Rarely is there a wake-up call to anyone’s liking.
But the one that woke up Georgetown linebacker Sheldon Billings on Saturday was just the one he’d been waiting for.
A key cog in the Bulldogs’ march to the playoffs this past season, Billings was named to this coming weekend’s Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas in Spartanburg.
Not long after being alerted to news he’d be playing in the nation’s oldest prep football all-star game, the Georgetown football standout was on his way to the Upstate to join his Sandlapper teammates.
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“I left almost immediately, like about 10:30 (Saturday morning),” Billings said. “I consider it an honor to be part of this great game, and look forward to the opportunity to impress the coaches and scouts who will be out there.”
With the Shrine Bowl and state championship games occurring on the same weekend, event organizers were forced to fill several spots vacated by those whose teams will be in Columbia for the ‘Weekend of Champions.’ Making things much more difficult for them, however, was at least 88 players were ineligible to take part in this week’s activities after participating in last Saturday’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives North-South Bowl.
This past season, the Georgetown linebacker had 92 total tackles. According to Billings’ head coach Ken Cribb, what makes the effort all the more impressive is that he was at a different position the season before.
“Yeah, he transitioned from the defensive line to linebacker this season, and really became a leader for us,” Cribb said. “He made a lot of the calls and really became a vocal leader for the team. I’m extremely proud to see that he is being given the chance to play in (the Shrine Bowl).”
Billings’ selection to the Shrine Bowl is also a rare feat for the Georgetown football program, the Bulldogs’ leader among the first in school history to earn a spot on the South Carolina team.
“Man, to be able to make such history like that, it means a lot,” he said. “I just want to make a good example for those who are coming behind me. Let them know that with hard work anything is possible.”