After watching the Shrine Bowl today and watching our fine young players looking totally lost and completely unprepared, you can only make one final judgment. Coach Jim Ringer produced what will go down in South Carolina Football History as the worst coaching performance EVER by a head coach for the Sandlappers.
The team representing the
This game was not lost today at any point by SC.
This game was lost 6 weeks ago when Coach Ringer and his staff showed complete and total ineptitude in selecting the team. When the team was announced in late October, those of us who follow SC Prep Football and know the players realized that the fine young men selected to the game had little to no chance in winning or even performing well in this game. The poor coaching and selections of Ringer doomed this team prior to the first practice.
And today we saw it first hand. An offensive line that in no way could block the schemes called for by the coaches. Running backs that were not giving a chance to move and a fine QB in Eric McCullom that was trying to run a system totally foreign to him while running for his life.
I watched most of the 3rd quarter with someone familar with McCullom's play. Time after time he commented that the plays and game plan developed for the SC offense were not playing to Eric's strengths as a QB. He commented that Eric was at his best rolling away from pressure, moving out of the pocket and looking down the field at multiple sets. But Ringer in his infinite wisdom had Eric on a straight 7 step drop and allowed the NC linemen to tee off on Eric like it was target practice. You got the feeling that Eric by the 3rd quarter was tired of having his bell rung and wanted to move out of the line of fire.
Also with 2 fantastic receivers like Noah Whiteside and Terrell Allen on the field, one has to wonder how SC did not try to get the ball to them more. The Byrnes Rebels and Terrell Allen made a living this season under Coach Bentley running 3 step quick drops, finding Allen and Robinson on short slants and quick crosses and won a state championship. In many instances Byrnes was smaller on the offensive line but they simply carved up the opponent with quick hits, slants, quick cross and fast drops and roll outs. Today Eric set back like the Statue of Liberty as his line was beaten and his receivers were covered deep down the field without a chance of a big play.
You have to wonder, knowing that NC would have an advantage in the trenches, how a player like Byrnes QB Justin Fulbright would have performed, being able to roll away from the pressure on a constant basis. For that fact, you also have to wonder how a great athletic QB like Syvelle Newton would have responded. Would his scrambling and running ability offset the NC pressure? Would his 10,000 career yards be worth at least one scoring threat on this Saturday afternoon?
And of course we all are left with the "what ifs" of having the No. 1 Running Back in the country on the field and how he would have performed in this game. Demetrius Summers is a dominating, bruising back who can hit a hole quickly, break an initial hit and make something out of nothing while running over linebackers and defensive backs. It is obvious that Summers today would have brought huge dividends with his ability and size. If he could have hit the holes early then NC would have had to respect the run more and would not have been able to tee off on McCullom and Sims all afternoon long.
With the passing attack "planned" by Ringer it also seems to reason that possession receivers rather than streakers would have fit better into the roster. But once again the best possession receiver in the state David Smith from
But the bottom line is Coach Ringer was an embarrassment to the state with his poor selections. By our count 7 of the consensus Top 10 players in the state did not play in the state All Star Game.(
This team was poorly selected.
The team was coached to a grade of D-. The coaching staff failed this team.
Coach Ringer's "legacy" was forever damaged. Coach Ringer decided it was more important to play politics with the 2002 Shrine Bowl team and to pay back his favors to his ole buddies then to select the best players in the state. He was wrong by a count of 28-0.
The result: a humiliating loss and a coaching and selection performance by Ringer that will always be remembered as simply pathetic.