Stackley set to lead Shrine Bowl team
It was South Carolina’s finest day in the annual Shrine Bowl. The Sandlappers electrified the scoreboard and the crowd, lighting up North Carolina 66-14.
It was a record-setting day. The Sandlappers scored the most points they’ve ever scored in the series, and Stratford coach Ray Stackley was the defensive coordinator that day in 2000.
He returns 12 years later to lead the Sandlappers in the 76th annual game. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 in Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium.
“We’ve been working hard,” Stackley said of the South Carolina staff. “We’ve been working since February… if you love football, you’ve got to be excited about it.”
Current Knights offensive line coach Tony Smith will join Stackley on the South Carolina sideline. He is one of Stackley’s original hires from way back in 1985.
“He’s been with me ever since,” Stackley said. “I’m very glad he was able to be selected. It’s gonna help us that he already knows our stuff we’re going to run.”
Stackley has 257 career wins.
North Carolina is led by Garner High School’s Nelson Smith. He’s been the head coach at Garner since 1999, compiling a record of 130-29.
This year’s Tar Heels are as strong as ever, Stackley said.
They won last year 26-19.
“They’re loaded,” he added. “This is the deepest crowd of Division I athletes they’ve had in a while. North Carolina has about 375 schools playing football and we’ve got about 197.”
Stackley thinks back to 2000. That group had some current NFL players on the roster, including all-pro wide receiver Roddy White of the Atlanta Falcons.
“We had an outstanding group of kids,” Stackley said. “A couple of them are still in the NFL. They were very attentive and wanted to be a great team. We didn’t try to run it up. We just had more athletes than (North Carolina).”
Two Goose Creek Gators will lineup for Stackley in the Shrine Bowl, wide receiver/running back Tramel Terry and defensive end Gerald Turner.
Terry is committed to Georgia and Turner is headed to South Carolina.
Also, the Stratford cheerleaders will serve as one of the six cheering squads from South Carolina to participate.
Shrine Bowl Facts:
• The Shrine Bowl game is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious high school all-star football game in America.
• The first Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas was played on December 4, 1937 in Charlotte, NC.
• The Shrine Bowl is played to benefit the Greenville (SC) Unit Shriners Hospitals for Children and 21 other Shriners Hospitals for Children across the nation.
• The 2011 game receipts and temple contributions raised $1.677 million.
• Since the first Shrine Bowl in 1937, over $74 million has been raised for Shriners Hospitals.
• Tickets for the 2012 game are $15 if ordered in advance, $20 at the gate the day of game.
• South Carolina leads the overall series on the field, 41-30-4.