Playing in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas is not just about competing with the best football players from North Carolina and South Carolina.
It’s a week-long event that includes a charitable visit to the Shriners Hospital, and other invaluable experiences.
The Shine Bowl of the Carolinas, in its 77th year, is one of the oldest high school football all-star games in the nation, and for the second straight year, the game will include a Havelock player.
Senior running back Derrell Scott is among three Craven County players invited to the game, along with New Bern’s Cody Purdie and Shawn Best.
Havelock’s Pharoh Cooper, now at the University of South Carolina, played in the contest last year and was North Carolina’s most valuable player, while cornerback A.J. Coplon, playing in junior college before heading to East Carolina, recovered two fumbles in the contest.
The Shrine Bowl, which pits the 40 of the best players from North Carolina against the 40 best from South Carolina, will be played on Dec. 21 in Spartanburg, S.C.
“It’s real big to get the invite for me,” said Scott, a four-star recruit. “It is the biggest out of all of the games to me because you get to give back to the kids, and that really means a lot to me.”
Scott attended a Shrine Bowl combine at Washington High School in the spring, had videos submitted and received a recommendation from head coach Jim Bob Bryant, who once served as an assistant coach at the Shrine Bowl.
Other players selected from Eastern North Carolina include Northside wide receiver Josh Cabrera and Jacksonville offensive lineman Nathan McConnell.
Scott has 819 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, despite missing a game with an injury. The 7-0 Rams, the two-time defending 3A state champion, have won 21 consecutive games.
Scott, who has narrowed his college choices to Tennessee, Florida State, South Carolina, N.C. State and Ohio State, said more Ram players just as easily could have been selected for the all-star contest.
“There are a whole bunch of talented players here at Havelock that could be in the game,” he said. “I’m just very thankful that they picked me for it.”
Adam Thompson is a reporter for the Sun Journal.