Reader Mail: All-Star Game Omissions

A few of our readers make some valid arguments about some of the top players in the state who were not selected for the Shrine Bowl or the North-South Game. It's not our place to say who gets picked but with so many emails and phone calls we let you the fans have your say inside. One of the names that kept coming up, RB Travis Small (pictured) who has won back to back AA state titles.

It happens every year when the North-South and Shrine Bowl rosters are announced. Almost immediately the arguments get heated sometimes about why some players were not selected for either game or one in particular. Folks it happens and while we have no say in those final selections you have to respect the picks of those hard working coaching staffs for the events.

Needless to say we still received a number of emails and phone calls from folks around the Palmetto State concerning the situation and asking about specific players who weren't selected. After fielding so many emails and phone calls and hearing so many vent about the not so exact science of picking players for all-star games we're going to list some of the players that weren't picked below. As Mason B. of Greenwood emailed us, "Just in case some roster spots were to come open due to injury these guys should get first dibs."

The following players were mentioned by at least 5 or more readers and we have posted two comments by some of our subscribers concerning both players.

The following comments are the opinion of some of's most loyal readers and fans.

Top Players Missing From All-Star Games

Cheraw RB Travis Small- How in the world could they leave this guy off either of these teams? He should of at least made the North-South team! This guy has just rushed for 5,000+ yards and helped Cheraw win back to back state championships in his career. He's been the workhorse for their title runs and honestly this stinks to high heaven. He is a great citizen on and off the field so character shouldn't be questioned. This one hurts bad not only for me but a lot of the people in the Cheraw community! Travis deserved better. Willie J. of Cheraw

Southside WR/ATH Marlin Butler- I know Southside has been a basketball school and yes they look like they'll continue to be once again this year but come on Kerry. Have people not seen Marlin Butler play? I've been watching high school football for my entire life. I'm 45 years old so I've seen tons of teams and players. No I'm not an expert but Marlin like you said all last year was a player that was a big-time playmaker. I went to the East Burke (NC) game because they were the #5 ranked team in their classification in NC and Southside beat the brakes off those guys. Butler was a big reason why.

He's got the size, the speed, and out of this world athleticism. I've seen Sidney Rice play when he was at Gaffney and he may not be quite on that level but I haven't seen anyone who can go up and get a jumpball better than Butler since Sidney played. It's almost like teams know it's coming and they try to send 2 or 3 defenders to stop it, nope, Marlin is going up and over them for a highlight tape catch. Normally for a touchdown.

To be honest I'm a Greenville High alum and I pull for the Red Raiders but those guys at Southside this year are one of the most exciting teams I've seen outside of Byrnes. Their offense is unbelievable with Butler, Chris Rhodes, Jataurus Maddox, and Justin Goldsmith. All of them are great high school players. Somebody missed the boat by not picking Marlin for one of the all-star games, he's scored 10 touchdowns in the past 2 weeks for crying out loud. It's been a couple of rushing, a couple of receiving, and a defensive touchdown every week. Sorry for the tirade but I simply could not believe this young man wasn't given an opportunity to play in one of these events. Here's hoping that he'll get some more scholarship offers and go on to a successful college career and beyond in his life. Edward P. of Greenville

I'm sure you've been getting plenty of letters, emails, and been involved in some watercooler conversations about this year's North-South and Shrine Bowl teams. I for one am fairly happy with the picks. Folks jump on the coaches for the players they pick and some of the ones they didn't pick. Do they not realize just how hard it is to select a team? There will always be guys who probably have enough talent to be on one of those teams but there are only so many slots available. South Carolina high school football has come a long way especially with the recent success of Byrnes, Gaffney, and Dorman as they all have been in the national rankings over the course of the past few seasons.

There obviously has been an increase in the talent level here in South Carolina and that is a great thing to have when you're a fan like myself. People shouldn't be so quick to slam the coaching staffs because they are trying to put a team together that will best cater to the gameplan that they want to employ in their respective games. If they were put into those coaches shoes they'd be getting the same kind of negative feedback for not picking a few players that probably could have made the team too. It's not a perfect world and I have in the past had my moments of watercooler talk in regards to some of the past all-star snubs.

Don't blame the coaches, they are working hard to try and put together a winner. In the end it's all for a better cause and uplifting these players one last time before they move on to college. Yes there are some guys who probably should be playing in these events but it's not our place to cry and moan about it. Victor D. of Sumter

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