HAVELOCK - It has been a short while since Havelock's football team had representation in the annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas - since 2014 to be exact.

After going two years without a representative, the Rams got word Sunday that two players would be playing in the game this season.

Offensive lineman turned defensive lineman this season Avery Jones and linebacker Tyiyon Johnson were the Rams tabbed for the December trip to Spartanburg.

Jones is a University of North Carolina commit and Johnson is undecided on his college choice.

For the season, Jones has 31 tackles (4.5 for loss) and a sack.

Johnson, who missed two games due to injury, has 42 tackles (13.5 for loss) and three sacks.

"I haven't watched it every year but I've been following it the last couple years," Jones said of the Shrine Bowl.

Johnson said he knows it is a long-lasting tradition.

This year's game will be the 81st annual battle between the best of North Carolina and South Carolina.

"I know it's been going on for a while and a lot of Havelock guys have played in it," Johnson said.

Current NFL wide receiver Pharoh Cooper played in the 2012 game with Havelock teammate A.J. Coplon and Travis Sabdo and Matt Boykin competed in the game in 2014.

Both said they understand the allure of the game and look forward to being part of it.

"It's about our tradition here, it's another part of it," Johnson said.

Jones said he has learned a lot this season after moving to defense after being one of the more highly recruited and ranked offensive linemen in the state.

"It's taught me a lot about how guys on the other side of the ball think," Jones said.

"Defense is also more fun to me."

The two Rams are the only Craven County representatives in the all-star game this season.


Jordan Honeycutt can be reached at 252-635-5670 or at jordan.honeycutt@newbernsj.com