High School Football

Four Grand Strand players named to Shrine Bowl roster

Mykal Moody’s impressive high school football career is going to end at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

The Conway quarterback was one of 44 players from South Carolina named to the team Wednesday, a little more than two months in advance of the top high school all-star football game for the two states. Other Grand Strand players joining Moody at the Shrine Bowl include Tiger teammate Malcolm Green, Myrtle Beach cornerback Chocolate Wilson and Carolina Forest running back Harold Atkinson.

Moody’s versatility – he has also lined up at receiver and on defense this season – made him the type of player South Carolina coach Ray Stackley (Stratford High School) wanted to help put a winning product together.

“I think that he’s an excellent choice, obviously,” said Conway coach Chuck Jordan, who coached the South Carolina team last year. “He can do a lot of things. That was something I talked to Ray about a lot over time. He can play quarterback, he can play slot, he can play wide out, he can play defense. I think it’s just very fitting that he’s in this game.

“You want to take three quarterbacks, but you can’t get three quarterbacks ready to play in a week. If you take two and one gets hurt, you’re in a bind. If you take three and one can do a lot of other things, it adds value.”

Moody has thrown for 1,226 yards and 14 touchdowns in seven games this year while also putting up another 637 yards and 11 scores on the ground. For his career, he has already passed for more than 4,000 yards and rushed for another 3,000.

The player responsible for catching many of those passes, Green, will also be heading to Spartanburg in December, and for many of the same reasons. After starting at receiver as a sophomore, Green shifted to safety as a junior because of a lack of depth on that side of the ball.

This season, he’s still playing some defense, but he’s back on offense and has turned into Moody’s favorite target. So far, he has 36 receptions for 575 yards and six touchdowns.

“They plan to use Malcolm as a wideout because he’s such a great vertical threat,” Jordan said. “But he played defense all of last year and played well versus some of the Shrine Bowl coaches.”

Stackley and Stratford/Shrine Bowl assistant coach Tony Smith saw both players up closer when Conway fell to the Knights in the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs last season.

Atkinson’s numbers have dipped slightly from his junior season – when he put up just shy of 1,600 total yards and 11 touchdowns – but part of that is due to him playing a significant amount of defense this season. Still, he’s rushed for 634 yards and eight touchdowns and has another 207 yards receiving so far as a senior. Atkinson has continued to be an integral part of the offense despite a more concentrated focus on the passing game.

“It’s a great honor for him, and he’s well-deserving. It’s a culmination of the things he’s done in the past and this year,” Panthers coach Drew Hummel said. “He’s an impact kid every time he touches the ball. One thing that we’ve done and one thing the college coaches have wanted to see is catching the ball out of the backfield. … In essence, his rushing totals are down, but his total yardage is not necessarily too far off what he did last year.”

Atkinson is the first Carolina Forest player selected during Hummel’s seven seasons and the third from the program overall.

Wilson’s selection is proof positive of the impact he had on the field as a sophomore and junior. This season, he has been sidelined thus far with a knee injury.

The coaching staff held him out until he was 100 percent, and he could make his return as early as Week 10 of the regular season (Oct. 26 against North Myrtle Beach).

As a junior, though, the cornerback put up impressive numbers. Wilson recorded six interceptions, 39 total tackles, recorded three tackles for loss, recovered two fumbles and had two defensive touchdowns.

Much like former Seahawk quarterback Everett Golson – who missed eight games his senior season in 2010 – the Shrine Bowl coaches believed him to be one of the best players in the state when he was on the field.

“I think it just goes to show that he had a great body of work as a sophomore and junior,” Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson said. “The junior film is what they look at the most. The past few years he played great.

“He’s a cover corner. He can lock down a team’s best receiver.”

The 76th Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas will be played Saturday, Dec. 15 at Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg. The first game in the North Carolina vs. South Carolina series was played in 1937, and it is recognized as the oldest high school all-star football game in the country.

Tickets for the game are $15 in advance or $20 at the gate and can be purchased at shrine-bowl.com. The game benefits the Greenville (SC) Unit Shriners Hospital For Children, as well as 21 other Shriners hospitals around the United States.

Rosters for the 63rd Annual SCADA North-South All-Star game, to be played at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium, will be released later this month.