Naquez Pringle already has the major college scholarship offers.
In a few weeks, the Carvers Bay defensive tackle will decide between South Carolina, Clemson, Central Florida and North Carolina State. So when he suits up for Saturday’s Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, he doesn’t need to do anything to attract more attention from college coaches.
This one, he said, is about bringing out his competitive side one more time in a high school game.
“After losing to Christ Church [in the state finals], it makes me want to go out and represent my team and the seniors. I want to go out and have a good game,” Pringle said. “When I go there, I don’t go there to make friends. I go out there for business.
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“I love football. When you go out there and you’re competing against people you don’t know, you have the mindset of staying focused. Your true purpose is to go out there and dominate the position.”
Pringle and Socastee quarterback Hunter Renfrow were the lone Grand Strand players selected to play in this year’s Shrine Bowl. Still, the duo could have a solid impact.
Pringle, one of the state’s top defensive tackles, should be in line for significant playing time. The Bears senior is one of just six defensive linemen South Carolina selected to the team, and he’s one of just two defensive tackles.
It was in the middle of the line where Pringle made a significant contribution this season for Carvers Bay. He piled up 79 tackles and six sacks in leading the Bears to the Class A, Division I state title game. The Bears lost to Christ Church, which has now won 40 consecutive games and three consecutive titles.
That loss, though, has done nothing to quell college interest in the big lineman. He said that unless “someone comes out of nowhere,” he’ll announce his decision between the four aforementioned schools sometime in January.
The 77th annual Shrine Bowl will also be the final high school game for Renfrow. The Socastee senior was the impetus for the two best seasons in his school’s history, as the Braves went 12-1 in each of the last two years and fell in the third round of the state playoffs.
In the last two seasons, he put up just shy of 4,300 total yards while also totaling 53 touchdowns. Against the best North Carolina has to offer, he’ll likely be in a different role as a slot receiver and possibly returning kicks.
Regardless of which position he plays, though, he’s been able to lean on both of his Socastee head coaches for advice. His dad, Tim Renfrow, played in the game in 1978. And current Braves coach Doug Illing – who was at Davie County (N.C.) prior to taking the job at Socastee – was an assistant for the North Carolina team a year ago.
Either way, Renfrow said he’d like to do his part to keep South Carolina’s winning ways in the series going. The Sandlappers have won four of the past six games and own a 43-29-4 all-time advantage.
“Our state wants to beat their state,” Renfrow said. “That’s what we’re going to go out there and try to do.”