Northwestern will recognize the 25th anniversary of the school’s first football state title in 1989 before Friday night’s South Pointe-Northwestern game at District Three Stadium.
Team members are asked to contact the Northwestern athletics department at 803-981-1999 for more details about the gathering. The coach of that team, Jimmy “Moose” Wallace, has to call a game that night on the radio for WRHI, but still plans to be at the brief ceremony for as long as he can.
“That was a great group of young men,” said Wallace on Monday. “Great group of kids that worked extremely hard.”
Wallace’s bunch won its first 10 games of the 1989 season. Rock Hill knocked off Northwestern 19-16 triple overtime in the regular season finale on an Andy McCrorey touchdown catch, a loss that hurt even worse for the Trojans when starting quarterback Graham Stroman went down with a broken arm.
But the Trojans cruised through the playoffs behind backup signal-caller John Houston, allowing just 20 points in five games. They dusted Orangeburg-Wilkinson 26-7 in the first round, shut out Greenwood 21-0 in the second round, then exacted sweet revenge on Rock Hill in the Upper State championship game with a 14-7 win.
“Rock Hill was a very, very good football team that year,” said Wallace. “I mean, they were good. That kind of went on for a while, where we would play them in the region championship then turn around and play them in the turkey bowl. I think they said the stadium was sold out, I think they sold 11,000 tickets for that game in two days. It was packed to the gills.”
Lancaster awaited in the state championship. Not only was Stroman out, but lineman Jeff Dodge, who went on to play at Yale, and All-American running back Jeff Burris, who played at Notre Dame and in the NFL for nine years, were also sidelined with injuries. But the Trojans got step-up contributions from their second-teamers again, tailback Daniel Adams running for two scores and Wardell Curbeam catching a TD pass from Houston to help Northwestern to a 21-6 win and the school’s first football state title.
Wallace is hoping for a good turnout Friday night. A number of players from the ’89 team went on to college football, and many still live in Rock Hill. Coaches Bobby Page, Mitch Walters and John Barrett are still on the Trojans staff, while wide receivers coach James Blake is now the school’s principal. Three players from that ’89 team – Kevin Wright, Willie Workman and Ray McCloud – coach or work with the current Trojans.
Gainey, Melton selected to work North-South game
Longtime Rock Hill athletic trainer Walt Gainey and one of his student-trainers, Molly Melton, have been selected to be the trainers for the North squad during this year’s Touchstone Energy North-South Bowl in Myrtle Beach, in December.
S.C. Prep Media Polls
York ascended one more rung up the 4A state rankings, moving up to No. 2 in this week’s latest edition released Tuesday afternoon. The Cougars face No. 10 Boiling Springs on Friday night looking to improve to 5-0.
Northwestern continued to receive votes for the 4A poll but is again on the edge looking in, while South Pointe dropped out of the 3A poll after a 28-7 loss to Vance (N.C.) on Friday. Great Falls remained at No. 8 in the 1A poll after beating Andrew Jackson for its fourth straight win to start the season. The Red Devils have a bye this week.
S.C. Prep Media Football Poll – Week 4
1. Dutch Fork; 2. York; 3. Byrnes; 4. North Augusta; 5. Fort Dorchester;
Others receiving votes: Sumter, Northwestern, Ashley Ridge, Hillcrest, Westwood, Socastee, South Florence
1. Myrtle Beach; 2. Hartsville; 3. Wren; 4. Daniel; 5. A.C. Flora; 6. Greer;
Others receiving votes: South Pointe, Emerald, Marlboro County, Belton-Honea Path, Broome, Georgetown
1. Dillon; 2. Strom Thurmond; 3. Timberland; 4. Newberry; 5. Loris; 6. Woodruff; 7. Fairfield Central; 8. Chesnee; 9. Marion; 10. Powdersville
Others receiving votes: Mid-Carolina; Ninety Six, Batesburg-Leesville, Chesterfield, Keenan, Abbeville, Blacksburg
1. Christ Church; 2. Hunter-Kinard-Tyler; 3. Allendale-Fairfax; 4. Bamberg-Ehrhardt; 5. Hemingway, 6. Estill; 7. Lamar; 8. Great Falls; 9. Lake View;
Others receiving votes: Williston-Elko, McBee, Southside Christian, Ridge Spring-Monetta, St. Joseph's
The S.C. Prep Media Football Poll is conducted by the Spartanburg Herald-Journal with voting from Andrew Macke, Greenwood Index-Journal; Bob Castello, Greenville News; Mike McCombs, The Island Packet; Thomas Grant, Orangeburg Times and Democrat; Chris Dearing, The State; Ian Guerin, Myrtle Beach Sun News; Kevin Melton, Spartanburg Herald Journal; Lou Bezjak, Florence Morning News; Adam Regan, Anderson Independent Mail; David Shelton, Charleston Post and Courier; Bret McCormick, The Herald (Rock Hill) and Noah Feit, Aiken Standard.