the 2016 NFL Draft combine last spring.
Indian Land coaching vacancy update
Indian Land principal David Shamble offered a brief update on the Warriors’ football coaching vacancy, following longtime coach Michael Mayer’s resignation.
The job has been posted for three weeks and as of Thanksgiving the district had received more than 30 applications, according to Shamble. He and others involved in the search are already sifting through the pile and expect to whittle that down to between five and 10 candidates for interviews the week of Dec. 12. Shamble said the school would like to have somebody in place - on campus and teaching, as well as leading the football program - by late January.
Mayer announced his resignation before the season ended, in part under pressure from a group of parents. He coached the Warriors since 2000, taking them to the postseason each of the last seven seasons. Mayer had five winning campaigns during his 16 years in charge of the school’s football program. He is still the athletic director, though it’s unclear if he’s going to remain in the position going forward.
Indian Land is an interesting but challenging job. The school has grown incredibly quickly in a short amount of time, jumping from the 1A classification up to 3A in less than 10 years. It’s very possible that Warriors athletic teams end up in 4A in the next realignment, and a new school facility is also in the works as the student and teaching populations have outgrown the current building and parking lots.
“It offers not only opportunities but challenges,” Shamble said. “Part of my job is to make sure who we put in that job sees them as opportunities.”
South Pointe ranked nationally
Various groups have ranked South Pointe (11-1) regionally or in the top-200 or so football teams nationally, but the two-time defending state champs cracked into MaxPreps’ top-25 this week. Check out the poll here.
Interactive: Region 3-5A rolls on unbeaten in the playoffs
Region 3-5A won another four games to stay unbeaten in the playoffs. Boiling Springs hosts Gaffney and Spartanburg hosts Dorman this Friday, ensuring that a school from the region will represent the Upper State in the 5A state title game.
Lewisville’s Region 2-A is the other perfect region through two rounds. Three of the four 1A Upper State semifinalists come from that league.