The South team might have to be considered the favorite Saturday in the SCADA North-South All-Star Football Game, if for no other reason than Myrtle Beach High senior Steven Cobb plays for the South team.
Cobb's graduating class, which includes North-South teammate Morgan Byrd, leaves quite a winning legacy at Myrtle Beach. In Cobb's three years on the varsity, the Seahawks lost only four of 43 games. His B Team went undefeated for two years when he was in seventh and eighth grade - he missed a junior varsity season his freshman year due to a torn ACL - and going back to sixth grade his rec league team won the state championship.
"We're not used to [losing]," Cobb said. "We've just been working hard and we all stick up for each other and are proud of each other, so it's kind of tough we had to end on that game in Columbia."
Cobb is coming off that loss, however, to Clinton in the Class AAA state championship game, which makes Saturday's game at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium a final opportunity to conclude his high school career in the manner he's accustomed to: with a win.
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"It's nice to have one more and get to play one more game at Doug Shaw, and I've got Morgan here so we get to play one more game together," Cobb said. "It's tough coming back the day after [Saturday's loss], but it's fun. I don't want football to end, so I'm just looking forward to the game Saturday."
Cobb has been an integral part of Myrtle Beach's winning tradition, particularly this year. He was the only player who competed regularly on both sides of the ball. He led the team in tackles as an outside linebacker with 68 solo tackles, 81 assists and 14 tackles for losses, and he caught 35 passes as a tight end for 582 yards and 10 touchdowns, which tied for second most in the Seahawks' spread offense. In the state championship game, Cobb had 11 total tackles and two receptions for 15 yards.
"Offensively, he was a perfect tight end for our offense,'' Seahawks coach Mickey Wilson said. "He could stretch the field and had great hands, and he could catch anything underneath. You could throw a screen to him and he could take it the distance. He made everybody pay attention to the middle of the field and that really helped our outside receivers.''
"Defensively, he's just a tough, hard-nosed kid and brought that to the defense. I think everybody fed off his toughness. He's as tough as they come.''
Though he didn't mind being spelled at tight end by junior Jerrod Jackson, who Cobb said will be "great" as a tight end next year, he enjoyed spending more time on the field than any other Seahawk. "I just had to be in shape," he said. "I just liked being on the field and helping the team win any way I can, on offense and defense."
Cobb, who is 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, is being used at tight end and wide receiver by the South team coaches. "At Myrtle Beach the tight end pretty much is a wide receiver," he said. "It's nothing new. I pretty much ran a route on every play anyway."
Cobb figures he'll be an outside linebacker, safety or wide receiver in college, depending on whether he bulks up or gets faster. Newberry, a Division II school, has offered a scholarship, and other schools have expressed interest and will likely be watching this week, including Football Championship Subdivision schools Georgia Southern, Furman and The Citadel. "I feel like I can play with those [FCS] guys and that's pretty much my goal, so hopefully it will work out," Cobb said. "It just depends on the college and the situation: what kind of academics plus athletics. I'm just trying to find the best fit for me."
Wilson has fielded several calls about him from college coaches. "He was a great football player for us,'' Wilson said. "He did any job on the field. To me the most important thing is he's a great kid off the field. He's one of our captains and did a great job leading our team. He was a joy to coach.''