High School Football

‘A momentous occasion’: Two area coaches elected to SC Football Coaches Hall of Fame

Long time Carvers Bay coach set to retire after 18 seasons on the sidelines

Carvers Bay head football coach Nate Thompson ends his football career on a high note, finishing his first and only perfect season with the Carvers Bay Bears. Thompson announced he will retire at the end of the 2018 season.
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Carvers Bay head football coach Nate Thompson ends his football career on a high note, finishing his first and only perfect season with the Carvers Bay Bears. Thompson announced he will retire at the end of the 2018 season.

Nate Thompson’s run as a head coach in high school football ended less than a year ago.

It didn’t take long for him to earn a high honor for his service.

The longtime Carvers Bay head coach and current Conway defensive line coach was among nine men who make up the 2019 South Carolina Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame class announced Tuesday.

“It’s a momentous occasion for me,” Thompson said. “I’m humbled and I’m proud to be among those coaches.”

Thompson served as a head coach for 18 years, posting a 176-79 combined record at Choppee and Carvers Bay. He led the Bears to state championship titles in 2000 and 2006 and he had squads with Carvers Bay reach the Lower State final in 2001, 2008 and 2013.

Having retired following last season, Thompson took an assistant job at Conway, where he’d previously been a defensive coordinator before heading to Choppee and later Carvers Bay. Coincidentally, the Tigers’ current defensive coordinator, Kelly Andreucci, served under Thompson during his first go-around there.

“I got talked in to coming back and helping out and I’ve enjoyed it,” Thompson said. “It feels pretty good. Everybody welcomes you back. You see a lot of people that you know. The facilities are tremendous, really good. Being here, everybody just welcomes you in. They’re glad to have you. It’s a good thing. I felt really comfortable coming in knowing some of the people that were already here. Some were here when I was here before. It made for a pretty easy transition.”

Converting back to being an assistant has been an adjustment, Thompson admits, but there are perks as well.

“It’s pretty good because you’re not dealing with all the other stuff. You just kind of come in and coach your position, give your thoughts and go home,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about all that other stuff.”

One other coach with local ties, Burney Bourne, is in the class. Bourne coached for 31 years, including stops at Socastee and Waccamaw. Most of his notoriety, however, came at Cheraw, where he coached 22 years and posted a 179-96 record while winning two state championships (1979, 1993) and claiming a Lower State championship in 1992.

“When I was told this was happening I looked at the people who were in there and it’s quite an honor to even be mentioned in the same breath as a lot of those people,” said Bourne, a retired Murrells Inlet resident who stays busy these days managing rental properties in Garden City and Charleston and spending time with his grandchildren. “It’s a who’s who of high school football in South Carolina. I’m deeply honored to be going into this thing.”

The other coaches making up the class include Dennis Botts (Calhoun Falls and Abbeville), J.R. Boyd (Lamar and Laurens), Reed Charpia (James Island, Irmo, Newberry College, Midland Valley, Bennettsville, Marlboro County and Woodland), Bob Hanna (Irmo and five N.C. schools), Chris Miller (Broome, Byrnes and Spartanburg), Bob Prevatte (Gaffney) and Allen Sitterle (Spartanburg, Daniel and Lexington).

Another person with area ties has been nominated for a separate hall of fame. Georgetown High alumnus Jumpy Geathers, who played 13 seasons in the NFL was on two Super Bowl-winning teams, recently was among several nominees for the 2020 South Carolina Football Hall of Fame.

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