The South Carolina High School League held a media day Monday in Columbia to advance the high school football state championships this weekend.
Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson took his senior captains - Khiry Watts, Steven Cobb, Lucas Britt and Morgan Byrd - as well as junior captain Everett Golson to Columbia as the Seahawks prepare for their Class AAA state championship matchup with Clinton (11-3). The game will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.
"They did an information meeting to kind of get us squared away as to how everything is going to be run and all that," Wilson said. "Then they had the press conferences for each matchup."
Myrtle Beach (13-1) will head to Columbia on Friday. The Seahawks will practice at USC's practice facility Friday then likely take in the Class AAAA, Division II title game between Northwestern and Berkeley at 8 p.m. On Saturday, Wilson said his squad will have a walkthrough and watch the noon Class AAAA, Division I title game before getting ready for that night's game. Heading up to Friday, Wilson expects the team to hold a typical week of practice.
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One thing that will be different for Wilson is the responsibilities that come with being the head coach. During last season's run to the Class AAA state championship, Wilson served as the team's offensive coordinator while then-head coach Scott Earley handled the details of the travel schedule.
"You know just trying to get rooms reserved and meals set up, it is a little different," Wilson said. "Last year I was just focused on the playsheet."
Myrtle Beach athletic director Doug Terry said the school hopes to have some sort of sendoff for the team similar to last year on Friday, but details of that event have yet to be finalized. Last year, students from the school system lined up along the bus exit route at the high school as the team left town.
"[The sendoff last year was] awesome," Wilson said. "Especially seeing the elementary and primary kids, they are going nuts."
Advance tickets for the Class AAA title game will be available at the Myrtle Beach High School athletic office from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. today through Friday. The tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the gate.
The complete schedule of championship games this weekend in Columbia at Williams-Brice Stadium include: Class AAAA, Division II, Northwestern vs. Berkeley, 8 p.m. Friday; Class AAAA, Division I, Byrnes vs. Dorman, noon Saturday; Class AA, Pageland Central vs. Dillon, 3 p.m. Saturday; Class AAA, Myrtle Beach vs. Clinton, 6 p.m. Saturday.
The Class A championship games were played last Friday in Orangeburg. In Class A, Division I, Chesterfield beat Lamar 36-6 while in Class A, Division II, Williston-Elko beat Scott's Branch 34-26.
Williamson resigns as Trojans coach
Wayne Williamson resigned last week as the football coach at Green Sea Floyds.
"I just wanted to spend more time with my grandchildren and my family," Williamson said. ''I have a grandson that is 4-years-old, and once they get into school there isn't a lot of time to spend with them.
"After football season, I had a couple of weeks and I just came to the realization."
The Trojans went 2-8 this season and were 11-20 in three seasons under Williamson, who has been in coaching for 36 years with 21 years as a head coach. Williamson, 57, had head coaching stints at Green Sea Floyds, West Columbus (N.C.) and old Bladenboro (N.C.) High School. He was also an assistant at Whiteville (N.C.) and now-defunct Hallsboro (N.C.), where he started his career in 1974 immediately after graduating from Pembroke. The veteran coach said he once knew his overall record, but wasn't sure what the mark was now.
Williamson, who has three grandchildren, said he doesn't plan to return to coaching.
"It is not in my mind right now, but we will see how things develop,'' he said. "My doors are open, but right now I would say no. But it just depends on what opens up.
Williamson, 57, said he will miss some of the things about coaching but not all of them.
"Every year around August, you get the fever. It is going to be different, but I think I will be able to handle it though,'' he said. "One of the factors was summer workouts. I was really getting tired of the summer workouts, the weight lifting and 7-on-7s. That is really time consuming for me at this stage of my life. [High school football coaching] is getting more demanding.
"I am going to miss the camaraderie with the coaches and friends and just being around the kids. That is sometihing I have really enjoyed. Something I have done my entire life. It is hard to say exactly what I am going to miss the most until next August, but I am going to miss it."
Williamson is a special education teacher at Green Sea Floyds and said he plans to continue to teach at the school beyond this school year.
The Trojans lose 10 seniors from this year's squad including wide receiver Antonio Dixon and quarterback Zach Elliott.
There is no timetable for naming a replacement.
''We haven't opened [the job] up yet, and we don't know when we will,'' Green Sea Floyds athletic director Doug Hinson said. ''We will probaby go outside [of the school in search of a replacement], but we haven't gotten that far."