The thing that makes this ole Texan tick
-Raised on hard hitting West Texas football, this old boy is old school football from the word go. He tells it like it is, says what's on his mind and routinely walks the invisible line between tact and outrageous truth. One thing you can bet…he will always tell it like it is.
From August to December, if you're looking for him, just follow the Knights and there you will find him.
As for the rest of the year….well Daytona is in February and Mark Martin needs all the help he can get.
When I came to South Carolina for the first time way back in 1978 I was still highly prejudiced towards Texas HS football. I had just completed four years of playing every Friday night for a legendary coach named Bill Dendy in a program with a history in football that stretched back to 1923. That is when the then current school facilities were built and there was a huge billboard type sign above the entrance to the stadium that had all the titles and the years listed starting in 1923. I used to marvel at the shear magnitude of the accomplishments that were represented by that billboard. How much sweat, blood and guts had been left of the battleground we called Slaughter Field.
Just to give you some insight, the little town we lived in was named Sundown, Texas. The sports mascot was the Roughnecks. For those of you who are wonder just what the heck a Roughneck is, they are the guys that worked the huge oil rigs that dotted the entire West Texas landscape. This little town had a booming population in 1970 of just over 1000 people. The football stadium at the time had a capacity of just over 3000. I do not recall ever seeing that stadium less than packed and people lined up 2 and 3 deep all the way around the fence. Yes football was very popular there and still is to this day. You cannot imagine the rush coming into that stadium with everyone on their feet. Those Texas folks could sure make some noise.
Four years of playing, 3 district championships and 3 trips to the playoffs(which are not automatic) later and I was done. Felled by a torn Achilles tendon and a severed ACL in my left knee all in one unfortunate play, my football days were over, at least on the field.
I followed football from the sidelines from then on mostly as a spectator, sometimes as a coach, but always as a huge fan of the game that I grew up on back in West Texas.
Fast forward through 17 years of world travel with the US Navy and I found myself right back where I started as an adult right here in the Lowcountry.
With a son in high school, I now had a perfect excuse to start going to football games again. I was introduced to Stratford Knights football in 1997 and was very impressed with what I saw. I had never considered anything outside Texas to be even close to the level of play there, but this team and a lot of others I saw that year cleared that misconception up for good.
I really don't remember how it happened but one day while surfing around the net looking for football related websites, I came across a site for Stratford High School Football. It was run by a young gentleman named Jason who was a student at Stratford. I contacted him to see what his plans were for the site and he basically said that he had run out of time to manage it. When I asked if he minded me doing something with it, he said sure. So for all those that think I started the website, it was really Jason. Thanks Jason, you are a true pioneer for getting that started.
At any rate Jason went off the school at Clemson, and I was on my own with it for the first time. Needless to say, it has been through many iterations since then and is under another as I write this.
Running the site for the Knights for the last few years has led me to meet some very interesting people starting with Bob Bacot who many of you may remember ran SCPrepfootball.com before his untimely death last year. That was a tough time for all of us who knew him and what he did for the game in this state. You could go your whole life and never meet someone as selfless as he was.
It was through SCPrepfootball.com that I was first introduced to Dave Pickren and Ed Overstreet, two gentlemen that I have a tremendous amount of respect and regard for.
When Bob died and Dave called me about putting up a site to continue the coverage that the fans have come to expect, I told him then that if there was anything that I could do to help I would. He felt like I did that the kids deserved the continued exposure and the fans deserved it as well. I must commend Dave for the Herculean effort he put in getting SCPigskinprep.com up and running in less than 36 hours after Bob's passing. I consider it an honor to be part of the team that will attempt to keep the folks out there in cyberland up to speed each week with the happenings in SCPrep sports this fall.
Now lets see, classes Monday thru Thursday night, Football every Friday night, web stuff all day Saturday and Winston Cup on Sunday. Oh and fantasy football every week…….honey I guess I'll see ya at Christmas.
2002 South Carolina High School Football……..I can't wait for Friday night.