Northwestern has a new offensive coordinator and South Pointe has a new defensive coordinator, news that was unveiled Tuesday morning at the WRHI Football City USA Kickoff announcement.
Northwestern finished the 2017 season with longtime assistant coach Mitch Walters calling offensive plays, but Knox Baggett has taken those reins after coming over from York. His twin brother, Grady, will join the Northwestern staff too. He'll coach tight ends. Wide receivers coach Jerry Young and former Trojan football player Garrison Gist have also joined Martin's coaching staff.
"We've got a lot of new coaches so we've got to get some coaches time to get there," said Martin.
The Trojans' spring football game is scheduled for Thursday, May 17 at District Three Stadium, but a rainy-looking forecast may lead to its cancellation. Rock Hill High should have better conditions on May 23 for its scrimmage at D3 at 5:30 p.m. South Pointe, which has won four straight state championships, hosts its spring scrimmage the following night, May 24, at 6 p.m.
South Pointe lost defensive coordinator Jason Winstead in February to the head job at Goose Creek. Stallions coach Strait Herron didn't move immediately to hire a replacement, in part because he had in his mind that he would reclaim the job. Herron was the defensive coordinator under former South Pointe coach Bobby Carroll, and he's trying out the role again this spring.
"It opens up a spot on our staff, which we can use in another way," said Herron. "It takes up a lot of time and that's something I didn't have in the first place, but we're gonna see and right now that's the plan."
Herron is fortunate that he doesn't have to replace offensive play-caller Jason McManus, who very nearly left to take the head coaching job at Union County. McManus was a finalist for the vacant head job at Woodruff but didn't get that job. Union County's job then opened up and McManus was picked as the Yellow Jackets' new head man, but he only gave a hesitant acceptance before opting against taking the new gig.
"He's a hot commodity right now and teams are gonna look at him," said Herron. "Nothing against Union, it was just in his heart."
Rock Hill High coach Bubba Pittman has enjoyed a quieter offseason on the coaching front, but he's been busy hosting college football coaches. Pittman pointed out that Rock Hill High's place inside the city limits means it always gets recruiting traffic, but this spring has been heavier than usual thanks to a group of highly-coveted recruits. Sophomores Anthony Jackson -- recently offered by Duke -- and Antonio Barber -- who committed to Tennessee several weeks ago -- are helping their teammates get exposure, crucial for a Bearcats program with so many young players.
"We've got some other guys too," said Pittman. "Tylik Edwards is starting to draw some attention, Narii Gaither, the list goes on and on. There are a lot of guys bringing positive attention to Rock Hill High School and we're proud of them."
Two Charlotte teams and Byrnes coming to Rock Hill for August scrimmage
The WRHI Football City USA Kickoff will open the high school football season for a second straight year, with the 2018 version set for Aug. 10.
Northwestern will face Providence (N.C.) in the first scrimmage at 5:30 p.m., followed by South Pointe-Byrnes at 7 and Rock Hill-Myers Park (N.C.) in the 8:30 p.m. closer.
Tickets cost $5 if purchased in advance, a price that includes all three games, or $7 at the District Three Stadium gate. Advance tickets can be purchased at Northwestern, South Pointe or Rock Hill high schools, or at OTS Media studios, located at 142 Confederate Ave. All proceeds go to the three schools’ athletic departments.