High School Sports

Special visitor stops by S.C.

A special guest was in town Wednesday, Mitch Stephens from MaxPreps.com high school Web site, which is owned by CBS.

Stephens, a senior writer, flew into Charlotte from Northern California to do a story on the popularity high school football is gaining around the country.

Specifically, he was here to video and do a story on South Carolina football.

"We have four from South Carolina among our top 23 teams in our sites national rankings, and I wanted to come here and see what football in this state is about,'' Stephens said. "It's seldom you see that many teams from a state this small in our top 25, but after many phone interviews, I'm understanding why.''

Stephens' original plan was to land, rent a car and drive straight to Spartanburg to do more interviews and attend Friday's Byrnes at Dorman game. But when he realized Rock Hill was on his way, Stephens decided to make a stop and visit South Pointe.

Byrnes is No. 3 in this week's poll, South Pointe is No. 4, Dorman No. 13 and Northwestern No. 23.

Stephens pointed out that there is no way he and his fellow writers can possibly see all the teams in the country. So, to pick their poll, information on each team is fed into computer, which ranks the teams based on strengths.

What surprised Stephens most is that South Pointe has been playing varsity football for only three seasons and has an 8-0 record and No. 2 state ranking -- behind Byrnes -- to go along with its national status.

Stephens was impressed by the players, coaches and facilities. He said he's never felt more at home or received more hospitably than on Wednesday.

He was equally impressed with the Southern treat he got, a snack foreign to his home state. Stephens is now hooked on boiled peanuts.

• CROSS COUNTRY: Fort Mill moved back to No. 1 this week in the South Carolina Track and Cross County Coaches poll.

The Lady Yellow Jackets are coming off an impressive win at the Herald/York County Cross Country Meet last Thursday and a victory over previously No 1 ranked Mauldin.

Fort Mill is No. 7 in the boys poll, Northwestern is No. 9 and Nation Ford No. 10.

Rock Hill's Hannah Robinson is third in the individual girls rankings for all classifications. Fort Mill's Mark Blackmon held his No. 1 spot in the boys rankings.

Fort Mill will be the site of today's Region 3-AAAA meet. South Pointe is hosting the Region 4-AAAA meet today.

• CROSS COUNTRY II: Westminster Catawba boys' cross country team won the 2008 MAC Conference championship.

Indians Cody Duvall and Jonathan Eastridge were named to the all-conference team. Westminster Catawba's Caitlin Selle won the individual girls race with a time of 20:54

The team will travel to Cary, N.C., for the state meet on Friday.

• VOLLEYBALL: This week's PrepCountry.com/High School Coaches Volleyball Top 10 Poll is out and Rock Hill dropped to No. 5 in Class AAAA.

The Lady Bearcats are the only Herald-area team ranked.

• TRI-COUNTY:The Week 8 Founders Federal Tri-County Football Coaches Association’s award winners have been announced, and Fort Mill quarterback Danny Till was a double winner.

Till won Division I Offensive player of the week after passing for 190 yards and two touchdowns in a 44-37 loss to York. He was named Special Teams Player of the Week for returning kickoffs 95 and 97 yards for TDs in the loss.

Award winners Division 1Offensive Player: Danny Till (Fort Mill) 8-of-22 passing for 190 yards, 2 TDs, 54 yards rushing, 2 2-point conversions. Honorable Mention: Jamias Clark (Lancaster), Jatavius Stewart (Rock Hill); Stephon Gilmore (South Pointe). Offensive Lineman: Sam Mallard (SP) graded 93%, 4 pancakes. Honorable Mention: Clayton Geiger (Northwestern), Brett Saunders (RH). Defensive player: Dawan Thompson (L) 16 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, pass pressure, caused fumble. Honorable Mention: Max Elliott (Clover), Max Simons (FM), Shaquavis Smith (N), Terrance Bingham (RH), Harold White (SP). Defensive Lineman: Akeem Adams (N) 14 tackles, recovered fumble. Honorable Mention: Dominique Phillips (CL), Taylor Hudson (FM), Casey Truesdale (LN), Dominique Cathcart (RH). Special Teams: Danny Till (FM) kickoff returns of 95 and 97 yards for TDs. Honorable Mention: Aaron Miller (CL), Shawn Ferguson, (N), Graham Tuttle (SP). Division IIOffensive Player: Quastin Walker (York) 312 yards and 4 TDs on 28 carries. Honorable Mention: Justin Sellers (Andrew Jackson), Tony McNeal (Chester), Deon Sayles (Indian Land), Isaiah Johnson (Lewisville). Offensive Lineman: (tie) Javario Crawford (LW) graded 91%, key block on LB for touchdown, Ben Kennon (Y) 6 knockdowns, graded 91%. Honorable Mention: Tyler Veasey (NF), Ira Minter (CH). Defensive player: Dylan McKittrick (AJ) 18 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, caused fumble, 3 fumble recoveries. Honorable Mention: Mike Walker (CH), Keyadd Miller (IL), Jeremy Green (LW), Steven Cox (NF), Richard King (Y). Defensive Lineman: Reco Hayden (IL) 9 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss. Honorable Mention: Robert Massey (AJ), Darius Archie (LW), Daniel Davis (NF). Cory Troutman (Y). Special Teams: Chris Brett (LW) 3 perfect snaps on punts, 3 perfect snaps on PAT, fumble recovery on punt coverage. Honorable Mention: Tyler Denkins (AJ), Adrion Crawford (Y).