Today's "Say What'' feature below, three local football players answering a series of questions, included this: In a fight, Superman or Spiderman?
Two went with Superman, the other almost switched to the "Man of Steel'' but stayed with Spidy.
Here's a question for you: Fort Mill or Nation Ford?
They play tonight for the fourth time since the school district split into two high schools and Fort Mill owns a 3-0 record over its new rivals. Nation Ford played an independent schedule in its first season, 2007, but it wouldn't have been right if the Yellow Jackets hadn't been on their schedule: Fort Mill 32, Nation Ford 0.
It was a big deal for the town, so big that half-dollar-sized coins in honor of the game were handed out with Fort Mill's Yellow Jackets on one side with the date, Nations Ford's Falcons on the other side. Still have mine.
The next two years Fort Mill went 1-10, the lone wins in each coming in the final game of the season against the Falcons. The Yellow Jackets won a close one, 12-7 in 2008 and romped last season, 35-17. The split has definitely hurt both schools. Fort Mill was 7-4 with a boatload of seniors in 2007, coach Ed Susi's first year. Rusty Jester left the Yellow Jackets after one season, 2006, to build the program at Nation Ford. The first three seasons the Yellow Jackets and Falcons had a combined 16-51 record.
"The split hurt both of us pretty bad,'' Susi said. "My first year, we had 42 seniors and won seven games. Since then, I've been lucky to have 12 to 14 seniors but it's getting better. Because of the split, I might never have 42 again, but I'd be satisfied with 25. We are getting more young players into our program, but we'll never see the numbers we had in the past.''
There has been improvement at both schools. Both are 4-5 overall, meaning one ends up with a .500 regular season tonight. But there is more riding on this game than records -- a lot more.
It will be the first meeting at Nation Ford's new football stadium. It opened last year but the game was played at Fort Mill's Bob Jones Stadium, which both shared the first two years of Nation Ford football.
It's a rivalry game, one that Jester said has taken on more meaning than in the past.
And it's for a Class AAA playoff berth. The winner moves on to next Friday's first round. The loser goes home and starts basketball practice.
"The thing I find strange about this series is the rivalry has always seemed a lot bigger for Fort Mill than for us,'' Jester said. "I'm sure it's because it was the only school for years and that we have players who have moved in and never went to Fort Mill.
"What I noticed, and this is not an excuse, is that Fort Mill has always been able to push it up to another level when we play. We haven't been able to do that. But this year it's seems different. The City Championship is on the line as always and so are the bragging rites. But we get to play at home this year and the game has added meaning because it's for a trip to the playoffs.''
And that trip could end up being a three-way street with York thrown into the mix with the Fort Mill schools. If Nation Ford beats Fort Mill for the first time, and unless York upsets No. 1 South Pointe on Friday, all three will end up with 1-4 region records and tied for fourth for the region's final playoff spot. That's when it sorta gets complicated, but not as bad as it might look at first.
If Fort Mill wins and York loses, the Yellow Jackets are fourth and advance. If Nation Ford wins and York loses, there is a three-way tie. And if York beats South Pointe and the Falcons win, the Cougars go.
Now that you understand all of that let's move on to the tiebreaker.
The tiebreaker is combined points allowed to the other two teams. York is finished and gave up 54. Going into their game, the Yellow Jackets are looking good with only 20 points scored on them by York. Nation Ford lost to York and allowed 25 points.
So according to Jester, if his team wins and scored at least 34 points, it open the door for York. If Nation Ford gives up 18 points or less and wins, the Falcons are in on the tiebreaker. But as Jester pointed out, Fort Mill goes if it wins.
CARROLLS : Came in Wednesday morning and had a pleasant email from a very nice lady, Mary Elyn Carroll.
Before continuing, I'll try to never go by something that someone says or sends to me without checking it out as thoroughly as possible. Case in point was jumping the gun on Northwestern's Justin Worley setting state records that he has since done a week after I reported that he did.
So this is very interesting and is a good item for discussion when talking football today and Friday. York hosts South Pointe on Friday. The Cougars' starting quarterback is Mary Elyn's grandson , Spencer Carroll. South Pointe football coach Bobby Carroll is one of her sons, Spencer's dad. She sent the following:
"Do you know whether there has ever been a time in South Carolina high school football that the head coach of a team played against a team that his son quarterbacked or was even a player on the opposing team? I am just curious and I haven't found anybody that knows. I've searched the Internet, but nothing came up. I asked (former Herald sports editor) Buddy McCarter and he couldn't think of a time.''
I would like to say no, Mary Elyn, and have tried to think of the same situation that could have existed every time I had a moment today. Even made a couple of calls with no success.
You retired from teaching in the York school district and even kept the basketball scorebook for home games. Bobby played there and made the Shrine Bowl. So answer these two questions for us.
Which side of the field will you sit on and which team are you pulling for? Let me know and I'll print your answers.
TRI-COUNTY: The Founders Federal Tri-County Football Coaches Association has selected its players of the week from last Thursday's and Friday's games.
The winners and honorable mentions are listed below:
OFFENSIVE PLAYER: Devin Pearson (South Pointe) 26 carries, 268 yards, 3 TDs, 1-5 passing, 52 Yards. Honorable mention: Aaron Miller (Clover); Justin Worley (Northwestern), Lee Wright (York). OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: Chad Burris (N). graded 95%. Honorable mention: Ben Strong (SP). DEFENSIVE PLAYER: (tie) Alvin McClure (N) 17 tackles; Ian McDowell (Rock Hill) 18 tackles. Honorable mention: B.J. Hinton (CL), Ervin Moore Lancaster), Albert Neely (SP) Lamin Yanseneh (Y). DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: . Honorable mention: Collins Mauldin (N), Tate McDaniel (RH), Jadeveon Clowney (SP). SPECIAL TEAMS: Landon Ard Landon Ard 4 punts for 184 yards, 46 average; 5-9 touchbacks on KOs; 2-2 on field goals, longest 30 yards (SP). Honorable mention: Aaron Miller (CL), Sully Foy (N), Blake Blassingame (RH).
OFFENSIVE PLAYER: Breyon Williams (Indian Land) 14 carries,153 yards, 2 TDs, also had a 51 yard TD called back. Honorable mention: Julius Pendergrass (Chester), Carlos McGraw (Lewisville), Sean Potts Harris (Nation Ford). OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: (tie) Da'keavis Wilmore (CH) graded 89%; Jimmy Locklear (IL) graded 89%; pancake; J.T. Crosby (Lewisville) graded 90%. Honorable mention: David Liotta (NF) graded 84%. DEFENSIVE PLAYER: K.J. Dixon (CH) 12 tackles, sack, 2 forced fumbles, fumble recovery. Honorable mention: Jarrell Robinson (IL), Zach Carter (LW), Josh Driscoll (NF)
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: (tie) Troy Brown (CH) 6 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 TFL, fumble recovery; AJ Gordon (IL) 6 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 sacks, 3 PBU, 2 big hits; Justin Douglas(LW) 6 tackles, 2 TFL. SPECIAL TEAMS: Michael Rodriguez (IL) 4 tackles on kickoff team, perfect 39-39 on PAT holds this year and 9-9 on FG holds this season. Honorable mention: Derry Rambert (CH).