New Columbia Metro Senior Bowl coming to Midlands
A new all-star game is coming to high school football and it will be hosted in the Capital City. The Columbia Metro Senior bowl was announced Tuesday and features Midlands players. It will be held December 22 at Irmo High School. The game will include the 38 Midlands area public and private schools.
The game’s organizer is Ridge View head football coach Perry Parks. The two teams will be coached by Fairfield Central’s Demetrius Davis and Irmo’s Reggie Kennedy. This will give kids who may have been overlooked during the regular season one last chance to be possibly recruited by all divisions of college and even JUCO.
With such a huge event, sponsors were needed for different costs. Team Issue is the game’s main sponsor. They are a division of Big Game USA Football. Also, two NFL players are helping make this possible as Mike Tolbert’s Spade Foundation and Roman Harpers Hope Foundation are both chipping in to help.
What is also really neat about this is that the players will participate in toy drives for both foundations as a portion of the proceeds to the game will go to Palmetto Children’s Hospital. Also, BSN Sports and Nike are providing player uniforms and apparel.
Another interesting dynamic is that both coaching staffs are all Midlands coaches. From head coaches to the top assistants, those guys get recognized, too (See list of coaches on both sides below).
Every high school in the Midlands will have a player represented with Class 4A and 5A schools getting two.
MY TAKE: I think this is a great idea all the way around. Like most coaches, Perry Parks is a guy who just wants the best for his kids. And that includes opportunities to play at the next level. Perry is an outstanding networker and has a lot of coaching connections. He is very interactive on social media which should make this inaugural game a success. And quite simply it’s a no-brainer for this area. We have nearly 40 schools in the Midlands and this is an awesome opportunity for money to made for a good cause, kids to play, and people to enjoy their favorite players one last time.
But outside of that, some kids get one more chance to play. Seniors who may not play at the collegiate level will still have another chance to suit up. This game also includes the many snubs we see year after year in the all-star games (North/South and Shrine Bowl). Those rosters can only hold so many and not everyone can make it. Additionally, this is a great showcase for Midlands football. In the last 10 years or so, Midlands football has been very exciting with not just good teams, but Division I players and some NFL guys, too.
I think it’s a really great way to end out the season with a competitive exhibition. From parents, coaches, foundations/organizations and to fans, I believe that everybody wins here. I would like to see the game rotate across the area to places like River Bluff, Brookland-Cayce and maybe even Benedict. Lots of different ways to evolve the game. Maybe even make it a weekend with a skills competition and beyond. Looking forward to this.
Columbia Metro Senior Bowl on December 22 at Irmo High.
The EAST team schools:
AC Flora, Columbia, Dreher, Eau Claire, CA Johnson, Keenan, Lower Richland, Blythewood, Richland Northeast, Spring Valley, Westwood, Ridge View, Fairfield Central, Ben Lippen, Cardinal Newman, Lugoff-Elgin, Camden, North Central
EAST coaching staff:
Head coach: Demetrius Davis, Fairfield Central Assistants: Jason Seidel, Blythewood; Rodney Barr, Lower Richland; Mike Armstrong, LE,Treigh Sullivan, Dreher; Collin Drafts, AC Flora; Tyronne Drakeford, North Central; Brian Butler, Ridge View
WEST team schools:
Gilbert Lexington, River Bluff, White Knoll, Pelion, Airport, Brookland-Cayce, Gray Collegiate, Swansea, Newberry, Chapin, Dutch Fork, Irmo, Heathwood Hall, Hammond, Batesburg-Leesville, Whitmire, Mid-Carolina
WEST coaching staff:
Head coach: Reggie Kennedy, Irmo Assistants: Erik Kimrey, Hammond; Robert Stogner, Chapin; Marlin Taylor, Dutch Fork; Gary Smallen, River Bluff; Kirk Burnett, Airport, Phil Strickland, Newberry; Mark Cagle, Gilbert