Change is name of game for North-South All-Stars

Socastee’s Kenney Solomon (left) and Myrtle Beach’s JB Favorite are among two local players competing in Saturday’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives North-South All-Star Game on Saturday at CCU’s Brooks Stadium.

The wholesale changes to the 2018 South Carolina football season brought on by Hurricane Florence and the ensuing flooding affected, in some form or another, the final 13 weeks of play.

Why would the state’s all-star games be any different?

The Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl, better known as the North-South game, will be played at Coastal Carolina University’s Brooks Stadium on Saturday, one week after it was originally scheduled to take place at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium. Game organizers wanted to ensure that no players had to withdraw if their teams made it to last weekend’s state championship games.

“[CCU Athletics Director] Matt Hogue and the people at Coastal have been awesome,” North-South game director Scott Earley said. “If Coastal didn’t come through for us, we would have been in a bind.”

CCU approved the field usage — not only for Saturday’s game but also three total practices during the week. That was just the beginning.

All-star football games are typically not allowed to be held at Football Bowl Subdivison stadiums, per NCAA policies involving recruitment and staff/student-athlete interaction. The North-South organizers filed an appeal that was granted relatively quickly.

That allowed the rest of the process, primarily getting player transportation to the area, to proceed as necessary. As of late Monday morning, all 88 players scheduled to play in the game were on-site and read to start preparing.

That included the three locals who were selected.

Myrtle Beach’s J.B. Favorite and Marcus Grissett, fresh off their Class 4A championship run, and Socastee do-it-all senior Kenney Solomon, were all ready for one final high school game in their home county.

Favorite, a defensive lineman, ended his three-year varsity career with 118 total tackles, 18.5 sacks and 37 tackles for loss. From his spot at receiver, Grissett had 157 career receptions for 2,266 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Solomon was a definite bright spot for a Socastee team that finished 1-7 in the weather-shortened season. The do-it-all three-way standout had 350 rushing yards and another 325 receiving on offense. On defense, he sprinkled in 18 tackles and two interceptions from his spot at cornerback. For good measure, he tacked on nearly 300 return yards in the punt and kickoff games. Altogether, he scored six touchdowns in four different ways.

They will be joined by 85 more of the top seniors in South Carolina, with 44 on each team. The game will kick off at 12:30 p.m. at Brooks Stadium.

Myrtle Beach offensive lineman Evan Jumper was the lone local player selected to play in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, which will take place Saturday in Spartanburg. That game will kick off at 1 p.m.

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