High School Football

North, South gear up for Shrine Bowl

The week of preparations is in the books and both the South Carolina and North Carolina Shrine Bowl teams are ready to take the field.

The 74th Annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas will kick off at 1 p.m. today at Gibbs Stadium on the campus of Wofford College.

Both teams have overcome frigid temperatures during most of the week in order to showcase their talents and attempt to pick up a win for their team.

South Carolina coach Mickey Moss said the Sandlappers are ready to get going.

"I feel real good about them," he said. "They have been a real good bunch of kids to work with. We'll be competitive and give a good performance."

North Carolina had a short walkthrough on Friday. Tarheels coach John Lowery said his team is focused on the task at hand.

"I thought it went really well," he said. "We're going into tomorrow without anyone hurt. We had a good workout, and we've just got to go play tomorrow."

The Sandlappers were concerned about a pair of injuries to South Pointe defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (shoulder) and Manning offensive lineman Phillip Dukes (ankle) going into the game. However, Moss said both are expected to play.

"Jadeveon is going to play. He's fine and good to go," Moss said. "Phillip Dukes will play, and I think we'll be 100 percent healthy."

Both coaches said their teams going in full strength are important to their kids and the game.

"Both teams want to win, and who knows what will happen," Lowery said. "We just got to do what we've got to do. If we execute, it will take care of itself."

"We hope it will be a good day," Moss said. "It will give the kids a chance to shine in front of a large group of people. (The coaches) want to win, and our kids want to win the game."

North Carolina won last year's game 24-14. South Carolina leads the overall series 40-28-4.

HONORS -- South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers and former Rock Hill star and current Tennessee Titans safety Chris Hope where named Distinguished Alumni Service Club Award winners.

The award goes to former Shrine Bowl players and coaches and "represents the Shrine Bowl of The Carolina's mark of excellence," said Ted Conrad, chairman of the Distinguished Alumni Service Awards.

Lattimore, the Gamecocks' star back, was named Most Outstanding Alumni Freshman of the Year. Lattimore played in the Shrine Bowl in 2009.

Bowers, the Bronco Nagurski Defensive Player of the Year and projected top-5 pick in the NFL draft, was selected as the Most Outstanding Alumni College Player of the Year. Bowers starred in the 2007 Shrine Bowl.

Hope picked up the Most Outstanding Alumni NFL Player of the Year award.

The former Bearcat and Florida State Seminole played on the 1997 Shrine Bowl squad.