The feats of South Pointe kicker Landon Ard's right foot have become legend.
He has thunder in the foot. He was one of the Stallions' top defensive weapons this season with his kickoffs into the end zone. It was a lift that every time he boomed one away, the opposing team had to set up at its 20.
This week he's in Myrtle Beach to kick and punt for the North team in the SCADA North-South All-Star Football Game. A practice session hasn't gone by without Ard being asked if what he's said to have done is true.
"I like it when the players who don't know me ask about my kickoff,'' Ard said. "It's funny because most of them say they thought I'd be a little guy. I'm 5-10, 165 pounds and I love contact. Football is physical and so am I on the field.''
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Ard kicked off 87 times this season and had 64 touchbacks, a percentage of 73.5 percent. And yes, as Ard has been asked numerous times this week, he can kick off through the goal posts and does it often. And yes, he's done short kicks on his own so he can run down and make the tackle.
College coaches are not allowed to talk directly about a player until he signs a scholarship, but several offered comments Wednesday at practice.
"He has an offer on the table and can take it any time he wants it,'' one said.
Another said: "I went to watch a game and knew one of the refs. I spoke to him after the game and he asked if I'd met South Pointe's kicker. Told me he was one of the nicest kids he's ever worked with in all his years.''
The coaches were of the small school caliber, and yes, those types are lining up with hopes of getting Ard. Might happen. Might not.
"I had contact with Carolina and Clemson during the live period and both said they want me to walk on and maybe get a scholarship when one comes available,'' Ard said. "That's what Spencer (Lanning) did at Carolina. He earned a scholarship and now he's one of the top kickers in the SEC. I just don't know. We'll see.''
HAIR: No, that's not Troy Polamalu running around the practice field for the North, but he has similarities with the Pittsburgh Steelers' star.
Like his hero, Blue Ridge High's Kenan Su'a-Filo plays defensive back. And like the man of Steel, he has long, wavy hair that hangs far beneath his helmet and trails behind when he runs. And Su'a-Filo likes to hit, a Polamalu trademark.
Where it stops, at least at first, is that Su'a-Filo is 5-11, 165. Polamalu is 5-10, 207.
"I started growing it (hair) two and a half years ago and decided to let it keep going,'' Su'a-Filo said. "As it got longer, people started calling me Polamalu. I like it, and it makes me play harder because he's such a good player.
"I was born in Hawaii but have lived here most of my life. My dad is from New Zealand and my mom from the United States. They moved to Hawaii when they got married, then back to the states.''
Su'a-Filo is mulling his college offers and said he'll likely end up at one of the state's small schools.
HOPE: Because of Chris Hope, the store and parking lot at Target on U.S. 17 in downtown Myrtle Beach will be filled with smiles.
When told funds were needed to keep a program started last year as part of the game, Hope stepped to the plate and hit a home run. Known for his charity work, the former Rock Hill Bearcats and now Tennessee Titans defensive back agreed to pay for a North-South Game Christmas outing.
Hope donated money to purchase $100 gift cards for 44 underprivileged area kids. Each will be teamed with a North and a South player and turned loose to shop.
"Chris is a professional, a player who has no problem giving back,'' game director Keith Richardson said. "He didn't play in our game, but he was here to pick up his South Carolina Mr. Football Award, and it's obvious he's a young man of high character.''
"Chris could have said he wasn't interested, but instead said he'd do it and bring smiles to kids who have very little. We are very proud of Chris, that he is one of ours and represents football players from our state well.''
NANCE: Northwestern offensive tackle Stephen Nance has been close to an unmovable object at practice.
At 6-4, 295, it's no surprise defensive linemen have problems knocking Nance off his mark. What is surprising is how quickly Nance has taken to playing a new style.
Northwestern is a passing team, spreads the field and throws. The North team is based on power football, and the steps are very different.
"Here, we have to use blocking schemes and fire off the ball,'' Nance said. "At Northwestern, our job was to step back and protect our quarterback.
"It's really all new to me, something I haven't done till I got here. But after two practices I had it learned it. It all comes down to how good you listen to the coach. It's new, but I like it.''
WOW: Central defensive lineman Josh Covington said he was feeling like it was curtains for his team last Saturday in the Class AA state championship game.
Covington said he and his Eagles teammates never gave up, even with only 1:23 left and
Dillon holding a 17-14 lead.
Central had just scored and tried an onside kick, which Dillon recovered. All the Wildcats had to do was run out the clock and force Central to burn its two timeouts.
Instead, Dillon tried a pass on second and 8 that was intercepted by De'aja Blakeney, and personal foul on the return gave the Eagles the ball on the 12.
Two plays later, Central's Mardu Smith scored the game-winning touchdown for a 20-14 victory.
"We were packed in the box knowing they were going to run,'' Covington said. "When I saw them pass, I was thinking I hope one of our DBs was going to make a play or we'd lose.
"I couldn't believe it. When I got to the sideline I told De'aja we were going to win, that he'd made the play that was going to make our season. It might have been the most exciting game I've ever played in.''
What: 63rd annual South Carolina Automobile Dealers Association North-South All-Star Football game
When: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Where: Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium, Myrtle Beach HS
Who: North vs. South
Last year: North 22, South 17
Series: North leads 35-25-2
Tickets: $15 at the gate. Up to two children (under 7) admitted free with one adult ticket holder.